Considering the rabid platform-agnostic content consumption of today’s fans, it may even happen sooner rather than later.
When we talk about music merchandise, the first things that usually come to mind (aside from their albums themselves) are clothing lines, paper ephemera like stickers, and maybe a signature scent or a few action figures. For the true hardcore collector, however, there’s another type of extremely valuable collectible to amass: slot machines.
While newer artists haven’t really ventured into licensing their likenesses and creative output to slot machine manufacturers and online gaming developers, a number of musical icons have slowly but surely penetrated the realm of real-money gaming.
There are already two Michael Jackson slot machines, for example. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill quick cash-ins, either. The latest, called Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’, features a number of the King of Pop’s most famous songs. It even comes with videos, a virtual concert bonus, and a surround-sound chair.
Genre doesn’t seem to be a deterrent to entry, too. Legendary thrash metal band Megadeth, considered one of the “Big Four” in the world of thrash metal, has its own slot machine. It seems like a strange merchandising venture for a metal band, but it does exist, albeit only as an online game.
The choice seems not so strange for merchandise-heavy band Kiss, whose members have lent their likeness to everything from limp balms and Rubik’s cubes to condoms and caskets. It should come as no surprise, then, that the band has also had a slot machine themed after them.
The undisputed king of musician-based slot machines, however, is Elvis Presley. In fact, you could argue that without The King, there wouldn’t be a market for these kinds of slot machines at all. IGT, who basically pioneered the modern era of licensed slot machine cabinets, really started the ball rolling with the first Elvis-themed slot machine in the late 90s.
That particular slot machine was the first to incorporate licensed music tracks and videos into the cabinet, something that has since become a staple not only for current-era artist-themed slots but for pretty much every new slot machine.
It was soon followed by a number of other Elvis-themed cabinets. When IGT eventually moved into the online gaming landscape, it brought Elvis with it. The latest title, Elvis The King, debuted on Betfair during the week of what would have been The King’s 78th birthday.
Licensing has lately become a big enough part of pop music that it wouldn’t come as a surprise if we start to see slot machines featuring today’s crop of artists in the future. Considering the rabid and platform-agnostic content consumption of today’s fans, it may even happen sooner than anyone thinks.