Once the preserve of niche and cult TV shows, today no product or cultural activity can truly consider itself mainstream until it’s spawned a dedicated news site or three.
In the early days of the web these sites often grew out of the printed fanzines and newsletters dedicated to (mostly always cancelled) shows such as Doctor Who and Star Trek, plus niche films and genres such as horror.
Today virtually any popular game, actor, musician, film or show can boast a collection of online forums and sites, as can brands such as Apple which has at least half a dozen major outlets dedicated to bringing its fans and users every last squeeze of gossip about upcoming releases.
And now the practice has spread to online gambling which, as we’ve written previously, is enjoying ever greater levels of popularity here in the UK.
While there are lots of casino sites, some attached to big name, high street bookmakers and others creating new and imaginative brands, many of the games on them come from a core of large developers who provide them for a fee to the casino operator.
In some cases the entire online casino is bought-in ‘white label’ with the same underlying code powering many dozens or even hundreds of differently branded and owned sites.
Many of the savvier, more knowledgeable players, who tend to be more likely to start their own casino or slots themed site, realise this and so focus their site accordingly.
One of the more highly targeted sites around is www.jackpotjester.com which is dedicated to a single video slots game, the JackpotJester 50,000 which was developed by NetGen Gaming and is currently only available to play at a few selected online casinos.
A single game may seem like a strange hook for a website but with prizes of up to €50,000 (hence the name!), the JackpotJester unsurprisingly has amassed a dedicated army of fans eager for news and updates.
A more widely focussed site is www.wmsslots.org which is dedicated to one of the largest providers of online slots, Williams Interactive.
Today the firm is part of the Scientific Games empire, but started life as one of the foremost names in Pinball machines before venturing into the world of video arcade games. Older readers, or those simply with good taste, might remember them as the firm behind Defender, one of the best arcade games of all time.
Now a global developer of online gaming, Williams has a presence in 13 cities across three continents and a valuable catalogue of both in-house and licensed third party Intellectual Property (IP) which helps make its games a must-have for casino operators.
By harnessing established big brands, developers can make their games more attractive to play.
Among Williams Interactive’s titles are Monopoly, Titanic (based on the James Cameron film), Clue (Cluedo for UK readers) and Playboy. In March the firm struck one of its biggest IP deals yet when it secured a multi-year license to develop and release James Bond 007 themed titles.
According to the official announcement, the deal gives the firm “the rights to leverage all past and future iconic James Bond films, as well as the film’s talent portraying James Bond”.
The first game based on the spy franchise is expected to be unveiled next month at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas.
Such a large portfolio of games and titles clearly provides ample content to keep readers coming back which, as any editor will tell you, is the ideal foundation for running a popular and successful site.