NetEnt Removes Three of its Licensed Slots
10 April 2017 Written by: Geraldine
You probably don’t care that much about NetEnt and their games since they’re not allowed in Canada. So you’re probably not aware that three of its licensed slots – Aliens, South Park, and South Park: Reel Chaos – were taken down on the 30th March, 2017. You only need to click through the links to see that the freeplays are missing from their info pages on the NetEnt site. No official announcements have been made and it’s all been kept pretty hush-hush. There’s only a couple of articles floating around about it too.
The thing is, they’re not just missing from the NetEnt site. All three licensed slots have disappeared from online casinos everywhere.
What are the possible explanations for this happening? And why should you care?
Read on for our expert opinions on the matter, and why we think it’s a more complex issue than it might originally seem.
Their licenses expired, and they weren’t renewed
The most popular explanation going round right now on the forums is that the licenses for the three slots expired and they weren’t renewed. Straight-forward enough.
But, we don’t really buy this.
Licenses for licensed slots are bought for a certain amount of time, and when that time is up and the licenses expire – the slots need to be taken down. We can understand why this would happen to a slot like Aliens, which was never much of a hit with online players and probably didn’t bring in enough money to make a profit from its license. But, we honestly can’t see why this would be the case with the South Park and South Park: Reel Chaos slots. They were popular with fans, and also with NetEnt Chief Product Officer Simon Hammon. In an interview published just on the 23rd March, 2017, Hammon commented that:
“I have to say though that my personal favorite is the original game of South Park and this for lots of reasons; it took me a very long time to secure the licensing of this and was such a fun project to work on with the brand holder. Mechanically to have a Cartman beefcake wild and Mr Hanky wild feature was great fun to do. I had a lot of pride in the outcome of that game especially.”
It’s a bit suspicious that only a few days after Hammon gave this interview, praising the South Park slot and all the hard work that went into it, it doesn’t get its license renewed along with the South Park: Reels Chaos slot as well.
The other suspicious thing is that fans weren’t given any heads up at all about the slots being taken down. Some players were upset that they didn’t get to have one more go on the licensed slots before they were gone forever, and you can’t blame them for it.
So, it’s safe to say that there’s more going on behind all this than just a simple case of expired licenses.
Is this the end of licensed slots?
It’s not just NetEnt licensed slots that have suddenly disappeared from online casinos. Playtech, a big gaming provider in Canada, has also recently undergone a similar loss with all their Marvel branded games as of 31st March, 2017. That’s a huge 21 licensed slots gone.
In Playtech’s case, it definitely wasn’t their decision to take down such a massive range of their slots. In 2009, the Disney Group bought Marvel Entertainment and just four years after that, Disney decided to terminate its license contracts with software developers like Playtech effective as of this year. This is because it goes against the ‘family-friendly’ image associated with Disney and all its products. Canada’s own Amaya Software was similarly forced to purge all its Marvel licensed slots following the termination of the contract.
Could this be the end of licensed slots? Who’s next in line to be hit – Microgaming?
Wherever you live, the end of licensed slots is a big deal. They make up an extremely entertaining portion of video slots and would be a huge loss to the online gaming world. Stay tuned in to Casinos.co for more updates on what’s happening with licensed slots.