BetMGM Casino has announced an exclusive partnership with London-based developer Atlantic Digital to bring the studio’s titles to the US, with Michigan as the first market. Atlantic Digital’s content stands out amongst other casino content developers because it specializes in TV and movie-based slots and has licensed the rights to several valuable pieces of intellectual property. The first such title in the US is The Godfather, a slot based on the iconic 1970s Francis Ford Coppola film starring Marlon Brando as mob boss Don Vito Corleone.
The Godfather is now available at BetMGM Casino Michigan.
Additional games from Atlantic Digital will become available soon. BetMGM intends to extend the partnership to all other states in which it operates—New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Other popular Atlantic Digital titles players can look forward to in the near future include:
- Charlie’s Angels
- CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
- Star Trek: The Next Generation
The Value of Licensed IP
Adding the UK studio and its content to its portfolio is a strategic move by BetMGM. Pop-culture slots are interactive and engaging, and the specific titles Atlantic Digital has licensed will resonate with Gen X in particular. They may also hold “retro” appeal with younger players, whom operators see as the most elusive and desirable group of online casino users.
Meanwhile, BetMGM has set its sites on European expansion, having launched its product in the UK. Partnering with more European developers aligns with that strategy, as it means adding games that the audience overseas will be familiar with. Last year, BetMGM purchased Swedish-based LeoVegas and recently became the first contemporary US operator to launch in the UK. Meanwhile, for Atlantic Digital, partnering with BetMGM means access to a large audience. The operator claims it holds the leading position for iGaming market share in the US, though DraftKings has begun to dispute that.
European Developers Are Targeting the US Market
Atlantic Digital’s entrance to the US through Michigan makes it the latest in a string of European studios flocking across the pond. Other examples of this year’s Euro invasion include:
- 1×2 Network bringing crash games to Michigan.
- Hacksaw Gaming bringing high-volatility games to West Virginia.
- 4ThePlayer expanding to its second state, Michigan, in July.
- White Hat Studios and Greentube expanding to Pennsylvania in March and June, respectively.
Could Atlantic Digital Rival White Hat Studios?
Atlantic Digital will give US players more options for movie and pop-culture slots. That emphasis will put Atlantic into direct competition with another IP-focused, London-based studio, White Hat Studios. Interestingly, White Hat also expanded to the US a year ago through a deal with BetMGM in Michigan, so the TV and film tie-ins seem to be a consistent strategy on the operator’s part.
White Hat’s content is now available at many top online casinos, with popular titles like Ted and The Goonies.
That said, there is a significant difference in the companies’ approach. White Hat takes a maximalist approach when it comes to bonus features and novelty mechanics. Many of its titles feature multiple types of bonus rounds or have power-up features that trigger randomly.
By contrast, Atlantic Digital is fairly traditional—though not simplistic—in its designs, usually sticking to a single exciting but readily understood bonus mechanic.
Game In Focus: The Godfather
Oliver Bartlett, Director of Gaming at BetMGM, called The Godfather “one of the most iconic movies,” which is hard to dispute. Coppola’s film is considered a masterpiece by many and is still highly popular five decades after its release.
Atlantic Digital’s take on the movie takes players in Don Vito Corleone’s office, where they can listen to the iconic music synonymous with the movie while they play.
Don Corleone is, naturally, the highest-paying symbol in the game. Meanwhile, the Book of Corleone acts as both a Wild and a Scatter. Spinning three or more of these Scatter-Wilds activates the free spins bonus round with at least one expanding symbol.
There are two perks to the bonus round. First, it begins with a hold-and-spin round, where the player can earn cash prizes, more free spins, or additional expanding symbols. After finishing the hold-and-spin phase, the player proceeds to traditional free spins, with one or more expanding symbols and an increased chance of re-triggering the bonus round.
The Godfather features some nice audio clips from the original movie. For instance, players triggering the bonus round will be treated to the eternally-referenced line, “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
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