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Playtech and Cryptologic in Competition

By: Joan Peppin, Thursday August 12th 2010
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Usually online gaming software providers try and differentiate their products, particularly online slot games, so that they are not seen in head on competition. This enables each online gaming software provider to create a niche for himself in the Internet gaming space. In the 15 years of online gaming history this has been the approach followed by most software providers. However, over the last year two of the leading software providers, Playtech and Cryptologic, have entered into head on competition in certain genre of slot games while retaining their distinctive offerings in other areas.

The first type of online slot games is branded super hero games. Cryptologic entered this area in December 2007 with the release of Spider-Man. This was done in agreement with Marvel Comics who owned the copyright for a series of super heroes. Over the next two years Cryptologic released over fifteen slot games based on the different Marvel Comics super heroes. This became one of the most popular series of online slots ever. In 2009 Playtech impinged on this space by announcing an agreement with Marvel Movies, which makes movies based on the same super heroes. Over the last year Playtech has released slot games featuring the same super heroes that had earlier figured in Cryptologic slots. The only difference was that the graphics and styling in the Playtech slots was based on the movie versions of the super heroes whereas the Cryptologic slots were based on the print version of the super heroes.

Though clear information is not available in the public domain, it appears that Cryptologic has terminated its agreement with Marvel and even initiated legal proceedings for breach of contract. In any event Cryptologic has not released any more Marvel super hero slots since then. However Cryptologic and Playtech are still competing in the branded super hero slots field. Cryptologic has signed up with DC Comics, which is the main competitor of Marvel. Four DC Comics super hero slots have already been released by Cryptologic over the last year and the battle will undoubtedly continue.

The second arena of head on competition between Cryptologic and Playtech is in online slots based on Hollywood movies. Here again Cryptologic entered first with an agreement with Paramount. Playtech entered soon after with slot games based on MGM movies. The Cryptologic slot games are Braveheart, Forrest Gump and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The Playtech slot games are Rocky and Pink Panther. The competition is not as intense in the branded movie area as it is in the super hero area. The reason is that there are so many more movies to choose from and there is much more variety in the nature of the movies. The common features include graphics, video clips and dialogues from the movies and bonus games based on the content of the movies.

Playtech and Cryptologic have their different areas of strengths as well. For example the Casual Game series of slot games from Cryptologic is extremely popular. This is headed by Bejeweled, which has become one of the most popular slots of all time. Playtech, on the other hand, is known for the wide variety of Arcade Games offered at its online casinos. These are fixed odds games of the type found in video arcades.

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