GAMBLING DEALS COULD BE DROPPED, SAYS MARVEL COMICS
27th October, 2013 at 02:06:15
Owner Disney says gambling association is not wanted.
Land and online slot player fans of games with themes like the Amazing Spider-Man and Iron Man could be in for some disappointment when current licensing agreements with games developers expire...they may not be renewed.
The problem started in 2009, when the giant, family oriented Disney entertainment group paid $4.4 billion to acquire Marvel Comics, the New York Times reported over the weekend.
The deal included character and brand licensing obligations under agreements signed by the previous owners with land and online games development companies using the popular comic characters in internet and land slot themes.
Among online operators are Amaya (with licences acquired through the buyout of Cryptologic) and Playtech with the latter in particular enjoying big success with a large range of Marvel slots
developed over the past 4 years and integrated into their software platform.
Now the profits accruing to Disney through these lucrative Marvel licensing deals are under the media spotlight due to Disney's strongly projected image as a family entertainment oriented group...and the company has described the association as an "unwanted" part of the Marvel deal.
The NY Times article "Gambling Debate Entangles Disney in Florida," claims that Marvel has copious licensing arrangements with gambling products, from slot machines to online games to lottery tickets.
The Times reporters approached Marvel to ask whether Disney's ties to the gaming industry, through Marvel, undercut its position on casino gambling.
A Marvel spokeswoman said that the company planned to shed its connection to slot machines when the various licensing agreements expire, adding that Marvel had "...signed its last slot machine deal."
But it will take a few years for all the contracts to expire, the spokeswoman said.
The Times article
notes that over half of Marvel's revenues in 2007 came from licensing characters like Iron Man and The Avengers to third party producers of video games, TV shows, toys, movies and lottery tickets.
Related News Tags: Playtech, Lotteries