When it comes to rock and metal, merchandise has always been a big deal. Band t-shirts and posters are traditionally the most popular forms of music merch – usually on sale after gigs, when fans feeling that post-gig excitement are most likely to buy.
But these days, merch is taking much more diverse forms as savvy marketers tap into niche audiences. And who can blame them for tapping into gaming, an industry that some are predicting to be worth $300 billion in the coming years?
It had to happen. In a world where we’ve seen some of the biggest rock acts in the world produce some truly mind-bending merchandise in the past – and more of that later – it only stands to reason that there would soon be a whole generation of online slot games that feature the bands, too.
A lot of this has to do with just how complex today’s online slots can be. Most have amazing backing tracks and many can even include live footage. Take a look at the most engaging slot games on a leading casino site and you’ll see just how engaging they are – and how far they’ve come from the ‘one armed bandits’ of dusty Western saloon bars. So put these together with some of the true monsters of rock, and you’ll have games that will have fans queuing up to play.
So here, without further ado, are five prominent artists who now have slot games dedicated to them.
Let’s start with the axe hero to end all axe heroes. In a relatively short career which lasted just four years until his untimely death in 1970 at the age of 27, Jimi Hendrix redefined guitar music forever. Countless numbers of today’s biggest names include him as one of their major influences so it’s no surprise that NetEnt decided to create this slot.
It’s a classic 5 reel 20 payline game that not only gives you the chance to win big, it also features some of Hendrix’s most famous riffs and songs including “Purple Haze” and “Crosstown Traffic.”
As you’d expect, the imagery on the game is psychedelic, taking you back to the late 1960s and the Woodstock era with yellows and purples as the predominant colors and a distinctly hippy vibe. There are plenty of bonus features in the slot and one of the very best is the “Little Wing” bonus that lets the game really take off with up to 12 free spins.
Guns N’ Roses
With worldwide album sales of well over $100 million behind them, Guns N’ Roses are surely one of the world’s biggest bands, with an almost endless back catalogue. And, although the version of the band touring today might not have quite the heft of the original line-up they still know how to rock.
It’s this wild spirit that’s perfectly captured by our second NetEnt game which harks back to the original days of the legendary partnership between Axl Rose and Slash.
The game’s all about the music so before you spin the reels you can choose the soundtrack you want play along to, whether that’s “Welcome To The Jungle,” “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” “Paradise City,” “November Rain” or even “Chinese Democracy.” If you prefer, you can mute the sound and pick your own GNR track to play along with.
It’s another game with lots of features, but two really stand out: the Solo Multiplier that can multiply your prize by up to 10 times and the Crowd-Pleaser bonus game with three levels of instant win prizes.
We mentioned bands with crazy levels of merch, and Kiss are one band that’s certainly cranked things up to 11 on that front. Naturally, there were all the Kiss dolls, but they went even further by creating pinball machines and even a Kiss Kasket designed to give loved ones a real send off in style.
Fortunately the Kiss slot is a lot more mainstream – and much less dark.
Created by Williams Interactive, it was a slot that was originally launched in Las Vegas but has now been converted into an online format too. One of the big innovations it features is the addition of so-called Colossal Reels in addition to the standard spinning ones. These feature the distinctive faces of the original band, led by Gene Simmons, and interact with the five other spinning reels to create even more winning options.
Other features include the Shout It Loud scatter symbol and the chance to get your hands on an exclusive Backstage Pass which could then go on to grant you all sorts of extras including big numbers of free spins.
British rockers Motorhead are another band who have never been shy about putting their name on a crazy range of merchandise, including an American-style IPA and even a brand of bourbon.
This was 100% in keeping with the band’s hard-living image, and a lot of that energy, drive and noise has gone into the slot that bears their name.
When you select “Rock Mode” before you play, you’ll be doing it just like Lemmy would have wanted, time to go all out in your pursuit of winnings. Accompanied by Motorhead’s trademark aggressive guitar, bass and drums, watch out for the Bomber feature. Named after their third album, arguably the best of the 35 they released in a long career, this brings up a cluster of mystery symbols that explode over the reels. This hopefully showers you with the sorts of riches the band received thanks to their 30 million plus worldwide album sales.
As one of the Big Four thrash metal bands, along with Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax, Megadeth have beaten the other three who have yet to earn a slot created in their image.
Fans of the band will be delighted, if a little deafened, by this game that features Dave Mustaine in the lead role as an expanding wild symbol along with Dave Ellefson, Shawn Drover and Chris Broderick.
In place of the usual playing card symbols on the reels, this game uses the band’s musical instruments, while the wild symbol is the very appropriately named Vic Rattlehead.
As you’d expect, there are plenty of plays on the word ‘Mega’ with one particular Mega Round leading you to the Head Crusher Bonus, which includes a great instant win prize guaranteed plus the chance to increase it by revealing hooded figures. The Hangar Free Spins Round also qualifies you for up to 15 free spins, and even more chances to carry off a mega prize.
As you can see, band merch is still alive and well – in fact, it’s growing into new niches all the time. Check out any of these leading titles and you’ll get more bang for your buck in terms of the gaming experience, as you’ll get to rock out while you put yourself in the running for a life-changing jackpot. If there’s any feeling more euphoric than winning big while your favorite chorus kicks in, let us know.