Monday, 25 September 2017

"Jurassic Park Car" by Jose Manuel Monsalve Díaz (CC BY 2.0)
The Jurassic Park/Jurassic World franchise has gone from strength to strength in recent years, and with its 25-year birthday approaching imminently (the original film was released in 1993), its popularity shows no sign of declining.

In 2017, Jurassic Park permeates numerous areas of popular culture. Although in 1993 the idea of playing games on a portable device would have been feasible (never forget about the Game Boy!), seeing the sheer range of ways in which gamers can now experience the world of Jurassic Park in game form would have been shocking to fans in the early 1990s.

Maybe the starkest comparison comes in the form of the fact that the game is now available as a Lego game, but not as you would have known it back in 1993! Indeed, the most recent cinematic release spawned the launch of the video game, Lego Jurassic World, which allows gamers not only to have a go at taking part in the world of Isla Nublar and Isla Sorna, but also enjoying the Lego take on different parts of the films.

Not Just a Family Franchise
Of course, being a monster franchise means that you need to have a broad appeal when it comes to gaming in order to maximize potential for revenue. Appealing to as many demographics as possible is crucial for brands and franchises wanting to make the most out of a link-up with the gaming sector. This means, in the example of Jurassic Park, that a Lego gaming association isn’t enough; the iGaming world needs to be embraced where possible as well. The Jurassic World and Jurassic Park slot games, offered by online casinos, was developed in this respect to provide fans of the franchise a chance to play a game that uses the theme of the film to enhance the offering of a standard slot game. However, considering the popularity of officially licensed titles in online casinos today, it wouldn't be too far-fetched to expect that themed and branded live casino games will be next, allowing for the "live casino" categories of online games such as Live Casino William Hill, which live streams content to players worldwide, to also adopt Jurassic Park in terms of scenery, live dealer costumes or even sound effects.

While slot games are always going to prove popular, especially on mobile thanks to their pick up and play nature, one of the biggest gaming successes that the franchise has had is the Jurassic Park Builder, which was released in 2012 and proved a hit with fans of the franchise (if not always with critics). The concept of building your own Jurassic Park is clearly a winning formula for fans and has in part led to the development of the soon to be released Jurassic World Evolution that will aim to encourage fans back to console gaming, despite the fact that current trends suggest that gamers are, on the whole, looking to move away from more traditional gaming options and towards mobile gaming.

Looking to the Future
While it could be taken as a bit of a backwards step to be looking at designing a new console and PC-based game, it is a sign of further diversification. Perhaps the real future of Jurassic Park and Jurassic World games will be determined by the success (or otherwise) of the next movie, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which hits theaters in June 2018.

"Jurassic Park" by Will Fisher (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Should the movie be a critical success and bring audiences flocking to watch it, then the Jurassic franchises will likely receive another lease of life and inspire a whole new range of games on a range of devices aimed at people of all ages. However, if the movie flops, we may see the world of the dinosaurs go back to extinction! 

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