In a piece of news that should be exciting to video gamers who have been playing in arcades for decades – or those that just have a nostalgic love for older games – Fremantle Media Enterprises (FME) has announced that they’ve signed a two-year deal that will have them working on an online slots game based on Space Invaders.
Some of our younger readers may not be familiar with the game, but Space Invaders was one of the first true hit arcade games. Designed by Tomohiro Nishikado, the game was first launched in arcades in 1978. The game became a breakout hit, first reaching popularity in Japan and then spreading to the United States and beyond. By 1982, the game has grossed $2 billion worldwide – one quarter at a time. The game would go on to become a hit on the Atari 2600, helping that system to become the dominant home console of its time.
Space Invaders required players to fight off waves of aliens by shooting them with a spaceship. The aliens attack in rows, moving together side-to-side until they a row hits the edge of the screen, at which point they drop down closer to the player. As more aliens are defeated, they begin to move faster, increasing the game’s difficulty.
The deal will see FME work with Square Enix, which now owns the trademark to Space Invaders. Square Enix is perhaps best known for their role-playing game franchises such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest.
FME may not be well-known by online slots players, but they’re a powerful force in online gaming. On previous occasions, they’ve developed, licensed, and distributed games that were branded on several popular properties, including The X Factor, The Price is Right, and Britain’s Got Talent. These games have been designed for a variety of platforms, including both online and land-based slots.
“The deal with Square Enix further demonstrates our goal to become one of the leading developers and distributors of premium branded gaming content,” said Simon Murphy, Head of Gambling at FME. “We are thrilled to be introducing the iconic and globally recognized Space Invaders into the gambling space for the first time.”
It’s far too early to say for certain how the game will play or look, or even what online casinos in the UK might offer the Space Invaders game. On the other hand, it’s always fun to speculate, and it’s easy to imagine some features that everyone would like to see in a Space Invaders slot machine. For sure, if there’s not a bonus round that in some way emulates the original game’s action, it would be a huge shock. Another natural fit would be the increasingly common “cascading” feature, in which winning combinations disappear (in this case, aliens could be shot away) to make room for more potential wins.
But for now, this is all just speculation; only time will tell what Space Invaders will look like in its final form and you will hear about its release first here on SlotsGeek.co.uk. In any case, there’s no doubt that Space Invaders will be one of the most eagerly anticipated online slots in years.