Published on by James
Before the world drinks itself silly again for St Patrick's Day - we've investigated the surprisingly strong link between the holy...
Published on by Adam
One of the most gut-wrenching days for NetEnt slots fans undoubtedly came earlier this year when both the original South Park game for online casino and its Reel Chaos addition were pulled from the shelves. It’s indisputable that the duo are extremely popular, so just why was the South Park slot series removed and what are the chances of a miraculous return to our screens?
Those questions have never been so poignant – with the new South Park game for PS4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows being released halfway through the animation’s 21st TV season.
It’s safe to say that Cartman, Stan, Kyle, Kenny and the rest are as relevant as they were 20 years ago when they entered the (often controversial) spotlight, so why was their iGaming presence shattered?
Unfortunately, it’s not exactly public knowledge with few mentions of the late-March ejections being made. However, there’s one main theory…
The likeliest reason is due to licensing.
Both the South Park video slot and South Park: Reel Chaos titles feature authentic likenesses, characters, settings and the rest.
Therefore, NetEnt needed the green light from Comedy Central for copyright – and there’s a good chance that this agreement had an expiry date.
An agreement was made way back in 2013 or maybe as far distant as late-2012 between the two parties, and it may well be that an expiration date was included.
If this is the case then the obvious question beckons: why was a renewal not granted? We’re quite frankly baffled at this stage, as the two games were hardly flops. One thing to note is that it’s unlikely to have been influenced by NetEnt themselves.
We say this because the slot developer’s CPO, Simon Hammon, was quoted as saying that his “personal favourite [NetEnt slot] is the original game of South Park” just a week before the games were removed. He also mentioned that it took “a very long time to secure the licensing”, so perhaps there were obstacles that affected potentially renegotiating the prior arrangement.
Another NetEnt movie-themed slot in Aliens was also given the axe at the same time as South Park, leaving the iGaming scene worried that branded casino games were a thing of the past.
Thankfully, NetEnt have put all those concerns to bed with certified releases that have garnered much fanfare since these culls.
Ready for a trip down memory lane? We can’t guarantee it’ll be easy!
Hark back to February 2013 at the ICE gaming conference when NetEnt dropped a bombshell that a South Park game would arrive before the end of the year. Suspense was at an all-time high after, with NetEnt eventually releasing this teaser:
Ah, doesn’t that just bring it all back? All those features and cut scenes!
We still can’t agree at NetEnt Casino which bonus round is the best – as the game somehow managed to exceed our already brimming expectations.
NetEnt online casinos also did their bit by feeding our appetites with quality South Park bonuses and promotions to welcome this powerhouse to the iGaming world. But that was only the beginning…
With such a huge reaction to the original, it was pretty much a no-brainer for NetEnt to go back for more. They needed to do something a little different to avoid a repeat, but you never really doubted NetEnt’s ability to do just that, did you?. We’ll let Professor Chaos himself introduce South Park: Reel Chaos:
As you’ve probably gathered, it’s the South Park Superheroes that take centre stage here as they take on Professor Chaos to land you coin wins. The Mintberry Crunch Epic Bonus Spins round is a particular highlight, mimicking a Street Fighter battle whereby you take and give damage. If you managed to progress through the four levels, you could expect the ultimate reward – with South Park: Reel Chaos solidifying its status as one of the most popular slot games of all time.
Maybe that wasn’t such a great idea, eh? All this reminiscing has only made us want to fire up those two South Park casino games again, but alas it’s not meant to be.
Certain gamers have pondered whether the final chapter has been written, or could a remarkable South Park comeback happen in the online casino world?
At this particular moment it appears doubtful, but perhaps with enough pressure the powers that be may reconsider.