Football is possibly the most popular sport in the world. It is one of the most followed ones – it has an estimated number of 3.5 billion fans worldwide, almost half of the total population. It is also the most played one, with more than 250 million players in 200 countries. Even where it’s not the most popular – like in the United States, where it’s overtaken by its “traditional” sports like baseball or American football – it is played and watched by millions. So where are all the games based on this excellent game?
Isle of Man based Microgaming, a developer of slot machines and other related games, has only released two major titles on the topic.
One of them is Shoot!, a game paying a tribute to the long-running UK football magazine with the same title. The game is great – it brings back memories of the golden age of football, when legendary players like Pelé, Maradona or Beckenbauer would fight on the field. It brings back memories not just of legendary matches, but of the excitement of reading a magazine before the times of the online.
The Football Star Online Slot is another valuable contribution to the world of gaming, inspired by football. Released last year, in the wake of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Football Star is a game that focuses on the sport itself, rather than its stars or its teams. The symbols on the game’s reels are all football-related, from sneakers to the playfield itself, not forgetting the players, the referee and other similar ones. The game’s mechanic is easy to learn, and its colorful visuals can keep players entertained for a long time – no wonder it’s so popular, and not just among football fans.
But for a long time there are no football-related games released by Microgaming. The developer has launched other sports-inspired games – Basketball Star is the most recent, preceded by Cricket Star and Rugby Star – but no new football-related games have seen the light of day since last summer. Other developers are also scarce when it comes to sports-related games – aside from a few slots launched last summer, the list is pretty short. They seem to prefer other topics – like movies from the 1990s or mythological themes (Microgaming has launched three Greek-themed slots this year). Some even focus on shallow topics like cats and dogs, extremely popular on YouTube or social networks. But they seem to ignore sports as a whole, and especially football.
I think the time has come for the release of a new, football-related video slot machine. Can you hear me, Microgaming?