The terrifying giant monster best known for rampaging through cities was first introduced in 1954 in a Japanese movie simply titled Godzilla. The beast was said to have been awakened by the nuclear bombs which were detonated in Japan during World War II.
Its name was derived from the Japanese words meaning ‘gorilla’ and ‘whale’, which explains the giant ape-like-sea-creature form the character takes. Godzilla was an instant hit, and has spawned hundreds of movies, television, comic book, and computer game adaptations over the last 67 years.
Today, Godzilla is as recognizable as King Kong, Dracula, or Frankenstein’s monster and is embedded in global popular culture. New retellings or variations of the story are created every year and the character has been drafted into endless projects.
Godzilla and gaming
The gaming industry in particular has been quick to exploit the popularity of Godzilla and has included the monster in games of all kinds. There are at least 19 official Godzilla games released for PCs and consoles, and hundreds of more in which the character is used.
Right at the birth of home computer gaming, The Code Works released Godzilla for the Commodore 64 in 1980. Toho Co were quick to release multiple variations of Godzilla games for the NES, SNES, and Game Boy in the eighties and nineties.
Hollywood reignited the Godzilla franchise with their huge Matthew Broderick blockbuster movie, Godzilla, released in 1998. In the year that followed, new Godzilla games were released for Windows PCs, Sega Dreamcast, and Nintendo's Game Boy Color.
The modern PlayStation, Xbox, and Wii consoles all got in on the Godzilla action when they came to dominance in the late 2000s and early 2010s. Each new version Sony’s PlayStation has offered a new Godzilla game, with releases in 2004, 2007, 2014, and 2015.
Online slots, also well-known as pokies in New Zealand and Australia, are no different and have embraced movie characters and iconography with just as much enthusiasm as the wider games industry. Godzilla is one character to be attached to pokie games, but there have been many, many others.
Superhero characters such as Batman or Superman have been popular additions some of the most popular pokie games, especially with their resurgent movie popularity. Pokies themed around Jurassic Park, Terminator, Alien, and Rambo can also be found easily.
If it has been a movie, it can be a pokie, and it usually is as game providers seek to capitalize on the fashions and popularity generated by Hollywood. Godzilla, having appeared in 34 movie releases and counting, is a firm favorite of the pokie world.
Growth of mobile gaming
As mobile phones and devices have become ubiquitous, and their game playing capability constantly improved, the mobile gaming industry has exploded. In 2020, the mobile game industry took over $77 billion in revenue.
This amount is only expected to grow in 2021 and beyond as the “pick up and play” convenience of mobile gaming continues to attract consumers. Improving gameplay, technology, and marketing will also drive increased activity.
Modern classic games such as Candy Crush Saga, Clash of Clans, and Pokémon GO still have huge dominance in the markets. But new games are finding their niche every day as designers continue to innovate to stay competitive.
Online pokies are the same in this respect, no matter how established the popular games become, it is new games that drive new engagement. This also means aligning with the trends and characters people want to see, such as superheroes or classic monsters, like Godzilla.
New mobile Godzilla games
Two new Godzilla-based games are already due for release by Toho for Android gaming in 2021: Run Godzilla and Godzilla Battle Lines.
The first, in which players have to engineer the right influences to grow their own Godzilla, is receiving a great reaction. A highly interactive resource management game, it is all about building villages and feeding villagers so they will worship and strengthen your beast.
Once sufficiently worshiped, grown, and strong, your Godzilla can then be entered into races against rival monsters. The races generate wealth which can be put back into the maintenance and growth of the villages.
Godzilla Battle Lines is a more straightforward city smashing battle of the beasts. Players will collect monsters and weapons before entering them into war against other monsters.
So, why are makers of games, including mobile games and pokies, so keen to tie in their software with established characters like Godzilla?
This comes in two forms, firstly, it is an easily recognizable hook to catch people’s eyes as they scroll through choices. Seeing an established name such as Godzilla is likely to impact on anyone already a fan of, or even just aware of, the franchise.
Secondly, it makes marketing easier, creating opportunities to link the new game to an established canon. It is much easier to link a game to an established brand than trying to grow a new one.
Familiarity and nostalgia are comforting and attractive, especially when trying something new. No matter how new the technology, players have always craved what they know and fondly remember.
Using an established figure like Godzilla creates great opportunities for cross-product marketing. Every time a new Godzilla movie, song, or book is released, the game which shares its name will receive a new boost.
There will always be new games, and there will always be established characters and franchises ready to be attached to them. Whether PC, console, mobile gaming, or online slots, this branding of games doesn’t look set to stop anytime soon.
One thing is for certain, after almost 70 years going strong, we are far from hearing the last roar of Godzilla.
If you are a fan of Godzilla and are looking for an exclusive online community to share your passion and engage with other die-hard Godzilla fans, look no further! Join in the Godzilla Movies forum - a dedicated community of Godzilla movie and Monsterverse fans!
Get G-ed Up!
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This article was written By Chris and published on 2021-07-01 14:50:08
More about upcoming Godzilla movies
Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) is the sequel to Michael Dougherty's Godzilla 2: King of the Monsters and will be the fourth and final installment in the Monsterverse movie quadrilogy. It will also bridge both the Godzilla movies and Kong: Skull Island by bringing Godzilla and Kong face-to-face for an epic match-up. To learn more about Godzilla vs. Kong, check out the Godzilla vs. Kong about page here!
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