Focus on Light & Wonder: L&W’s ‘Frankenstein’ electrifies slot lineup

November 17, 2023 10:00 AM
  • Mark Gruetze, CDC Gaming Reports
November 17, 2023 10:00 AM
  • Mark Gruetze, CDC Gaming Reports

One thing is for sure with Light & Wonder’s Frankenstein slot game. To quote a classic movie based on the even more classic novel, “It’s alive! It’s alive!”

The game, which hit casinos this spring, consistently posts a No. 1 ranking on the monthly Eilers-Fantini Central Game Performance Database. Class 3 units already are placed on gaming floors throughout the United States, and a Class 2 version will launch this month.

Brett Colbert, Light & Wonder’s director of product management, credits Frankenstein’s success to an instantly recognizable theme and game play that appeals to a broad audience.

“The players we’re going after are those who want to trying something new and exciting,” he said. “This game looks like nothing else on the floor.”

The game, a five-reel Wide Area Progressive, prominently displays persistence payouts and jackpot values above the reels. An image of the green monster with a flat head sits atop the game, with realistically blinking eyes and head movements to attract players.

“The game has resonated so well because it’s so easy to understand,” Colbert continued. A key feature is the use of “It’s Alive!” symbols in both the base game and bonus spins to award credits and jackpots when one or more Frankenstein monster symbols also appear. In addition, a “power up” symbol multiplies various payouts displayed on the screen; landing three scatter symbols awards free games.

Studio X, an in-house Light & Wonder operation, designed Frankenstein with a “cinematic experience” built on strong audio and visuals, Colbert said. For example, a combination of the “It’s Alive!” and monster symbols generates an animation of lightning bolts zapping each on-reel image of the monster while a voice re-creates Dr. Frankenstein’s exclamation in the 1931 movie starring Boris Karloff.

“You’re part of the game,” Colbert said. “You’re lost in that experience.”

The game comes in Light & Wonder’s Cosmic Premium Portrait cabinet, which is available as premium with bank packaging and for sale. The Cosmic features a 49-inch 4K curve display and a 27-inch integrated topper, forming a continuous display. Diffused fiber optic lighting encompasses the cabinet surround, illuminating the area under the button deck and enhancing the “walk-up appeal,” Colbert said.

Overall, the game is 89.6 inches high, or just under 7-foot-6, which Colbert called “sightline friendly.” Coincidentally, Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel describes Dr. Frankenstein’s creature as “about eight feet in height and proportionably large.” However, the Cosmic cabinet is only 28 inches wide, which Colbert said makes it easy to be swapped in for an older for-sale cabinet.

Colbert said Light & Wonder plans to develop more “Universal Monsters” titles under a licensing agreement with NBC Universal. Studio X will be responsible for game design, but the company has yet to pick the next star. Possibilities include characters such as Dracula, Wolfman, and Mummy.

Studio X was behind other Light & Wonder games this year, notably Dragon Jin Long Jin Bao; Squid Game, featured at October’s Global Expo; and Double Dragon Jin Long Jin Bao, to be released in December.

Shelley’s book, formally titled “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus,” is known as one of the few classic literature books that most people have actually read. It is a staple in high school and college courses; more than 200 movies incorporate Frankenstein’s creature.

As the creature makes his way onto more gaming floors, fans are following. “The immersive sound, the music, the attention to detail, and the graphics … make you feel like you’re in the monster’s universe,” Colbert said.