FremantleMedia Enterprises is a division of FremantleMedia, which is a subsidiary of RTL Group, itself a subsidiary of German company Bertelsmann. The Enterprises group handles licensing and distribution for FremantleMedia productions, which include many of the most popular and widely produced game and talent shows in the world.
FremantleMedia Enterprises has licensed the company’s trademarks for use in the development of games and derivative programming. The games include arcade-style games, computer games, and slot machine games. FremantleMedia Enterprises has closed slot machine development deals with several major gaming companies for markets in the United States, Europe, and other parts of the world.
Different game developers may be contracted to develop properties around specific trademarks for separate markets. Hence, one company may develop a slot machine for land-based casinos based on a popular FremantleMedia television show and another company may develop a similar slot machine game for the online market.
FremantleMedia requires that game developers follow a certain pattern or style with their games. For example, many Fremantle online slot games consist of a basic game where the player merely spins generic reels waiting for bonus games and the bonus games incorporate elements of the specific productions that inspired the games.
FremantleMedia Games Corporate History
Bertelsmann was founded in 1835 as a publishing house but in post-World War II 20th century the company began acquiring other companies and growing its footprint in both print and broadcast media. Bertelsmann acquired UFA, which was founded as Universum Film(AG) in 1917, in 1964. UFA is best known to international audiences as the company that produced the classic Science Fiction movie "Metropolis" in 1926. However, it had already branched into television programming in the 1950s and was the production company for The Price Is Right, the longest running television game show in history.
Bertelsmann established a subsidiary in 1984, UFA Film-und Fernseh GmbH, to compete in the newly created private TV market in Germany. A series of mergers among media companies throughout the 1990s eventually led to UFA merging with CLT in 1997 and CLT-UFA International subsequently merging with Pearson television to form the RTL Group. Pearson had already acquired a company called All American Fremantle in 1997, thus acquiring properties such as The Price Is Right and Family Feud.
In 2001 the content production group of RTL Group was launched as FremantleMedia, which subsequently launched various talent and game shows.
In 2006 FremantleMedia's licensing and distribution divisions were merged to form a new entity, FremantleMedia Enterprises.
In 2010 FremantleMedia acquired game development company Ludia, thus entering into direct development competition with its gaming development partners. However, the company continues to negotiate new deals with major game manufacturers and designers.
Games Designed by Fremantle Media Games
Although Ludia has developed several dozen slot machine games since being acquired by FremantleMedia, the slot machine world still knows the Fremantle name largely through properties developed by other companies. In addition to land-based slot games and online slot games, FremantleMedia has been developing and licensing mobile slot games in recent years. Here is a selection of games produced under license by Fremantle.Blockbusters
This game is based on the television show where college-age contestants guessed at words based on letters. The slot game uses a unique hexagonal configuration with 21 tiles across 5 reels. Expanding Wild symbols appear on reels 2, 3, 4, and 5. The bonus game uses a clever adaptation of choosing letters from the television show game, and that limits which subsequent tiles you can click on to win prizes.Family Fortunes
The Family Fortunes television show was styled after the popular American Family Feud game show. The television show games presented competing families with question from surveys and they had to guess what answers survey respondents gave.
The Family Fortunes slot game is a 5-reel, 3-row, 20 pay line game with two bonus features. The Double Money Free Spins game has no preset number of spins, but awards them continually based on a random feature simulating two families providing answers to questions.
The Big Money bonus game simulates a real question-and-answer quiz where each question has six possible answers. It's just a slot "pick" bonus so you don't need to worry about guessing right.Hole in the Wall
Inspired by a Japanese game show, Hole in the Wall was a US television show that pitted 2 teams of 3 players against each other in a moving wall challenge. Players had to leap through holes in moving walls without damaging the walls or falling into water.
In the British version of the show the challenges were more varied and difficult and the team captains had to be blindfolded on some tasks. Mystery guests and questions were used to liven the game but it was redesigned after the first series (season).
The slot game uses a different form of spin animation to emulate the mystery of the television show. The game uses 5 reels, 3 rows, and 20 pay lines. A Replay Scatter symbol is used to emulate the show's "replay" shots. Another Bonus Scatter brings up a break out bonus game where you choose your main prize from one of three walls before playing the second round. You are then prompted to use arrow keys to maneuver an avatar through a hole in a wall, allowing for three attempts.Play Your Cards Right
This popular game show from the 1980s simply challenged contestants to guess whether the next playing card in a series would be higher or lower than the most recently upturned card. They had some options, such as replacing the first card on their turn or freezing at their current position in the series to give the other contestant a chance to lose the game.
The slot machine game uses 5 reels and 3 rows of playing card symbols to run a standard spin the reels game. But during the spins random progressive credits are awarded to two special jackpots. The real fun begins when the bonus games are triggered as in both you try to guess whether the next card in a series will be higher or lower. This game is very much like the television show that inspired it.
The best part may be that even though you only win one of the two progressive jackpots, you get to try for them both. Winning the first jackpot terminates the bonus round but failing to win it gives you a chance to win the second jackpot.Robocop
Based on the popular 1980s movies by the same name, this slot uses comic book quality illustrations, a soundtrack based on the movies, ambient sounds including police sirens, zaps, and automatic gun fire to give you a blast from the past (or the future).
In the movies a murdered police officer is donated to a special project that revives his body and adds computer technology to his brain. The corporation that is building the new Robocop is unaware that he is sentient and fully aware. He even remembers bits and pieces of his past life.
In the slot game Robocop himself stands to the side of the 5 reels and occasionally turns some of the tiles into Wild symbols for you. A random jackpot is increased by tiles that charge it up.
The "Attack on OCR" bonus game is a true interactive shoot-em' up game. You win prizes for hitting your targets and the game lasts for as long as you can stay alive.Space Invaders
The original Space Invaders arcade game was one of the dominant games of its time. People played it everywhere, and it was even ported onto personal computers quite profitably. The slot machine game pays homage to the original concept with multiple bonus games, some of which allow you to shoot at the alien spaceships just like in the arcade game.
Skill-based bonus rounds are still quite rare on slot machine games. Developers have to keep the games from paying too much money to players, otherwise casinos won't use them. One compromise is to limit the amount of the prize money that can be won in a given bonus round. This is done in many FremantleMedia games by using an in-session progressive jackpot that is built up as you spin the reels but cleared once the bonus game is finished.
Although the game is obviously targeting older players who remember the arcade game it has something to offer to younger players.Stargate SG-1
For ten years the Stargate SG-1 television show whisked viewers to distant worlds and uncharted galaxies. It was one of the most popular science fiction shows of all time and it spawned 2 live action spinoffs as well as one animated show.
The Stargate SG-1 slot game enhances the player experience with zooming perspectives, a stargate frame, transparent tiles, and a wormhole animation that takes you into and brings you back from the free spins bonus game. The multiple Wild symbols also bring something different to the game as you never quite know if you'll spin up a regular Wild, an expanding Wild, or a multiplier bonus.Take Me Out Date Night
Based on an Australian dating game show, the UK television show Take Me Out Date Night pits one man against thirty women in a showdown of looks, interests, and desire. The men are handsome, the women are beautiful, and everyone can bow out gracefully if there is no chemistry. Once in a while a man was shooed away to the mournful tune of Celine Dion's "All By Myself".
When a happy couple was united at the end of the show they were scheduled for a date on the imaginary island of Fernando's (actually local establishments dressed up for the show).
This slot game from FremantleMedia brings back the memories with manly and feminine silhouettes standing next to the typical slot machine low value symbols ("A", "K", "Q", "J", and "10"). If you're lucky enough to spin up three or more of the Love Lyft symbols you are wafted away to the bonus round where you can use your Talent, Friends, or Family to woo the girls. But be warned: the bonus game ends when the first girl turns off her light. But at least you'll have Celine Dion to comfort you in your loss.The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Sergio Leone made it seem so simple in the 1966 movie that inspired this game. He had good guys, bad guys, good bad guys bad good guys, and maybe a few guys you just could not be sure about. This movie is a great inspiration for a western-themed slot machine game because everyone was looking for gold in the film, and that is usually what we're looking for with slot machine games.
Fremantle Media cleverly (or unintentionally) integrated little homages to the Wild, Wild West in this game as well with the in-tile animations. The game features in-session jackpots that are gradually increased as you play and some of the special symbols only appear on certain reels. The bonus games include a pick feature where you win multipliers from Tuco's Target Range and a graveyard shootout where you win a jackpot bonus based on whether you hit the Good Guy, the Bad Guy, or the Ugly Guy.Trivial Pursuit
What do you do in Canada when the beer is plentiful but your Scrabble game is a few pieces short? In 1979 the answer to that question was to invent a game based on trivia. And so two Canadian journalists invented Trivial Pursuit. Through the following decades the game changed distributors, owners, and made millions of dollars for anyone smart enough to invest in it. The game also spawned many derivative editions, a few rivals, and more than one television show.
FremantleMedia took the television show concept and turned it into a slot machine game. Just as in the board game, you collect tokens from six categories of knowledge. The game simulates a real trivia game in the bonus rounds, where your random choices reveal just how much money you win for correctly answering (figuratively speaking) trivia questions.X-Factor
When Simon Cowell launched the X Factor television show no one really knew what a phenomenon it would become. Television talent shows have been in production since the 1950s and they come by many names. But X Factor brought something new to the concept, forcing all talent shows to up their games.
The television show has inspired several slot machines by the same name. Each takes something different from the judge-and-audience voting competition but they all revive that spark of creativity in each of us. You almost want to get up on stage and start dancing and singing along with the contestants, many of whom went on to win recording contracts even though they did not win the show.
The game's iconography is simple yet a fitting tribute to a television show that uses lights, sound, and fast-paced transitions to keep audiences in the studio and at home captivated and rooting for their favorite performers. You'll be rooting for your favorite bonus round.
FremantleMedia Enterprises is in an enviable position within the entertainment sector because it controls the rights to a vast library of movies and television shows that it can mine for gaming ideas for decades to come. And their own in-organization development talents are growing every few years, opening up new possibilities. The fact that FremantleMedia continues to forge new partnerships with gaming developers and distributors underscores just how broad and aggressive their vision is.
The basic FremantleMedia game formula has not changed much over the years but to stay competitive they have begun introducing new features into their gaming concepts, such as shooter bonus rounds in the slots games. Innovation will be key to the success of any slots gaming company and as it's unlikely that anyone will be acquiring the Bertelsmann empire in this century their subsidiaries and production units will have to work hard to stay relevant in an age where technology and performance are critical.
The FremantleMedia brand name has earned a solid reputation even if only a few of its slots games could be considered breakout stars in the competitive gaming world. They are obviously unwilling to be left behind by the competition.