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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
Although the game is obviously targeting older players who
remember the arcade game it has something to offer to younger
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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