Online slot software
Read about the software companies that make the games you love to play.
In the world of online gambling, software developers are the heart of the industry. Creating casino products for internet gamblers is essentially a form of videogame development, and nowhere is that more true than with slot games, which are – to all intents and purposes – real money videogames. In addition to making slot games enjoyable and engaging, developers must also ensure that they are fair, with outcomes based on Pseudo Random Number Generation (RNG) to guarantee a modest advantage for the house while retaining reasonable odds for the player.
One of the grandfathers of the online gambling industry, Microgaming released the first ever internet gambling software way back in 1994 and continues to lead the game when it comes to quality casino entertainment.
Microgaming is responsible for over 500 slot games, including such high-profile branded titles as The Dark Knight Rises, Playboy and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Furthermore, the developer regularly pumps out original titles, including Avalon, Thunderstruck and Immortal Romance.
Microgaming’s products can be accessed via downloaded software or played in-browser at supporting casinos via Flash. Learn more about Microgaming.
International Game Technology
A market leader when it comes to slot software, IGT manufactures a wide variety of video slots both for land-based casinos and online gambling destinations.
Presently, IGT is the largest supplier of slot games in the world, being responsible for over 600 games and some extremely high-profile branded titles including Star Trek, Monopoly and CSI. The brand has also innovated in the social gambling sphere, acquiring the Facebook casino Double Down, which presently attracts over five million players a month. Learn more about IGT.
Another oldie, established in 1999, Playtech is based in the Isle of Man (a whitelisted territory) and is presently cleaning up on the online gambling circuit, courtesy of an extremely lucrative deal with Marvel.
Since acquiring the rights to develop and distribute officially-branded Marvel slot games, Playtech has swept online punters into a frenzy. Games such as Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and Fantastic Four utilise cutting-edge graphics technology to bring Marvel’s fiercest heroes to life in real-money slot games.
Better still, the Marvel slot games a linked jackpot across the entire network, meaning there could be seven-figure incentive to get stuck in to the action. Learn more about Playtech.
Net Entertainment (NetEnt)
This Scandinavian giant was founded in 1996 and is currently listed on Nasdaq OMX Stockholm. Among NetEnt’s accolades are EGR’s Slot Provider of the Year 2014, a prestigious gong earned thanks to the company’s consistent efforts towards innovation and quality.
The developer releases new games to its various casino clients every month, ensuring that all its products fall within the pay-out range of 95-98%. Among its titles are licensed games (e.g. South Park) and originals (e.g. Gonzo’s Quest), with old favourites cheek-by-jowl with sophisticated, modern products. Learn more about NetEnt.
WMS primarily targets its products towards the American market and is one of the few iGaming companies with offices in the USA.
Ever the innovator, WMS has developed many technologies that have been responsible for moving the iGaming industry forward. The company has also capitalised on the potential of social media, launching free-to-play slot games through Facebook.
WMS’s real-money products generally target a slightly older audience, with the incorporation of such iconic IPs as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and KISS.
Located in Las Vegas, Nevada, Bally has a history stretching back to 1968, when it was known as Advanced Patent Technology. This old-timer has managed to effortlessly keep pace with the evolving market, offering state-of-the-art slots to gamblers across the globe, on and offline.
This developer generally focuses on original IPs, with popular games including Fireball and Cash Wizard. Bally is also regarded as one of the better mobile slot developers in the industry, being responsible for casino apps on iOS, Android and Blackberry.
While Bally remains a powerful presence in the online sphere, its focus is the land-based casino sector.
Aristocrat Leisure Limited
This Aussie company has extended its reach into South Africa, Asia and the United States and is second only to IGT in terms of market share when it comes to slot games.
Founded in 1996 by Len Ainsworth, Aristocrat’s games are compatible with a broad range of mobile platforms and many of its products have become available on the App Store. Among its many games, the Queen of the Nile series is seen as its flagship, but Aristocrat is also known for its many linked jackpot products.
Aristocrat is also admirably transparent about pay-outs, publishing expected returns on all of its games, so that players know exactly where they stand.
Konami are a Japanese-based company, founded by Kagemasa Kozuki in 1969 as a company renting out and repairing jukeboxes. After four years Kozuku changed track and began to develop video consoles, although it took him five years to produce his first machine. Popular Konami hits of the 1980s included Frogger and Scramble.
In 1982 Konami began to produce PC games, and over time has established such successful titles as Pro Evolution Soccer and Silent Hill. While these Japanese giants (they are the fifth largest games company in the world) still concentrate on software titles for PCs and consoles, they are responsible for a handful of popular slot games, including Rocky, Money in the Bank and Lucky Dice.
The company is one of the biggest employers in Japan. As well as video games and software, the company develops and manufactures toys, trading cards, anime and tokusatsu, which is the Japanese term for any TV or movie with a sci-fi theme, such as the world-famous Godzilla series.
The name Konami comes from the family names of three of the companies founders: the aforementioned Kagemasa Kozuki, plus Yoshinobu Nakama and Tatsuo Miyasako. The company's annual revenues top $3 billion a year.
The 'tough to pronounce' Yggdrasil Gaming are relative newcomers to the iGaming market, having been established in 2013. The name 'Yggdrasil' (if you want to attempt to pronounce it, it's pronounced 'ig-d-russ-il') originates from Norse mythology, as the name of an immense ash tree that is central to most Norse myths. 'Yggdrasil' has been used in popular culture many times, including in both Digimon and StarCraft.
Yggdrasil Gaming is based and licensed in Malta, and it is partnered with some of the biggest names in the online gambling universe, including 7Red, Unibet and Vera & John. The company initially wanted to bring the world of lotteries to online gambling, but has since branched out to produce jackpot games, scratch cards and slots. Yggdrasil slots are noteworthy for their colourful graphics and unique style. Among the top slots produced by the company are Fruitoids, Jokerizer and Reef Run.
Some of Yggdrasil's slot games (and other, lottery-style games) are available to play via the company's iSense mobile gaming platform.
Amaya are a Canadian company who have made huge strides in the online gambling market since their founding in 2004. They have expanded to become the largest player in a very competitive online gaming market, and now have eleven offices worldwide, in Canada, the US, Mexico, the UK, Ireland, Sweden, Gibraltar and Malta. They have their fingers in all the necessary online gaming pies – including casino (both real-world and virtual), poker and sports books.
In 2014 Amaya stunned the online gaming world when they snapped up the Rational Group from Oldford Group Limited for a jaw-dropping $4.9 billion. Among the gems that Amaya acquired thanks to their mammoth purchase were the leading poker rooms PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. These giants were added to Amaya's portfolio which already contained Crytoplogic and Ongame, an online poker network previously owned by bwin.party.
Amaya Gaming is responsible for over 150 different slots games, although most of them are aimed at the simpler end of the market. Among the Amaya slots you are likely to find at your nearest online casino are Amazon Wild, Forrest Gump and super-hero tie-ins such as Batman, Superman and The Flash.
Despite their massive presence in all aspects of online gaming, Amaya have yet to tap into the mobile sector, with only a tiny handful of their slots being available on mobile.
Facebook is of course the name everyone thinks of when it comes to social networking, and is also fast becoming the number one choice for people who like to partake in the fast-growing phenomenon of social gaming.
A number of Facebook vendors offer slots that can be played from inside Facebook for both real cash and play money. The most appealing aspect of playing online slot games via Facebook is the sense of community that comes automatically when you play them. You can compete against your friends, or make new friends and see how you compare against them on the game leader-board. This makes slots more exciting, even if you're 'only' playing for Play Money.
One of the most popular slots providers on Facebook is MyVegas. Among the very best Facebook slots created by MyVegas are Excalibur, Reel Chef and Sheerluck Hound. If you're a successful MyVegas slots player, you can win Loyalty points and Las Vegas comps which you can turn into real rewards in Las Vegas itself.
All of MyVegas' slots can be played on iOS and Android devices.
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