Enter any online casino and you are instantly greeted with scores of brightly coloured images and thumbnails of gaming titles that illuminate all the possibilities of winning real money. Here in this guide, we look at the companies behind those seductive options and inform you of who are the best in the business when it comes to online casino game developers.
Introducing you to the magic behind the games
Many new casino players will register to a casino and immediately think that it is the casino themselves that make the games that are offered to them. This is, however, not the case. Within every casino online, no single game is designed, created and produced by the casino themselves. The mystery behind the gaming production is, in fact, developed by licensed gaming companies.
The development of developers
Even since the days of pre-Internet, gaming companies would create and build games for land-based sites. Producing high-quality cabinets and gaming tables for the masses which flocked to illustrious casino parlours, underground speakeasy’s, hotels and bars to get their kicks out of the enjoyment of gambling. This began since the invention of the first fully automated slot machine called the Liberty Bell, which was made back in 1895 by Mr. Charles Fey out in San Francisco.
This marked the birth of the casino software provider and by 1909, over 3,300 machines by Charles Fey were in the city of San Francisco alone. The creation of such a contraption brought about rival brands, que the Mills Novelty Company. They managed the next evolutionary step and created the first jackpot machine.
Spin forward a few decades and post-wartime and land-based casinos were the norm. companies produced games in huge bulk, and it was, understandable, mostly prominent out in America and a place called Las Vegas.
Digitalizing the development of casino games
Since the 1940s, the likes of WMS have been in the business of making casino games and when the creation of the Internet came in 1991, this didn’t stop them from expanding into a whole new market.
Casinos went live on the Internet within the first five years of its launch, and those that were shrewd enough to understand and realise the significance of this ground-breaking achievement of global communication and connection from its very infancy saw that the market possibilities for casinos being online was unlimited and untapped.
By today’s standards, the casino games back in the 90’s indeed look god-awful and cheap. But to the players at the time, it didn’t matter if you had to wait half a day for a game to load, it still allowed you to win money – real money – and because the market was new, people weren’t having to compete with the number players face now, so winning became easy.
As each year passed since 1995, the number of online casinos grew exponentially, the driving force of this came down to two factors: 1) The demand for more by players. 2) The rise in gaming technology.
Thereafter, the rest doesn’t need explaining, it’s clear for all to see that a fuse was now lit, and the eventual ‘boom’ lit up the internet once the accessible technology shifted from the age-old bulky desktop to the modern slim-line mobile phone device.
What makes a good casino game experience? A look at the best online casino software providers
The influx of online casino software providers reached a peak in 2010, from this point the market seems to have found a level playing field, so to speak. A few have come and a few have gone in this time, but there are now approximately 50 key-players in the industry that have a licensed backing and are producing the online casino software for hundreds of online platforms across the world.
So, how have they managed to survive so long in what is now one of the most demanding environments that produce entertainment?
The qualities of a sustainable developer
There are a number of singularities that come together to make a winning formula for the would-be successful online casino developer. On the face of it, you might think that they only need be 1) innovative and 2) make games that kick the proverbial ass!
Yes, you can set these as achievable targets, but in the long run and with the complexities of regulations and standards, a heck of a lot more needs to be offered in the business package to be successful and sustainable.
The evidence of greatness
- Security: As mentioned, all the developers online now are licensed companies that are recognised by the industry. They have to achieve standards of fairness within their products and be able to maintain a high degree of performance so their games do not pick up faults and ‘bugs’ that can hamper the experience of play.
Remember, this is something that handles the casino client’s money, and anything that puts this unfairly at risk would sound alarm bells for a developer trying to make a name for themselves in the competitive market because a brand is everything!
- Features: There is always room for improving games, yes, there are restrictions to the rules of how games fundamentally play, but there are certainly endless creative ideas that can be produced in how they are visually presented. A big part of the innovation of games is exactly this, the features.
Developers have expanded the number of reels in a slot, they have added more and more paylines (ways to win), they have added bonus rounds, random triggers, they have developed games into series, added multi-jackpots and in the realm of virtual card and table gaming, there has been the growth of gaming variants.
- Game Brands: There are a handful of developers that have made games that are so big, they have become major brands by themselves. This is the pinnacle of success, where nobody knows the name of your company, yet the players know all about your games. This has been the way for a good number of developers since the release of The Book of Ra™ by Novomatic, Mega Moolah™ by Microgaming, Age of Gods™ by Playtech, Starburst™ by NetEnt and most recently, Max Quest™ by BetSoft.
- Mobile gaming: Keeping up with the times is of huge importance, there have been many technological shifts during the lifetime of the Internet. This has meant gaming developers having to evolve their own software so their own products can maintain online function and be accessible to users that are changing their own software just as fast. The latest example of this is the mobile phone. If you cannot adapt to HTML5 software, you’re as good as done as an operator. Flash software is the latest of the bunch to have seen its time pass. R.I.P!
- Interface: This is where the software company goes into the stratospheric regions of development, leading the business into high-end iGaming monopolies. This is all about platform creation, the top software companies help to launch casinos as white label solution advisors, they help to integrate games, assist with hosting, banking, licensing and turnkey solutions.
- Animation, Graphics and Sound: Surrounding the visual aspects of online casino games, there are still plenty of 2D slots being made right now. You may think the demand for 3D gameplay is high, but it has yet to become the resounding normality to which all games are made. 3D gaming certainly gives games an edge of quality and mesmerising performance, this interlinked with full sound effects that stray away from the old whizz, pops and bangs and now come with thematic scores that give games a sense of tension, drama and more heightened awareness to what the theme of the game is.
Why choosing good software is important: The importance of online casino game developers
It’s fair to say that only the best online casino software providers will do, after all, it is your money that is being risked in order to gain capital profit is it not? The gaming industry is like any other, you have you good and you have your bad, unfortunately, within the gambling industry, you can’t ask for a refund when you experience something that is bad.
The answer to why choosing good software is important simply comes down to the facts of winning and losing and to what ratio and scale these two things will happen.
Putting your money into the right pot
One of the most important aspects of gambling online is trusting where you put your money. Now, we realise that excitement can cloud the mind and players will instantaneously head to the brightly light games with dollar signs in their eyeballs, but the best approach is research. It doesn’t cost to take a bit of time to learn about the different game makers on the market. It will cost, however, in the long run, if you play games that are purposefully harder to win from.
A brief example of what we mean by this comes in the form of volatility. There are three levels of volatility to which games are made by the various developers: low, medium and high. Volatility is essentially the unpredictability of the game. To look at this another way, some developers will make games that are easier to win but the returns are low, then you have those that make their games which are harder to win from, but the returns are higher.
Now, why are all games not just made so we can win easily and fairly? Well, 1) Casino are a business and are there to make money and not be a charity. 2) Not all players are the same and some want the higher risks because the returns are so much greater.
This is why you need to find the right developer that produces games that meet your standards, your budget and your expectations of entertainment.
Picking the right gaming developers
Learning more about the developers is easy and it is completely hands-on. At OnlineCasinoNewZealand.com, you will be able to access free demo games. They are there to assist you in playing for free and discovering the games that you’ll face inside a real casino environment. Just play and test as many different titles as you possibly can. Note the developers you play and score them. Their names will be highlighted on the thumbnail and on the loading screen when you start to play them.
- When playing through each game, test each wagering amount and see how the games react.
- Take 10 spins on each amount you can wager (totally free) and see if you win more with lower wagers, medium values or higher wagers.
- See how often bonus rounds are activated.
- After the last spin, have you gained a profit?
These same steps can be done for virtual blackjack, video poker, roulette, scratch cards and so on. You’ll soon start to see which games (but more importantly), which software developers make their products more favourably profitable to players using them.
All our free demo games are genuine licensed casino products. What you play here, you will find inside the top casinos we have recommended on our lists.
Best of the Best: A list of casino software providers
Claiming ‘the best’ is indeed all relevant and circumstantial. So, for the good of fairness and honesty, we looked at the top 20 most popular games played across 100 different casinos from around the world. Now, based on popularity, we bring you this list of online casino software brands that you must look out for when playing games inside your new online casino.
“Best” and most popular developers online
- Microgaming: One of the most important names in the industry. They invented the progressive jackpot. Without them, slot games wouldn’t be reaching the millions that you can win from progressive titles. Click the Microgaming highlight to read more about this individual developer.
- Playtech: When it comes to big production Playtech is a brand that exudes the skills to bring high entertainment with high prized jackpots in return. They know how to intertwine the two factors majestically. Click the Playtech highlight to read more about this individual developer.
- Rival: Simplicity can go a long way and for many players, this is all that matters and the number playing their games prove it. For your more direct form of gameplay that still packs a punch, they are all you need. Click the Rival highlight to read more about this individual developer.
- NetEnt: When you’re the largest developer on the planet, being popular is no surprise, but they have maintained this status for over a decade! Most certainly one of the best and their high quality speaks for itself. Click the NetEnt highlight to read more about this individual developer.
- BetSoft: With a 20-year pedigree, they have made every conservable style and theme of a game known to humankind. However, they still are able to push the boundaries further in innovation and to the envy of every developer going. Click the BetSoft highlight to read more about this individual developer.
- NextGen: When you have licensing deals with industry leaders such as WWE, Universal Studio and DC Comics, you’re clearly doing something majorly right to hold off the rest of the competition and the players are clearly thankful that they are the best at doing it. Click the NextGen highlight to read more about this individual developer.
- IGT: You don’t become popular because of luck and you certainly don’t collect every iGaming award under the sun based on luck. They are, on merit, simply one of the very best of the best. Click the IGT highlight to read more about this individual developer.