Some people are surprised to discover that online casinos (with one or two exceptions) don’t actually produce their own games. Their role is to provide the platform via which games can be accessed and played, but their actual development, design and production is in the hands of games producers.
This model has worked well for the industry because it has fuelled creativity and innovation, as games developers push the boundaries of what is possible in the hope of making their slots the games of choice for as many casinos as possible.
Changes in the way games are delivered, particularly the increased emphasis on web-based games and ‘omni-channel’ casinos, has also meant that newer developers, whose catalogue of games may not be large enough to be the sole supplier to a site, are now getting exposure, as their games can co-exist alongside those of bigger brands. This too has been good for the industry, as these newer developers have brought additional innovation and creativity to the table.
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The Scandinavian games producer NetEnt is becoming a growing force in online gaming, and its mobile slots in particular are finding their way into more and more casinos. Its themed and branded slots are also extremely popular, with the music series it released in 2016 featuring Guns’N’Roses, Motorhead and Jimi Hendrix all becoming hits across the globe.
Microgaming produces games in all categories and is one of the best-known and respected brands in the industry, having been around since 1994. A lot of the innovations in online slots that we take for granted now were first introduced by Microgaming, although it’s progressive jackpot games are where they lead the way today. Their network is the largest and features the daddy of them all when it comes to progressive jackpots — Mega Moolah, which has paid out more than USD$800 million in prizes.
Playtech has held a significant share of the online gaming market for many years, and you’ll find its games in more than 150 different online casinos around the world. Themed and branded slots have long been a strength of Playtech, and their superhero progressive jackpot networks, featuring characters from Marvel and DC Comics, can be played in many of our featured casinos.
888 is unusual in being one of the few online casino operators that also produces its own games (although it does also feature games by other developers as well). They have their own slots games and progressive jackpot network, and the fact that some its games are exclusive and can’t be played elsewhere both increases their popularity and adds further variety to market.
Although perhaps not as well known as some other brands, Cryptologic is a well-established in games production, having been founded in 1995 (although it was acquired by Amaya Gaming in 2012). It is the sole provider of games at several sites we feature, and they can also be found alongside the slots of other producers at many more casinos as well. Crytologic was the innovator when it came to superhero slots, and these remains among its most popular themed games.
How online casinos operate
As well as creating and producing games, software developers are also responsible for maintaining them, ensuring that they operate fairly and securely, and that they remain free of malware and other viruses. They then licence casino operators to be able to offer games on their platforms. This is why you will find the games of a single producer at multiple online casino sites — all of these different operators will have entered into a licensing agreement with that developer so that they can provide its games to their players.
Software developers then derive their revenue from the licensing fees they get from the casinos who provide their games to players, and they also receive a percentage of the revenue that comes from those games. This model is why there is so much innovation in online gaming and why new release games come out so often — in a very competitive market, both developers and operators are always striving to create something new to capture players’ attention, as this is how both parties derive their income.
For online casinos, their role is therefore to create a positive gaming experience for players — one that entices you to choose their site over another. The design and functionality of their site, Welcome Bonuses and promotions, customer support, and everything else that goes into creating a positive online casino experience are the responsibility of the operators.
This too has benefits for players, and why we are seeing more innovative signup deals, for instance. When two comparable sites have games by the same developer, it is the actual experience we have when visiting a site that persuades us to choose one casino over another.
The revenue model described above is also why casino operators have been so keen to embrace web-based games on their sites — and this has also been of great benefit to players too. Web-based games (often referred to as Instant Play games) eliminate the need to download a software client in order to play, and so casinos are able to offer the games of more than one producer on their sites. Greater variety makes for a better overall gaming experience, and is often the key factor players consider when choosing where to play, and so this technological development has meant more choice for players, which is always good news, as it means casinos work harder and offer us better deals to attract and retain our business!