Reel Wizards: the 5 Online Slots Developers You Should Know About
The online casino sector is part of a multi-billion-dollar industry, one that has a huge presence on every continent. While it might seem like the important pillars of the industry are the players and platforms, respectively, the studios behind the games are the backbone of the sector. It is they who create the software, provide the artistry, and with whom the buck stops when it comes to delivering entertainment. You can think about it like the casinos being the movie theaters, the players the audience, and the developers are like MGM, Paramount, Warner Bros., and the rest.
There are, however, 100s of different developer studios out there, the majority of which concentrate on slot games. Some are niche operators, whereas others are huge public companies listed on stock exchanges. Top casinos will, of course, host a variety of slots from different developers, but some are considered more important than others. Below we pick out the five most important names in the business, five developer brands every casino player must know:
We had to start with Microgaming for a few reasons. For a start, it is considered the first developer of “true” online casino software in the 1990s. Secondly, its library extends to 100s of different titles. It also had many other industry firsts, including the first branded casino game, which was based on the Lara Croft Tomb Raider series. In a nutshell, then Microgaming was an integral part of building the current online casino industry into its current form today. Top games include Mega Moolah – considered the world’s biggest jackpot slot – Thunderstruck, Jurassic Park, Lucky Leprechaun, and Football Star Deluxe.
If Microgaming was the star of the early days of the online casino industry, it was Playtech that brought it into the 21st century. The company is known for many things, including its deals with movie studios like Warner Bros. to create games based on the most popular films. Examples include Top Gun, Gladiator, Ace Ventura, and countless others. But Playtech is also doing a lot of work to drive the next generation of casino gaming, including live slot games like Buffalo Blitz and God of Storms Live. Top games include Frankie Dettori’s Magic 7, Rocky, Age of the Gods (Series), Kingdoms Rise (Series), and Legacy of the Wild.
The most creative developer out there? If you think that slots are just about spinning the reels and matching up a few symbols, then Blueprint games will probably change your mind. Its titles are packed full of special features, innovative ways to win, and a few surprises too. It definitely puts entertainment above everything else, and that means the games are a lot of fun today. Of course, they remain casino games, so there is a risk of losing, but we would consider Blueprint Gaming as a good choice for low-stakes players. Top games include Return of Kong Megaways, Rick & Morty, Ted, and Eye of Horus.
Part of the Swedish iGaming revolution, NetEnt spent years as one of the top dogs in the industry before it was acquired by a live casino specialist a couple of years ago. Importantly, Evolution Gaming allowed for the NetEnt brand to continue operating independently, so the studio still pumps out some of the best games around. It is known for its flagship title, Starburst, which is arguably the most popular online slot ever created. Top games include Twin Spin, Mega Fortune, Dazzle Me, Dead or Alive, and Blood Suckers.
The newest developer on this list, Pragmatic Play, has shot to the top of the industry in a remarkably short time. Its main calling card is high-octane and volatile games, meaning that they are often the games of choice for experienced players. Games can be based on almost anything, ranging from the curses of werewolves to funky candy themes, but there is always a kind of Pragmatic Play flavor to them that experienced players instantly recognize. Top games include Gates of Olympus, Sweet Bonanza, Fruit Party, Madam Destiny, and Muertos Megaways.