If you’re wondering why you always see the same games at every online casino, it’s because most casinos licence their games from a small number of software developers. By using games produced offsite by specialist casino software providers, the casinos themselves can focus on marketing and customer support and provide a better experience to their players.
Here is an introduction to the main casino software providers that you’ll find online.
There are five main casino software providers who develop and licence the majority of the games you’ll find online. Here is a brief rundown and some of the main features of each provider.
Microgaming is the biggest and most extensive casino game developer in the world. Founded in 1994, Microgaming licences its gaming software platform and games to over 100 online casinos all over the globe.
While they offer a solid range of different casino games, Microgaming is best known for their online pokies. With hundreds of different slot titles, the Microgaming slots range from simple three to five reel games all the way up to their huge progressive jackpot games where players can win millions of dollars from a single spin.
Another online casino great, Playtech can be found all over the world with over 80 online casinos using their software. Playtech casinos software is known for its fantastic cross platform functionality and excellent graphics and audio.
They are particularly well known for their exclusive licencing arrangement with Marvel which allows them to produce Marvel branded slot games that they in turn licence to the online casinos. Playtech also has its own great range of progressive slot games whose jackpots and features rival those of Microgaming.
NetEnt is a Swedish company and like Microgaming they have been around since the late 1990s, making them one of the oldest software providers in the world. NetEnt’s games are all produced in an instant play format and they have no downloadable casino software.
While the selection of games at NetEnt casinos is smaller than you will find elsewhere, the quality of graphics is exceptional and the games are all really well designed. NetEnt games often have low betting limits, which makes them a great choice for low stakes players.
Australian software developer Aristocrat is one of the biggest casino software providers in the world. They produce a large number of land based casino games, especially slots, and have more recently moved into the online gambling market.
Aristocrat games can be found in a number of online casinos, and they’re usually licenced alongside games from other providers. Currently Aristocrat’s online catalogue is limited to a handful of online pokies, but it’s likely they will expand their range in the future.
Another longstanding software developer, NextGen focuses mainly on slot games and they are known for their excellent graphics and animation.
With an emphasis on quality over quantity, NextGen can be found in a number of leading online casinos, often side by side with other software providers.
The reason we have so many different game developers is to do with the way the online casino business model works. When online casinos first started, the developers ran their own casino websites, but it soon became apparent that this was not a viable business model.
Most of the casino software developers sold their casinos to focus on developing games. These games are then licenced to the online casinos, who are then free to focus on marketing and customer service. The casinos then pay a fee to the software developers (usually a percentage of any revenue generated from the games).
While it might not seem like the most important factor in choosing an online casino, the reality is, the casino software plays a huge part in the overall experience you have as a player.