It won’t surprise anybody but slots, particularly with online casinos, are big in casinos. According to the latest statistics, over 80% of online casino profits come from slot machines, about the same amount of revenue that happens from brick and mortar casinos. And with billions riding on it, choosing a slot game creator or two is very important to an online casino. And before we discuss the top game creators, here are a few of the trade secrets involved with online gaming creators:
- The Online Casinos do not own the slots they feature This is one of the biggest surprises, but online casinos lease all the slots they feature in their casino. Naturally, the developer gets a pretty good share of the cut.
- Developers pay royalties to license the better games. What do Wheel of Fortune, Deal or No Deal, Jurrasic Park, and Planet of the Apes have in common? They are all Hollywood entertainment vehicles that game developers pay royalties on.
- The music and sound effects are important Online developers sometimes have whole teams involved in designing the music. Meanwhile, a typical slot machine may have up to 400 different sound effects. Studies have shown developers that music and sound effects wire the brain into thinking that you are about to win at a slot even if you don’t.
- Mini-games and bonus rounds are important The object of mini-games and bonus rounds is to keep the player playing and engaged. In truth, if you check the paytable, some mini-games or bonus rounds are not that profitable, but mini-games are an intricate part of the psychology of playing slots. Many players will become fixated on securing mini-games and bonuses, even if overall they only pay a little.
- Near Misses Many slot machines are designed with near misses. You need 5 in a row to gather a big payout and you get 4, but that middle reel is elusive so you wind up with two important symbols twice, but never three, four our five times in a row. Near misses are designed into the game because they fool players into thinking they are near a payout when in actuality, its the random number generator within the machine’s software that determines whether you will get a payout or not.
- A slot machines variance Finally, there is a variance in the machine. While most slot machines have a return to player ratio of 95 or 96 to 1, RTP doesn’t mean much because RTP refers to overall payout but not frequently of pay payout. What you really want to know is the variance of the machine. If the machine has a high variance, it will rarely pay off but when it does, the payoff will be big. On the other hand, some slot machines are low variance, meaning that they pay off more frequently, but at the same time, overall payoffs are smaller.
Top Online Slot Game Creators
Now that we’ve discussed some of the tricks of the trade to keep you spinning those reels, let’s discuss the top online slot game creators.
Microgaming is one of the largest online slot creators, having developed the world’s first online casino software in 1994. In another first, Microgaming was the first online casino developer to create mobile casino software in 2004. Microgaming, located on the Isle of Man, has produced over 800 slot machines since its creation and has licensed some of the biggest titles including Lara Croft, Jurrasic World and Game of Thrones. There are hundreds of online casinos that feature Microgaming slots and Micrograming has over 200 employees to serve them.
NetEnt, which was recently bought out by Evolution Gaming, is another prime game creator. NetEnt currently has 200 different slot machines in its gaming inventory. Founded in 1996, NetEnt, located in Stockholm Sweden is said to have over 700 employees. The top games of NetEnt are Starburst, Gonzo’s Quest, Arabian Nights, Dead or Alive and Dazzle Me, Narcos, and Guns and Roses. NetEnt’s most successful game, Starburst, came out in 2011, and to this day is used by dozens of casinos as part of their welcoming package. NetEnt is in hundreds of online casinos, and players will immediately see the NetENT logo when downloading a NetEnt slot.
Founded in Estonia in 1999, and now located on the Island of Man, Playtech has offices in 19 countries and has nearly 6,000 employees. PlayTech currently offers over 700 online slot games including many branded games such as Justice League, Superman, The Dark Knight, The Matrix, Gladiator and Robocop, The latest and the greatest of PlayTechs offerings is Kingdoms Rise, a trip back to the time of an ancient desert with a gorgeous but ruthless queen at the helm.
4. Yggdrasil Gaming
Another Stockholm slot machine developer with offices in Malta as well, Yggdrasil Gaming has approximately 200 employees and around 100 plus titles. Smaller than many other developers, still Yggdrasil Gaming has made major inroads in the online gaming industry since its start in 2013. Among its most respected games, used by approximately 17 regulated casino areas, the most popular games include Jackpot Raiders, Niagra Falls, Champion of Rome, and Vikings Go to Hell. Yggdrasil Gaming is a real up and comer in the slot gaming industry and puts out around 1 new title each month.