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NetEnt (short for Net Entertainment) develops some of the most popular slots in New Zealand. This Swedish developer is well renowned for its wide selection of very exciting pokie games. On this page, we’ll give a brief explanation as to why.
The origins of NetEnt can be traced back to 1968 and a partnership between two Swedish traditional gaming companies: AB Restaurang Rouletter and Roulett Konsult & Spelautomater. After pooling their resources, the company quickly became a nationwide success in off-line gaming. In 1972, they changed their name to Cherry.
However, following the introduction of legislation banning pokie machines in Sweden, the company was forced to reorganize. In 1984, it purchased a collection of gaming companies from funds generated by shares. Two years later, Cherry started to manufacture mechanical pokie machines for use in Eastern European countries. These operations continued until 1992, by which time the company had been forced to limit its operations due to financial constraints
Despite this, the birth of the internet offered new opportunities. Pontus Lindwall, son of Restaurang Rouletter founder Bill Lindwall, was quick to recognize its potential, particularly with regards to the emerging iGaming sector. In 1996, he founded Net Entertainment and managed to secure funding from both Cherry and investment company Kinnevik AB. Together they invested more than 70 million SEK in the fledgling online gaming start-up
Despite the cash injection, the business took a while to pick up for Netent – seven years in fact, before the company make a yearly profit. Nevertheless, progress was slow but steady and by 2006, the company had opened a second office in gambling haven, Malta. This was followed by outposts in Gothenburg, Gibraltar, Kiev, Krakow, and New Jersey
Within a few years, NetEnt had become pioneers in their field. As a testament to their success, the company was listed on the primary Stockholm Stock Exchange.
Today the company boasts a workforce of around 1000 employees and has to date, developed well over 200 online casino games. Netent has also forged partnerships with a wide array of online casinos which offer their cutting-edge titles to an ever-growing market of players.
In 2010, NetEnt casinos launched the video pokie Gonzo’s Quest. The game, still one of the most popular and promoted pokie on casino homepages, was father to a remarkable lineage of slickly designed, innovative and transcendent games. Even now, their portfolio of 200 games may not be the most impressive in number. But the attention to detail and plain quality can often demark a NetEnt game from most other pokies.
With NetEnt casino games, the sounds, graphics and user interfaces are notably crisper and sharper. There’s no obsolescence or tack – a NetEnt-powered casino is not plagued by the weary interface of the early 2000s dial-up world-wide-web.
NetEnt’s games are also known for their robust and generous RTPs. All of its games pay out over 95% with some stretching to as much as 98%. According to the company, this is why they can boast an excellent player lifetime value.
Here’s a quick run-down of some of Netent’s most acclaimed online pokies.
As already mentioned, Gonzo’s Quest is a ground-breaking pokie. Featuring a 5-reel format, the game is renowned for its addictive game play as well as the Avalanche mechanic in which the reels explode to be replaced by cascading symbols. Although it has a pretty ordinary RTP of 86%, it’s still possible to land some extremely big wins.
This highly-anticipated pokie was unveiled in 2016 and is part of the Rocks Trilogy that includes Jimi Hendrix and Motorhead. Guns N’Roses is by far the most popular of the three though and comprises a standard 5×3 format. Boasting means and moody rock-and-roll visuals, play is accompanied by some of the band’s most famous hits including Welcome to the Jungle and November Rain. Features include a solo multiplier and a click-and-pick bonus game called the Crowd Pleaser.
Jack Hammer is another top pokie from Netent with 15 reels and 25 pay-lines. Based on a 1930s comic book theme, the game is typically very easy on the eye. One of the highlights is a Sticky Win feature in which all symbols are fixed in place and free spins are rewarded if they recur on reels after another spin. But the standout feature is the Free Spins game where all wins are subject to a treble multiplier.
Hall of Gods
Steeped in Norse mythology, Hall of Gods is a 20 pay-line game that can be played for as little as 20c. There are three bonus features: the expanding wild, the standard free spins game and the pick win feature. The expanding wild element is part of the base game and is activated when the Midgard Serpent lands on reels 2, 3 or 4. If it lands on all three, you’ve got the chance of winning big money.
Starburst remains one of the most popular online pokies of all time and is included with welcome promotions for hundreds upon hundreds of casinos. The actual game is a perfect slice of retro nostalgia, whose pulsing fluorescent jewels and swirling synth score epitomize the ingenuity of Netent casinos. Gameplay is, however, relatively straightforward. With a 5-reel format and 10 pay-lines, it includes a both-ways engine that allows players to create winning combinations from both reels 1 and 5.
NetEnt also offers a progressive jackpot system of pokie games under the Mega Fortune banner, which has caught headlines with its jackpots that would very often accumulate to well over $25 million. Arabian Nights and Hall of Gods are two such pokie games that gave players a shot at the Mega Fortune grand prize.
If you want to learn more about how progressive jackpots work, you can check out our dedicated page on the subject.
As with progressive pokies from any developer, jackpots are pooled from small-percentage contributions from each player’s bets. Because these are collected across the entire network of NetEnt-powered pokies, the prizes tend to be pretty substantial. Such a set-up should certainly give the player some peace of mind. There are hundreds of NetEnt casinos out there, (some doing better business than others). So it’s good to know that big lottery-style jackpot are administered purely by one of the industry’s most respected and successful behemoths. This should allay any doubts you may harbour about receiving your winnings, or of the casino’s ability to actually pay out.
NetEnt casinos are well known for their unique branded content and included three exhilarating pokie machines based on famed bands, Guns n’ Roses, Motorhead and Jimi Hendrix. Released over the course of 2016 to rapturous critical acclaim, they comprised polished graphics, elaborate bonus games and thumping soundtracks featuring some of the bands’ most famous songs.
Their branded portfolio, which is rather eclectic, also consists of licence agreements with 20th Century Fox, South Park Digital studios and Universal. Pokies featuring some of the most famous characters in pop culture include Dracula, The Invisible Man, South Park, Scarface, Aliens and Frankenstein.
NetEnt has also made a concerted effort to be competitive with Evolution when it comes to their live casino offering – no mean feat considering how formidable the latter company has become in developing live gaming suites. Nevertheless, Netent is doing pretty well.
Their chroma key technology and specific focus on the mobile gaming experience means that they have created a slick, seamless and very accomplished live dealer product with a few neat innovations as well.
To begin with, their live games feature high-quality elements such as crisp streaming and precisely synchronized audiovisuals. In addition, the player has the option to view in portrait mode as well as landscape – a feature that NetEnt casinos predicts will become important in mobile gaming further down the line.
Also, for games of live roulette, players can place a bet during the spin of the wheel, a facility that nicely mirrors the brick-and-mortar casino experience.
And if you are a statistics fiend, games like live blackjack should tick plenty of boxes. It offers up-to-date table statistics and an onscreen history of the dealer’s last ten hands. This helps the player make more informed strategical decisions that ultimately bolster the enjoyment and involvement levels.
Here is a list of handy facts as to why you may want to choose a NetEnt-powered live dealer casino:
NetEnt has continued to produce high-quality pokie games with a wide range of themes and gameplay mechanisms. Kiwi players are sure to discover at least one or two games they wish to return to time and time again with over 200 titles to choose from. NetEnt pokies are also known to be pretty loose with their winnings, many of which boast RTP or Return to Player rates of over 95%.
You can win real money playing NetEnt pokies as long as you play the real money version. To increase your odds of winning it is advisable to play the demo version of the game first before playing the real money version.
We have compiled a list of online casinos in New Zealand that offer NetEnt games. These casinos are licensed to operate and feature NetEnt's most popular games.
There are a few games that stand out more than others among the numerous online pokies and classic casino games released by NetEnt over the years. These include Gonzo’s Quest, Guns N’Roses, Starburst, Hall of Gods and Jack Hammer.