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While playing your favourite online pokie, have you ever wondered where it came from? Who made the casino software? How did it end up at your favourite casino? How come the same pokie can be found on numerous casino sites? The reason the same pokie game can appear on multiple online casinos, is because the casinos do not create the games themselves. They leave it to the experts – the software developers who design and develop the games, package them into platforms and sell licences to the casino operators.
Some casinos stick with one developer’s platform, throw a bit of branded jazz over it (“a skin”) and chuck it out. However, the best casinos tend to offer a comprehensive range of games that are also in keeping with the feel and the brand of their online platform.
When playing your favourite online pokies, it’s worth noting the developer, whose name will often appear as the game is loading. You may even begin to see a pattern developing. Once you’ve latched onto your favourite casino game developer, it’s going to be that much easier to keep track of its latest releases.
So who are the most respected online casino software developers? On this page, we feature some of the companies that you should really be aware of.
Based in Canada, Amaya Gaming was formed in 2004. You may have heard of the trials and tribulations of its ex-CEO David Baazov and you may also know that they struck a deal with Aristocrat games to bring their pokie games online. However, you probably won’t know that they bought software application provider Cryptologic.
Aristocrat is an Australian casino gaming company that’s based in Sydney. Aristocrat casinos have been in operation since 1953 and are one of the largest manufacturers of pokie machines in the world, second only to US giant, IGT. Known for its Reel Power system in which players purchase reels instead of lines, the company has successfully ported many of its land-based pokies to the internet. Some of the best ones are listed below.
Genesis Gaming was established in 2008 and was originally based out of Las Vegas. The company has grown considerably since then and now has offices throughout the world including London, Hong Kong and Vancouver. Genesis Gaming began life as a supplier of casino games to major land-based establishments it now also develops online casino pokies.
IGT is the world’s largest pokie machine manufacturer. Born and bred in Las Vegas, it was bought by GTECH who in turn was bought by Lottomatic, an Italian lottery company. Over the years, the IGT casino company created an array of legendary online pokies including Wheel of Fortune, based on the classic American TV show, and Cleopatra, the most sought-after online pokie in the UK.
Microgaming is one of the most storied developers of online casino software in the business. Formed in 1994, this famed Isle of Man outfit fashioned the acclaimed and widely-used Quickfire platform. It also claims to be the first company to release a bona fide online casino. Today, Microgaming casinos boast a massive range of titles and have forged a formidable reputation within the industry.
Founded in 1996 in Sweden, NetEnt is another major, well-established casino brand that launched its first casino way back in 2002. Netent casinos feature an extensive portfolio of casino games and have also developed an impressive Live Dealer platform as well as an assortment of progressive jackpot games – the most famous, Mega Fortune, entered the Guinness Book of World Records after one of its players bagged a jackpot of over NZ$25 million.
NextGen is another Swedish casino software developer that’s garnered plenty of positive attention for its well-regarded multi-channel Open Gaming System (OGS). Veterans of game development having been founded 1999, NextGen continues to make strides in the creation and distribution of pokies and traditional casino games.
Playtech was founded in Estonia in 1999 and is now based on the Isle of Man. Considered to be one of the leading suppliers of online gambling software in the world, they feature a massive back-catalogue of casino games and have also developed cutting-edge bingo, poker and live dealer platforms.
Scientific Games now known as Light and Wonder, specializes in the development of gambling products including casino games. Based in Las Vegas and established back in 1974, the company’s product portfolio comprises an extensive range of online pokies. It also owns numerous big-name subsidiaries such as Bally Technologies and WMS casinos.
Thunderkick is a relatively new developer, that was launched in 2012. Their goal from the outset was to create unique online pokie games. To this end, Thunderkick casino software powers plenty of gambling platforms, that can be found on a host of major brands, including RedSpins and 888casino. In the eight years since its inception, the company has developed a formidable pedigree within the industry for developing high-end casino games.
These Swedish young guns (est. 2013) take their name from Norse cosmology and were one of the first online casino platform developers to ditch Flash. Thus, the entire Yggdrasil casino portfolio is now built using the HTML5 framework which means you can play on mobile casinos and any other devices with a minimum of fuss. As the recipient of numerous industry awards, this dynamic company continues to make serious waves within the online casino gaming sector.
The technologies behind online casino software have undergone some major changes in recent years. The most significant of these relate to Flash and its successor HTML 5. Before we delve into the intricacies of casino game design, here’s some background.
The origins of casino game development can be traced back to 1992 when Cryptologic and Microgaming launched the first gambling platform. Consisting of a small collection of games, the platform was designed to securely store online transactions and personal details. Although groundbreaking, the software wasn’t made available for commercial use until online gambling was legalized in 1994.
Trust and fair play are absolutely crucial for the success of online casino software. Thankfully, to ensure that players are protected there exist a variety of regulatory bodies which oversee the industry and which require all games to be thoroughly tested.
One of the most important elements of testing relates to the evaluation of a game’s random number generator. The outcomes of all casino games are generated by RNGs. Therefore, to ensure fairness, these numbers must be unbiased, unpredictable and have an equal probability of being generated.
Then you’ve got the pay-out percentages (RTPs) which is what the player can expect to win when calculated over the wagering of 100 credits. This area is especially important given that gamers pay particularly close attention to RTPs when choosing an online casino game. As with testing, a game’s RTP must be officially ratified by an independent agency before it can be displayed online. For UK operators, eCOGRA undertakes these tests.
eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA), is an independent and certified testing agency. eCOGRA is considered to be one of the leading testing agencies in the world. It takes a holistic approach to auditing and requires that all casino games are fair. They must also be impervious to criminal tampering, ensure a secure environment and have a robustly tested RNG (Random Number Generator) and RTP (Return to Player).
For more information about the many casino software developers included on InsideCasino, check out the companies listed to the right. We offer detailed background information about each one including the types of games they offer, the online platforms which operate their games as well as the pros and cons of each developer.
There are several reputable casino software providers used in online casinos. Some of them are Microgaming, NetEnt, Playtech, Scientific Games, and Thunderkick.
The backbone of any NZ online casino is its software. It's an industry dominated by major brands, some of which are nearly household names. The top online casino software like NetEnt, Microgaming, and Evolution Gaming are prime examples.