Earlier this year, we pointed out that the PC gaming industry had flourished to over $5.74 billion in 2021. This represented a boost of more than 25% in revenue and was mainly attributed to Covid-19 and the need for people to entertain themselves and socialize from home. It was remarkable growth that some belief will be sustained moving forward. But it also doesn’t tell the whole story of change in computer gaming in recent years since the onset of the pandemic.
Just as purchases of PC gaming hardware and video games have increased, there has also been a rise in online casino gaming activity. By some estimates, in fact, global internet gambling activity now accounts for more than $60 billion in annual revenue. Now, this includes betting activity in addition to gaming. However, the popularity of casino gaming –– and slot machine activity in particular –– is considered among the main drivers of growth.
This makes online casino slots and the like some of the most influential and widely enjoyed games in the video gaming industry. And yet, they are often disregarded or treated as something separate. So in this post, we want to give gamers (and perhaps would-be casino patrons) a closer look at this corner of the entertainment world by highlighting some of the primary developers that keep the business moving.
Playtech is just about the most established name in the space –– founded in 1999 and referred to by UK Tech News just last year as “one of the world’s leading gaming software providers.” Over time, the company has become closely associated with a number of different aspects of the online gambling world (including poker and sports betting). But its bread and butter are slots. Playtech is known for some of the popular mainstays in the slot category, such as White King, Jackpot Giant, and Irish Luck. But the company also excels in particular at designing slots based on licensed material from popular film franchises –– such as Superman, King Kong, Rocky, The Mummy, and more.
NetEnt has actually been around even longer than Playtech. The company was founded in 1996 and has been at the center of online slot development essentially since internet casinos began to gain popularity. Today, while NetEnt has dozens of prominent games hosted on countless platforms, it is best known for a handful of titles that have helped to define modern slots. These include Starburst, Divine Fortune, and most notably Gonzo’s Quest –– a conquistador-themed game that helped to usher in a new age of more sophisticated animated video slots.
Microgaming completes the “big three” of slot software design, alongside Playtech and NetEnt. Founded in 1994, the company (and its early game Cash Splash) are credited in part with laying the foundation for online slots and jackpots. Today, the company is –– not unlike Playtech –– best known for well-designed games based on popular source material. Among the highlights of these games is Microgaming’s Game Of Thrones, Bridesmaids, and Lara Croft Tomb Raider slots.
Blueprint Gaming is a younger company, having emerged in 2001. For many years, its products were somewhat overshadowed by bigger and more established competitors. Lately, though, Blueprint has produced a handful of hits that have helped to put it on the map. The Buffalo Rising series has become a staple at major casino platforms, and a licensed Rick And Morty slot successfully tapped into the popularity of the adult cartoon comedy of the same name. Additionally, one of Blueprint’s latest, a sort of fairy tale slot called Lock O’ The Irish, is featured as an exclusive at Coral and its cousin sites. This places the game alongside other hits like God Of Storms and Big Bass Bonanza, making for some of Blueprint’s most visible distribution to date.
This is a slightly more complex company. As noted in a Yahoo! company profile, IGT “operates in three segments” –– those being Global Lottery, Global Gaming, and Digital & Betting. It thus has an influence on virtually every corner of the online gambling world. The Global Gaming side of IGT, however, is responsible for some of the most commonly found slots on the internet. The Da Vinci Diamonds and Cleopatra series are perhaps the company’s best-known games, though IGT has also done notably well with slots adapted from game shows as well. Games based on Jeopardy and Wheel Of Fortune stand out, for instance.
There are of course other slot software developers aside from the ones listed here. But these are among the most influential companies that have contributed to massive growth in slot gaming and casinos more broadly over the years.