Leading The Charge: Online Casino Game Providers
It’s difficult is to talk about the history of online casino game providers without mentioning what is arguably one of the most prominent developers – Microgaming! This developer was there at the very beginning with its iconic blackjack and roulette games. They would go on to bigger and better things starting with the release of their 1998 blockbuster called Cash Splash. While Microgaming was by no means the sole pioneer, it is a name that stands out even today. Since then, the number of casino game providers has exploded with dozens of names, including established and up and coming ones. Some providers like Playtech and NetEnt have relied on innovation to draw ahead of this crowded space.
One could argue that Microgaming had first-mover advantage when they came out with their traditional roulette and blackjack table games. Their original strategy was to design these games for their in-house casino platform. Their strategy would eventually shift as their focus became game development, which they would supply to third parties. Microgaming’s product offering also diversified away from just traditional table games and into what is today an extensive library of games that include slots with many different themes. As a pioneer, they were credited with coming out with the first 3-reel and 5-reel slots. In 1998, Microgaming would shake the industry with the development of a progressive jackpot slot called Cash Splash. The massive success of this progressive jackpot slot laid the foundations for subsequent releases that included the mega-hit Mega Moolah and Mega Moolah. Although released several years ago, their popularity has become almost legendary!
CryptoLogic began as a developer of security platforms that encrypted communications between online casino operators and players. This gave them a chance to test the security protocols that they had developed. Recognizing the massive opportunity that lay ahead in developing and licensing games, they would go on to leverage their competency to become a considerably-sized provider of casino slots. Their gaming software would fall under their WagerLogic division, which you may see today, despite having been sold to Amaya Gaming back in 2012 and subsequently rebranded.
Hence, CryptoLogic, as it exists today, is no longer a slot games provider. Instead, they are now a Canadian cryptocurrency miner and software developer based out of Toronto.
The history of Playtech is fascinating because it unfolds like a story out of the X-Men comics. Going back to 1999, the software provider went on a recruiting spree to assemble the best people. Coming from different disciplines, they would go on to pool their skills, knowledge and leverage their specialties to create Playtech. The results speak for themselves as Playtech has demonstrated innovation with an industry first of offering live dealer games. The timing of this started way back in 2003, two short years after debuting their first games.
NetEnt is an intriguing software developer precisely because its success is not predicated on a long track record like Microgaming or the extraordinary technical expertise from the likes of Playtech. None the less, the Stockholm, Sweden based developer has left its mark in the industry with competency in thrilling slots with 3D animation and over 200 games. Leveraging on its founders who had extensive experience in land-based casinos, the company began as an online casino that went on to develop and supply software to other operators. In September 2019, NetEnt made a big splash with the acquisition of Red Tiger to capitalize on the target’s scalable technology that will propel future growth.