Most online gambling providers do not produce their own games and software. The reasons for this are purely practical, software development is incredibly expensive and requires many in-house resources. Instead of producing their own software in-house, online casino companies look to software development companies to develop the games for them and they effectively “rent” the game from the software provider for integration into their websites and gambling apps.
This actually works to the advantage of the players as you can now receive and benefit from hundreds of various bonuses and promos at dozens of online casinos, all powered by just a handful of online casino software developers. It also generally produces a higher level of games as the software providers handle the development and the casino can focus on the players.
Overview of Casino Software Providers
Net Entertainment, Microgaming and Playtech have been dominating the online casino industry since the beginning of the online revolution dating back to the late nineties. In the last 5 to 10 years, there have been many more developers make a name for themselves and now there is some serious competition in the online casino software market.
There has also been a great deal of consolidation among casino software providers. Generally, when companies get bought out the games remain branded as the original developer. As an example, NetEnt bought Red Tiger Gaming in 2019 but their respective games are still branded from the original source. Evolution Gaming recently bought out NetEnt but the brand continues to exist as it is. Scientific Digital, a section of Scientific Games (SGI), is now an amalgamation of dozens of software developers including NYX, NextGen, and many others. Scientific Games supplies casino games to both land casinos and software to online casinos.
Some important things to note that some casino software developers are not solely delivering to the online market. Brands such as WMS, Aristocrat, IGT and Scientific Games have made a name for themselves primarily in the land casino market but have also made online casino games.
This brings us to the most famous casino software provider in New Zealand. We don't need to tell you all the famous games from Where's the Gold, Buffalo, and Dolphin Treasure to 50 Dragons, Big Red and Queen of the Nile. These are available at every pokie hall and casino in the land. Unfortunately, the online success of Aristocrat pokies is not the same. For a few years there were quite a few online casinos that offered Aristocrat slots but there was a change of strategy at the company after they purchased Big Fish Games in 2018. They have since exited the online casino market to focus solely on social casino games and land casino products. So those of you looking for free Aristocrat pokies should know that any online games you find are not from supported sources, and you cannot play them online for real money.
Microgaming casino games are the most popular among New Zealanders and are characteristic for their somewhat older looking and less modern design. Microgaming is one of the oldest casino software providers, founded back in 1994, with a reputation for being reliable and safe. Microgaming offer around 500 casino games with over 400 online slots. Among the list of popular titles are some of the most iconic slot games online. Slots such as Mega Moola, Ariana, Avalon, Immortal Romance, Major Millions and Bust da Bank are well known, exciting games.
You can tell how popular a developer is by the amount of casinos that use thier software. There are still quite a few of the top casinos on the web that only use Microgaming, like Jackpot City and Captain Cooks casino. In fcat, every online casino we list on this site is also a Microgaming casino!
NetEnt (Net Entertainment)
Often abbreviated to NetEnt, NetEntertainment are one of the biggest casino software providers today, providing games for many of the most popular online casinos. They offer more modern games than Microgaming with their games clearly looking to be different and more in line with the 21st century standards of graphics, design and animation. The most familiar titles to most online pokies fanatics will be Gonzo's Quest, Mega Fortune, Jimi Hendrix and Guns N' Roses. They have some more modern titles at NetEnt casinos such as Narcos and Tiki Wonders that have become cult favourites as well as Starburst, most well known for being the slot game of choice for no deposit free spins in NZ.
Evolution Gaming is a name that makes its way onto a number of players’ lips. The software developing company has been around since 2006 and provides its games to online casinos worldwide but does mostly cater for the European market. Evolution Gaming has gone to great measures to make sure they remain unique in a somewhat oversaturated market and they have done that by specializing! Evolution Gaming specializes in providing top-notch live table games to online casinos, and they are definitely considered leaders in this field. In fact, you will be hard pressed to find a casino that does not offer a wide variety of Evolution Live dealer casino games.
Over the years Evolution Gaming has come up with dozens of iconic games that have graced the sites of online casinos. Their dealers are known for being professional, friendly, pleasant and have the ability to speak a variety of languages. The games are also easy to navigate, with the setup of them being simple and straightforward.
Playtech was established in 2000 and quickly became one of the industry leaders powering many of the industry’s biggest sites. Clearly trailing both Microgaming and NetEnt, they do find themselves third in the lineup of casino software providers and are a safe bet for casinos looking to expand their offering with some new and fun games. Being third on the list doesn't mean they don't have some amazing games. There are whole online casinos dedicated to just Playtech software led by the famous Age of the Gods series of slot games as well as classics such as Gladiator, King Kong and Beach Life. Playtech have a great deal of casino games out side of slots and they have their own Live casino that competes against industry leaders Evolution Gaming.
Play ‘n Go
Play'n Go is a Swedish casino software developer that has been around making games since 1997. PlayNGo offers multilingual support in around 30 languages and they focus on delivering moe advanced and modern graphics. Most developers that are big enough generally rely on the tried and true themes that all the major players have. Play'N Go does manage to break out of this mold a bit with their later slot games like Hugo. However their most iconic games will have familiar themes like Fire Joker, Leprechaun Goes Wild and the Riche Wilde series of slots. Play N Go casinos are a little harder to find however.
BetSoft has absolutely no problem standing out in the crowd- which is actually quite hard to do in the somewhat flooded online casino industry. The way that BetSoft does this is through visual appeal- their graphics are truly out of this world and there isn’t many other software companies around that can compare to them. While BetSoft definitely pays a lot of attention to their out-of-this world, 3D graphics, it does not forget about its technical aspects, bonus rounds and of course their mighty jackpots. There star attraction is most definitely their SLOTS3 series of slot games that take gaming to a whole new level.
Established in 2012, Thunderkick Software started as a small development firm in Stockholm, Sweden with around 50 employees, but they have earned themselves a solid reputation for innovation and originality among New Zealand slots fans. Thunderkick is a Swedish developer that’s gained tons of popularity over the last few years and for all the right reasons. What makes this such a special company is that it grew from a small-time developer to going toe-to-toe with the best in the industry. Thunderkick also develops gaming products that are truly enjoyable to play, as they’re developed with stunning graphics, unique concepts, and amazing features to ensure that you get the most from your gaming experience. Thunderkick’s game library is on the smaller side compared with other developers, but the company is quick to point out that quality always wins out over quantity, a sentiment which is proven through their range of slots.
Yggdrasil Gaming is an emerging powerhouse in the gaming industry. Self-labelled as an ‘established underdog’, Yggdrasil is moving ever forward, providing online and mobile casino games of the highest quality to some of the world’s biggest industry players. Yggdrasil has won numerous awards since their establishment in 2013, including Innovator of the Year at both the 2017 and 2018 International Gaming Awards, as well as the Slot Provider of the Year at the EGR B2B awards in 2017. For such a young company, they have been consistently providing exciting new games and innovations, winning them much love from the online gambling community.
Established in 2012, QuickSpin’s founders were former NetEnt executives that branched out onto their own. The company is all about fresh ideas and innovation, focusing on producing top quality video slot games with innovative features and state-of-the-art graphics. The company’s motto is ‘We Love Slots’ and it definitely lives up to that name! Quickspin’s slots are all about fun, colourful gaming and there is no mindless reel spinning when it comes to its games.
All their games are created with mobile compatibility as a standard featured and almost all Quickspin slots can be played seamlessly on a variety of mobile devices. Their games can be found at many online casinos, so there’s a good chance the casino of your choice will offer Quickspin games.
List of all casino software providers:
Major Differences In Graphics And Design
Both Microgaming and Playtech offer for the most part fairly classical looking games without too much flashy animations and extreme graphical effects. A vast majority of pokies by these two companies look pretty much like the same game, with the symbols on the board being basically the only difference.
NetEnt on the other hand do their best to make as many of their pokies as they can unique and different than the bunch by introducing fun new features or replacing the standard pay lines with something more interactive. While Net Ent’s progressive thinking is commendable, more players prefer the old style video pokies by the likes of Microgaming and such games still get more active users that the modern Net Ent games.
Part of what makes Yggdrasil games stand out is the incredible attention to detail they give to the graphics of each game. Every game has a unique theme with high-quality graphics and animations. While each game is different, Yggdrasil games all have a recognizable style. Their smooth and pleasing design makes them stand out among the hordes of pixelated slot games, allowing for a much more immersive experience. Their slots game ‘Easter Island’, for example, is hosted by two animated moai statues which keep the player entertained with jokes and comments throughout the game.
In a further step towards immersive entertainment, Yggdrasil games often have a creative storyline to ensure that the players keep playing. The slots game ‘Reptoids’ drops you into a world of alien conspiracies and espionage, encouraging you to keep playing to uncover government cover-ups and society scandals as you uncover the hidden world of reptiles running the country.
Betsoft have come to be considered trail blazers in the world of 3D slots as their famous SLOTS3 series of exceptionally well animated slot games gained worldwide popularity. Their SLOTS3 series is most definitely their best known work and it has been marvelled at by many experts. Graphics are a key element of any slot game and having excellent graphics draws in all sorts of gamers and players.
An obvious advantage to playing Thunderkick slots has to do with their unique take on the conventional structure normally associated with modern video slots. For example, while standard slots follow a standard 5-reel format, with spinning reels that come to a stop to reveal current combinations, Thunderkick slots like to experiment with the structure and movement of those reels. Instead of just merely spinning, the reel symbols in games such as Birds on a Wire or Esqueleto Explosivo fall in interesting ways. In Birds on a Wire, cute birds will either explode when a winning combination occurs or fly away to be replaced by incoming birds when not part of a winning combination.
Quickspin games bring a modern feel to online pokies, which should excite players of all types. With so many slot games out there being out-dated and cliché, it’s refreshing to see some real innovation.
Overall speaking, you could say online casino games can be split into old and new with neither really having the upper hand.
How Online Casinos Use Multi Software Providers
As we already mentioned, it is a standard in today’s online gambling industry for online casino companies to use software from online gambling providers instead of creating their own. This is done by purchasing licenses from multiple casino software providers who create their games often by buying rights from famous TV shows or events such as Game Of Thrones or NHL and making their games revolve around these themes. Multiple software providers offer more choices to players but do have higher costs for the online casinos.
This drags even more players in as people prefer playing games that are motivated by their favourite characters, movies, TV shows or sporting events as opposed to games motivated by other motives. This way the online casino software providers and the online casinos share their costs and both play a major part in the industry. Many casinos license out the same games from the software providers, which is why you will often see the same pokie or roulette wheel at multiple online casinos. Many new online casinos also rent out games from multiple software providers which makes for a good diversity in a single online casino, like Casinoland.
So ... What Do The Casinos Do?
Online casinos try to make themselves unique by providing a better environment, better support, faster and more extensive banking options or unique bonuses and promotions to lure players in. They handle the rest of the experience and let the casino software developers concentrate on delivering awesome casino games and slots.
Why do some online casinos not develop their own software?
This is because of practical reasons. Developing gambling software is very expensive and requires various resources. Hence, online casinos partner up with gambling software developers that will develop games for them and “rent” the software and games from the software providers.
Who are the main online casino software providers for New Zealand?
There are 4 main gambling software developers that produce games for New Zealand-based casinos. These are NetEnt, Microgaming, Playtech, and 888 Gaming. The first three of these are by far the most popular software providers, with 888 focusing on developing unique software and games.
What are the differences between these companies?
There are several notable differences between these software developers. NetEnt are famous for creating unique and flashy new games that feature modern gameplay and special bonus rounds that differ from established gameplay. Microgaming and Playtech have been around quite a while and focus their design on making their games look classical and more standard, with most games looking basically the same. 888 Gaming is a fairly new company that has its focus on developing more advanced games that stand out from the rest.
Why do companies rent out their software?
It has become a standard practice for gambling software developers to rent out their software to online casinos. The software developers buy the rights to famous movies and TV shows like Game of Thrones or The Sopranos and then they sell licenses to their games to online casinos. This is a great way to attract more players with these popular themes and shows.
What is the role of online casinos if they do not develop gambling software?
Online casinos provide gambling experiences in an environment that is supposed to be unique, and that’s why they license their games from companies that create popular games. The online casinos focus on developing and providing better banking options and customer services, along with offering lucrative bonuses and promotions for players.