Nowadays, many players enjoy the convenience offered by online gambling. Within a few minutes, you can easily sign up at an online casino, make a deposit, and play an amazing selection of games right away. At the best casino sites, you can choose between thousands of slots, table games, and live dealer releases. But that begs the question of how it is possible for a single casino to provide their players with such an incredible flood of high-quality games? Well, the answer is relatively simple. For the most part, it is not the online casinos themselves doing all the hard work creating your favorite games. It is a multitude of independent game providers and software developers that are responsible for that. The casino operators are merely renting the games from them for a fee and this is exactly the reason why you can find one and the same game at multiple different online casinos. But what’s the difference between all the game providers and which ones are considered the best? You can find an extensive selection of great iGaming software studios in our GoodLuckMate top lists and guides.
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Currently, there are more than 400 software studios out there, and counting – and each of these companies is designing its own games for online casinos across the world. With that much competition on the market, it is important to develop games that are both memorable and unique. Here are some of the factors that explain how game providers differ from one another:
Different game providers focus on different aspects of the games or, more specifically, specialize in certain genres. The vast majority of iGaming studios solely focus on slot machine games, including classic slots, video slots, and video poker. Other game providers exclusively release table games such as roulette, baccarat, blackjack, or casino poker. A small number of studios have made it their calling to provide players with a unique live casino experience. There’s also a tiny niche for games like bingo, scratch cards, and virtual sports. Of course, there are also some ambitious game providers that want to offer the full spectrum of games.
The features of each game contribute a lot to its perceived uniqueness among players. This is where the best game providers manage to set themselves apart from the competition. The best examples of this are slot machines. There are already several thousands of titles on the market, which follow the same basic principles but add a little twist. Hence, it needs quite some ingenuity to come up with something fresh and revitalizing that makes a brand stand out.
Microgaming will always be known for its record-breaking progressive jackpots where you can win millions in a single spin. NetEnt rose to fame with Gonzo’s Quest and the game’s cascading symbols, also known as the Avalanche feature. Another example would be Big Time Gaming that players often associate with their famous MegaWays features that they introduced in Bonanza MegaWays. Of course, there are several other features that would be worth mentioning, but the list is simply too long to go too much into the details at this point.
Bonus rounds could be seen as a feature and included above but, oftentimes, they are so unique that they redefine the character of a casino game entirely. Some game developers emphasize their efforts to create an unforgettable gaming experience with the help of innovative bonus rounds. For example, Rocky looks like a regular slot machine at first but in the bonus round, you can step into the ring with Apollo Creed, Ivan Drago, or Clubber Lang. The Aliens slot turns itself into a first-person shooter during the bonus round, and in Jurassic Park, you can hunt a Tyrannosaurus Rex. So, as you can see, there is plenty of innovation in bonus rounds.
Game providers greatly differ in their design choices, from cartoony or fantastic to hyper-realistic – and everything in between. Oftentimes the game designers also follow a particular art style that is consistent throughout their games or at least huge parts of the games' library. Chances are if you fall in love with the design of one game, you might enjoy the appearance of their other titles in the provider’s roster just as much. Be sure to check out your favorite studios for more.
Another area where game providers set themselves apart quite a bit is the minimum and maximum betting limits. Some of them provide slots and table games that can be played for nickels and dimes, whereas others want to cater more towards the high rollers and VIP players with greatly increased minimum bet sizes and higher table limits. It is also worth mentioning that some developers opt to create more volatile games than others. Here, you have to ask yourself the question if you prefer smaller more reliable wins or if you want to take the risk to land a big win in a game that only gives up its prizes every once in a while.
The list of game providers is probably just as big as the one for different online casinos from which you can choose – it’s not but it’s certainly close! Choosing the best one often comes down to personal taste, however, and it’s hard to crown one of them as the best option that will suit every type of player out there. However, we can safely say that some software studios have stood the test of time, as their classics and new creations constantly show up in the casino top lists. Here, then, is a quick overview of a small selection of the most notable game providers…
Microgaming is one of the pioneering companies in the development of online casino solutions. It started its operations in 1994 and in its subsequent rise to fame, it has an entertainment repertoire featuring more than 1,000 top-class casino games. For this reason, every prestigious online casino tries to provide their players with the best games carrying the Microgaming logo. Their products stand out for the quality of their graphics, progressive jackpots, and unique titles. It should be noted that Microgaming is particularly famous for its slots, online roulette, and online blackjack. Furthermore, it is a very reliable provider because all its games are certified by eCOGRA, which guarantees that they are fully tested, honest, balanced, random, and fair.
Net Entertainment (NetEnt) has a special place in the online casino industry because, for more than 20 years, it has created premium games, of which more than 200 of them have received awards. It doesn’t come as a surprise that NetEnt’s slots are incredibly popular and, therefore, can be found in almost every well-sorted online casino. The Swedish company has grown its portfolio over the years and branched out into other genres such as table games and live dealer games. Today, it is one of the biggest live casino providers on the market, next to Evolution.
It is impossible to have a conversation about live dealer games without mentioning Evolution. Their live roulette tables and live blackjack games are insanely popular amongst players. Currently, this internationally renowned developer has more than 300 tables with live dealers that are broadcasted from several different countries and in many languages. They are also the inventors of innovative “live game shows” such as Football Studio, Monopoly Live, Dream Catcher, and Deal or No Deal Live. Evolution is by far the number one live casino developer, and it is not hard to see why.
No repertoire of online casino games would be considered complete without the fantastic entertainment provided by Playtech. The company has more than 20 years of experience in the industry, hundreds of employees, and are present based in roughly 20 countries all across the globe. It is worth mentioning that Playtech is a game developer that covers all casino solutions, such as slot machines, live casino, table games, and sports betting. It is no coincidence that Playtech has been awarded several trophies for their great work. Its entertainment library is made up of more than 700 games, which are fully adapted to desktop PCs and mobile devices.
This game provider from the UK is one of the most important ones on an international scale. Their games can be found at almost every online casino and are beloved by players all around the world. If you like TV series, this provider will surprise you with reels full of multipliers, free spins, spectacular bonus stages, good graphics, quality animations, and great prizes. They are incredibly adaptive and always manage to impress exciting new features and gameplay ideas.
You will love Thunderkick’s fun online slots for lots of reasons. They are full of free spins and bonus rounds, their graphics are crazy and their themes are wildly original. The games of this Swedish company have come to the best online casinos and are here to stay. Players especially like the high payouts that some of their games offer. In 1429 Uncharted Seas, the RTP is more than 98.6%, which is amongst the highest payouts in the industry. Because of this, it is common to find it excluded from wagering requirements, which goes to show just how good that RTP is!