When you play casino games on the internet, these games rarely – if ever – belong to the casino operator. More likely, they are provided, alongside the entire iGaming platform, by specialized companies that create casino software and games. In the industry, they are widely called game providers or game suppliers. But what's the difference between all the casino 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.
Casino Software and Game Providers Explained
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 online 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 its 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 casino game software providers 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.
How the Software Provider Affects the Playing Experience?
Any review of an online casino will mention if a site works with the best casino game providers. The reason is simple – this segment makes or breaks the entire experience. Games coming from trusted companies run smoothly and have no glitches. They also work on various devices plus guarantee fairness and safety.
Moreover, the game and theme versatility depend on the online casino software providers that work with the operator.
Another aspect that the software for online casino impacts the player experience is the geographical restrictions. Namely, some providers don't work in some countries. For instance, players from Australia typically don't have access to NetEnt games.
Different Types of Casino Game Providers
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 casino and slot 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 online roulette, baccarat, blackjack, or casino poker. A small number of software casino online providers 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, and we have covered most of them in our slot reviews, so you might want to check them out! The majority of the slots by the best online casino game providers 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 its Gonzo's Quest slot and the game's cascading symbols, also known as the Avalanche feature. Another example would be Big Time Gaming 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. Yggdrasil is also one of the most innovative online casino slot game providers with a range of creative and copyrighted in-game features.
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.
Please don't confuse bonuses for top casino game providers with the bonus rounds in the games, though. The first is casino promotions associated with games from a specific brand, while the latter are special in-game features.
Gambling software 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 casino games software for more.
Another area where game suppliers 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 online gambling software providers 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.
Licensing and certification always play a huge role in the iGaming world, be it for online casinos or casino software providers. Some regulated markets, like the UK and some US states, demand that suppliers hold B2B licensing to offer their games to consumers from those countries and states. So, if the necessary permits aren't obtained, games from that casino games company cannot be played by players in those jurisdictions. That's how licensing often makes some studios popular in some markets.
The Best Casino Game Providers
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 of the best slot game providers have stood the test of time, as their classics and new creations constantly show up in the best new online casino lists. Here 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. It's one of the longest-standing casino vendors in the industry. For this reason, every prestigious online casino tries to provide its 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. More than 200 of them have received awards. NetEnt is one of the most popular and adored online casino providers on the market. 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 Gaming. This brand is a leader among the live casino game providers and has forever changed the online casino game offering with its innovative products. Their live roulette tables and live blackjack games are insanely popular amongst players, just make sure before you dive into any of these games to check our in-depth guides because these table games require some knowledge and skill, so you can start off by reading our latest blackjack guide to familiarize yourself with the game rules and strategies.
Currently, this internationally renowned live casino supplier 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 is presently based in roughly 20 countries all across the globe. It is worth mentioning that Playtech is an online casino software platform 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 titles. You can enjoy these casino games on your mobile and desktop devices without any issues, as they are perfectly optimized for both.
This game provider from the UK is one of the most important casino game and slot providers on an international scale. IGT 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 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 the games by this slot game company 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!
Pragmatic Play is an industry-leading provider of multi-product content in the gaming world. With a focus on regulated markets, their portfolio of offerings includes over 250 innovative and immersive slot titles, live casino solutions, various table games and bingo products. They have created some of the most popular and widely played slots in the industry, including Sweet Bonanza, Gates of Olympus, and Release the Kraken. This company has also joined the live dealer segment and is now one of the leading live casino game providers as well.
Hacksaw Gaming is an innovative gaming software provider that creates ludic, entertaining, and reliable products for the global gambling industry. Founded in 2018, Hacksaw Gaming is a tech-powered company that has quickly become one of the leading providers of game content for online casinos. Hacksaw Gaming's top picks among its 40+ releases are Wanted Dead or a Wild, RIP City, and Alpha Eagle.
Nolimit City is a leading supplier of innovative and engaging gaming solutions and services. Based in Stockholm, Sweden, but also in Malta, this gambling software provider has been providing cutting-edge casino games to operators in regulated markets since 2014. Nolimit City takes pride in its excellent team, which includes some of the most experienced professionals in the gaming industry who have developed top titles like Book of Shadows, Deadwood xNudge, and San Quentin xWays.
Evoplay is a cutting-edge gaming solutions provider with a passion for pushing the boundaries of immersive, engaging and entertaining gaming experiences. They are dedicated to creating innovative games that combine modern technology, stunning visuals and captivating storylines to create an unforgettable journey for their players. Evoplay has been in business since 2017 and has developed over 160 titles, including Star Guardians, Nuke World, and Bonanza Wheel.
Red Tiger Gaming
Red Tiger Gaming is an online gaming provider offering a full suite of exciting and engaging slots and casino games. With its innovative approach to game design, Red Tiger Gaming creates games that capture the imagination of players, who are then quickly drawn into the immersive gaming experience. The games feature vibrant graphics and animation, high-quality sound effects, and unique features. Crystal Mirror, Primate King, and Chinese Treasures are among the company's top releases.
There's no list of the top 10 best online casino game providers without Play'n GO. This is an international gaming software development company which specializes in the production of high-quality online and mobile casino games. Founded in 2005, this Swedish-based company has grown to become one of the leading providers of gaming solutions worldwide. Their comprehensive suite includes more than 200 desktop and mobile games and boasts attractive titles like Book of Dead, Reactoonz, and Fire Joker.
ELK Studios is an independent game provider that specializes in creating innovative, quality slots for players of all levels. The company was founded in 2013 by experienced entrepreneurs and developers who wanted to bring something new and exciting to the world of iGaming. Their mission is to create unique experiences for players with their wide selection of high quality games. Their leading releases are the Nitropolis slot series, Platooners, and Wild Toro.
Yggdrasil Gaming is an industry-leading Swedish iGaming provider, boasting a portfolio of diverse titles that span across all genres. Founded in 2013, the company's mission is to create content that is both entertaining and innovative, offering players a unique gaming experience. Yggdrasil has become one of the best online casino game software suppliers thanks to games like Vikings Go Berzerk, Holmes and the Stolen Stones, and Joker Millions.
Push Gaming is a UK-based game provider that has quickly become world-renowned for its innovative approach to slots and other casino games. Founded in 2010, they have developed over 30 online slots, with a focus on creating products that are compatible across all devices and platforms, from desktop to mobile. As one of the leading casino software companies, the brand boasts many popular releases, including Razor Shark, Retro Tapes, and Jammin' Jars.
How We Rate Software Providers
We've listed the best casino game manufacturers on this page. Yet, if you're new to the iGaming concept, you may need more information about how we decided which brands deserve mention. Below, we're explaining the basic evaluation criteria of the best casino software companies and why they matter.
- Game Variety – we always appreciate a solid game variety because that ensures players can choose among different games, themes, and features.
- RTP Rates and Transparency – casino game and slot gaming companies must have fair RTP rates and be transparent about them rather than hiding such info.
- Certification – seals of approval from independent auditors like eCOGRA and GLI are always a good sign that the games from specific game providers are fair and regularly tested.
- Innovative Features – we always give extra credit to casino game providers that invest in innovative and creative game mechanics.
- Network Promos and Jackpots – we love when suppliers go the extra mile and ensure engaging experiences for their consumers by launching network campaigns, progressive jackpots, etc.
- Availability – it's always positive when a brand has many licenses and, therefore, it's widely available to players from various jurisdictions.
- Mobile Readiness – casino and online slot providers whose products work smoothly on various devices always get better rankings.
Can You Hack Casino Software?
The simple answer to the question 'Can you hack casino software?' is yes, it is possible to hack casino software. However, it is important to understand that hacking into a casino's systems and software requires an experienced hacker with a highly sophisticated set of skills. It would be virtually impossible for the average person to successfully attempt such a feat. Moreover, both online casino game providers and casinos have safety measures and mechanisms in place. In case of foul play, they never pay out any winnings.
Do Players Need to Download Online Casino Software?
Depending on the casino, the software might be available for download or play directly through their website. Many online casino software suppliers have switched their operations to browser-play only. Players seem to prefer this way. However, some provide both options, like RTG, for example. Its games are often available at exclusive RTG gambling sites that will let you download the platform or play instantly.
What Are Game Aggregators?
Typically, companies work individually to bring players a solid range of games. For a casino to work with one such company, it would need appropriate agreements. Then, it would have to do the same with any other game developer, which often takes time and even more money.
Well, game aggregators have already done the hard work by striking content deals with various casino game providers. When a gambling operator works with an aggregator, it gets thousands of games from various brands from a single partner.