At the best casino sites, you can choose between thousands of slots, table games, and live dealer releases. But that begs the question: how is it 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 favourite games. But what’s the difference between all the game providers, and which ones are considered the best?
Currently, there are more than 400 software studios out there, and counting, each designing 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 ways game providers differ from one another:
Different game providers focus on different aspects of the games or, more specifically, specialise in certain genres. The vast majority of iGaming studios 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, some ambitious game providers try 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 thousand titles on the market, which follow the same basic principles but add a little twist. Hence, a brand needs ingenuity to come up with something fresh and revitalizing that makes it 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 which players often associate with their famous Megaways features first 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 they are often so unique that they redefine the character of a casino game entirely. Some game developers emphasise 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. Often the game designers use a particular art style consistently throughout their games, or at least most of them. As such, if you fall in love with the design of one game, chances are that you will enjoy the appearance of the other titles in the provider’s roster just as much. Be sure to check out your favourite studios for more.
Another area where game providers set themselves apart 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 whether 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; actually, that’s not quite true, but it’s certainly close! Choosing the best one often comes down to personal taste, so 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 game studios have stood the test of time, as their classics and new creations constantly show up in casinos’ top lists. Here, then, is a quick overview of a small selection of the most notable game providers…
Microgaming is a pioneer in the development of online casino solutions. It started its operations in 1994, and in its subsequent rise to fame, it has created an entertainment repertoire featuring more than 1,000 top-class casino games. For this reason, every prestigious online casino tries to provide its players with the best games carrying the Microgaming logo. Its products stand out for the quality of the 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, guaranteeing 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 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. In 2020, NetEnt was acquired by the industry giant Evolution.
It is impossible to have a conversation about live dealer games without mentioning Evolution. Its 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 broadcasting from several different countries and in many languages. It is also the inventor of innovative game show games, such as Football Studio, Monopoly Live, Dream Catcher, and Deal or No Deal Live. Evolution Gaming is by far the number one live casino provider, and it is not hard to see why.
No repertoire of online casino games would be complete without the 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 covers all casino solutions, such as slot machines, live dealer games, table games, and sports betting. It is no coincidence that Playtech has been awarded several trophies for its great work. Its entertainment library is made up of more than 700 games, which are fully adapted to desktop PCs and mobile devices.
IGT provider from the UK is one of the most important ones on an international scale. Its 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. The provider is incredibly adaptive and always manages 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 highly impressive, and their themes are wildly original. The games from this Swedish company have come to the best online casinos and are here to stay. Players especially like the high payouts on offer from some of its games. 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!