Online casino games may be magical, but they don’t just appear out of thin air. Somebody has to create these enthralling games that we love to play on our phones and lap-tops, and there are dozens of game providers based all over the world who do just that. Most online casinos will have a relationship with one or more game providers, and you will be able to see a list of which providers service which casinos.
Once you’ve been playing for a while you will soon start to recognize your favourite game developers. The Casino Gorilla has a habit of falling head over heels for one developer, only to develop a new love affair with another one the next week. That’s just how gorillas are. Read on to find out his current faves and discover some new names to look out for.
Best online casino game providers
Not every game provider is the same, and you will soon discover that the quality and quantity of their output differs wildly from one developer to the next. Although there are dozens of developers out there, you will soon come to recognize the biggest names once you are signed up with a couple of casinos.
The Casino Gorilla has had plenty of favourites over the years, but for 2018 he has chosen NetEnt as the number one casino games provider. Here is a list of some of the other big-name developers to look out for:
- NextGen Gaming
- Play`n Go
- Williams Interactive
- Betsoft Gaming
- Genesis Gaming
- Elk Studios
- Yggdrasil Gaming
- 1X2 Gaming
- Leander Games
Best live casino providers
Live casinos have grown hugely in the past number of years as improvements in technology have allowed more people to access them. Playtech were the first to come up with live casino rooms in the mid 2000s, but other developers have taken up the baton since those early days. Now just about every online casino worthy of the name will have their own live casino rooms offering a selection of quality games to their players.
Live dealer casinos bring players the perfect blend of real casino atmosphere from the comfort of home. Cards are dealt and wheels spun by real life professionally trained dealers, normally working from a custom-designed live dealer studio.
Players can place bets just as they would when playing a random number generated animated game, but here you get to see the action unfold in front of your eyes. Cards can be read using scanning devices which allow the interaction between the physical cards and the virtual versions on your screen.
Let’s take a quick look at three of the biggest live dealer game providers operating today:
NetEnt Live Casino
NetEnt are one of the biggest names in the industry, and they provide a range of casino games outside of live dealer varieties. NetEnt Live produces high quality live dealer games, as you would expect from such a famous and highly-respected name.
These include blackjack and roulette of course, as well as baccarat, casino hold ‘em and Caribbean stud poker. You will find NetEnt live dealer games in many casinos, including Dream Vegas, Casumo and BGO.
Extreme Live Gaming
Unlike NetEnt, Extreme Live Gaming has focused solely on the live casino market since its inception in 2013. This developer was purchased by Pragmatic Play from Novomatic in 2018 and aims to set new standards when it comes to live online gaming.
Extreme games include blackjack, roulette and baccarat. Extreme were the first to introduce side bets to live roulette games, and you will find their tables on casinos like Slots Magic, Leo Vegas and Come On!
Evolution Gaming have been around since 2006 and have picked up numerous awards for their live casino products. Their wide range of games includes blackjack, baccarat, roulette, hold ‘em poker, caribbean stud poker, 3 card poker and the Dream Catcher wheel of fortune game.
Evolution Gaming are widely regarded as one of – if not the – top live casino game providers today. You will find their games at Leo Vegas, Mr Green, William Hill, Casumo and many other respected online casinos.
Best casino platforms
Casino platforms have been developed to allow faster loading times when you access online casinos via your browser. These platforms aggregate games from a number of developers into one player to make it easier for online casinos to offer a range of different games from different providers.
Importantly, these casino platforms are good for the players as they allow instant play via the browser with no delays. Two of the most famous casino platforms are Quickfire and NYX Gaming
NYX Gaming was recently purchased by Scientific Gaming to expand the range of products on offer from the latter. The NYX Open Gaming System allows access to more than 2,000 games (over 600 on mobile) and won awards for the Best Casino Platform Supplier at the North American EGR Awards in 2017.
NYX supplies 80% of New Jersey operators and Paf is just the latest online casino to come on board with this award-winner.
Quickfire is a platform which was developed by industry giant developer Microgaming. Initially this platform only featured Microgaming titles, but it has expanded to take on games from other developers like NetEnt, Quickspin and Rabcat, to name but a few.
This platform is used by some of the biggest online casinos around, including bet365, Mr Green, Betsson and Royal Vegas.
Online casino game providers’ history
Online casinos have been around since the mid 1990s, with Microgaming the first game provider to develop a functional online casino. Microgaming, along with Net Entertainment and Playtech have long been at the forefront of this developing industry. NetEnt have produced some of the all-time classic slot games like Gonzo’s Quest and Starburst.
Meanwhile Playtech were the first ones to come up with online live dealer casino rooms. These three names remain the biggest of the bunch, but new developers like Yggdrasil and Thunderkick are challenging the old order with their creative and innovative contributions to the gaming world.
Progressive jackpot game providers
Progressive jackpot slots are the big daddies of the online casino world, attracting players in their droves thanks to those massive prizes on offer. Depending on the game and the provider the jackpot at stake could range from around £100 up to millions of pounds. There are plenty of game providers offering hefty jackpots, with games like Millionaire Genie from Random Logic and Millionaires Club from Cryptologic with jackpots which have extended well into the millions.
Playtech have created some monster jackpot slots like the Age of the Gods series and Jackpot Giant. However, the biggest of them all have to be Microgaming and NetEnt. Mega Moolah from Microgaming holds the world record for the biggest ever jackpot payout, but Mega Fortune is only slightly behind in second place. Games like Arabian Nights, Major Millions and Hall of Gods further demonstrate why these two providers are the biggest in the business.
Mobile games at online casinos
The Casino Gorilla is old enough to remember a time when a mobile phone was one with an extra long extension cord. Times have changed since the big guy was a little guy, and today’s smartphones are a world away to what was available just a generation ago. Casino game developers have not been slow to keep up with the smartphone revolution. Today more casino players use their phones over any other device to play real money games, and developers create new games first for mobiles and then for computer screens.
Classic games like Starburst have been updated to allow for a touch-screen element to enhance mobile gaming, and many others have followed suit. We are living in a mobile world where people want to be able to play the best games no matter where they are.
Future of online casino games
The Casino Gorilla has a wise head on those enormous shoulders, and if there is one person to ask about the future of online casino games then it’s that giant hairy ape-person currently demolishing a bucket full of bananas. Technology is the driving force when it comes to online casino gaming and has been for the last few years.
Leaps in tech have seen casino slot machines change from a 19th century machine with spinning drums full of playing cards to the incredible online video slots we play on our smartphones today. It has allowed for live streaming casino games and linked progressive jackpot slots.
With that in mind, we can be sure that tech will define the new boundaries of online casino gaming. For sure virtual reality headsets will have a role to play, allowing for an immersive casino gaming experience as close as possible to actually visiting a physical casino. The Pokemon GO craze showed the power of augmented reality which has yet to be harnessed in casino play.
And of course we expect game designers to push the limits of what is possible to create bigger and better casino games. Even the Casino Gorilla doesn’t know exactly what the future has in store, but we can be sure that there is a bright future ahead for casino gaming.