It’s been talked about, including on this site, just how much evolution there has been in the iGaming (online casino) industry over the last decade or so. Since Microgaming released the first officially-branded Tomb Raider slot in 2004, online casino operators have looked to fill their sites with games with bold graphics, gameplay and special features. As we move through the 2020s, top sites will host 100s of unique titles, many of which will surprise those who have preconceptions of casino games.
But, as you might expect, casinos do not create their own games. They must licence games from developers, some of whom are better than others. Without certain software wizards creating innovative games, and online casino would be like a PlayStation existing in the absence of developers like Rockstar Gaming, Blizzard, EA, Namco, Tencent, and so on.
Just as with video games, the discussion of the best developers is a subjective matter. However, we believe the following five companies to be the best in the world right now:
One of the most popular developers hosted at Mr Green’s online casino, Swedish developer NetEnt has always been a bit of a rule-breaker, never following the trends but creating its own. It created Starburst, arguably the most popular online casino game in history, and other classic titles like Dead or Alive, Gonzo’s Quest and Jack Hammer. More recently, it has moved into branded games like Jumanji and Guns N’ Roses. While innovative gameplay is what attracts most players to NetEnt games, we would argue that its in-house design team is the best on the planet; by a considerable distance.
While NetEnt is firmly established, we would put Blueprint Gaming firmly in the up-and-coming category. There are two reasons that Blueprint has caught the eye in the last few years. The first is the release of some of the most sophisticated games on the market. For example, the Goonies slot, based on the popular 80s movie, is stuffed full of bonus features and fun side games. You could play for days and still not discover all the games and special features. Secondly, Blueprint had the foresight to embrace Megaways technology (see below), one of the hottest trends in modern casino gaming.
Big Time Gaming (BTG)
The selection of games created by BTG pales in comparison to others in this list. In fact, most casinos would host fewer than a dozen games from the Australian developer. However, it has an ace up its sleeve – the creation of Megaways games. These ultra-volatile games have caught the imagination of players across the globe, and BTG has benefited from licensing the technology to other developers like Blueprint. Other BTG games, like Lil’ Devil and Danger: High Voltage, have also become smash hits for BTG. If there was ever a developer that put quality over quantity, it’s Big Time Gaming.
Microgaming boasts that it was the world’s first developer of online casino software, and the first games for internet gambling. Today, it’s got the biggest library of games of any developer, many of which have become all-time classics. Thunderstruck II, Game of Thrones, Avalon and several of others have kept Microgaming at the forefront of players’ minds in the last decade. However, the jewel in its crown is undoubtedly Mega Moolah – the game with the largest prize in online history. A progressive jackpot game, the top prize regularly tops eight-figure sums.
Playtech has arguably mastered the branded slot game better than any of its competitors. It is now regarded as the world’s largest casino solutions provider, and it has signed deals with companies like Warner Bros. to create big-budget casino games. Some may argue that Playtech has been left behind while other developers have embraced new concepts like Megaways, but it’s still a maker of quality games and deserves its spot among the best developers in the world.