Online Casino Software Providers
Your favourite games from Avalon to Zeus
The online casinos you see today are significant improvements of the earlier versions that first appeared on the internet in the mid-1990s. They have evolved dramatically over the last decade and provide a gaming experience as close as possible to the atmosphere of brick-and-mortar casinos. Many of these improvements are to the casino software they use.
Online casino software has come a long way since its early days. They are basically the backbone of an online casino. Not only are they more advanced and sophisticated, but also offers far better graphics and sound effects. The software is typically user-friendly and has additional features and improved functionality to offer you an excellent online casino experience. It is no secret that the foundation of online casinos is the quality of technology behind it!
Without big names like Playtech, Net Entertainment and Microgaming, there probably would not be online casinos. But now, with a wide range of online casino software providers offering countless games to fulfill your gambling needs, how do you know which ones offer the best possible experience? This page talks about the top software providers and the business model used in the online casino industry.
Types of Online Casino Software
When thinking of games, most players want to start playing right away and are less into the technical details of the respective gaming software. However there are two main types of online casino software available, which operate entirely different.
Download Software for Online Casinos
This is the first type of software that has been originally created in the early years of casino gaming. First generation internet casinos offered the player the option of downloading and installing the software directly on their home computers. Even today many casinos are offering this option, as there’s still demand for it, especially among the more mature players. Downloading is simple and it only takes minutes to install and run the software.
- Log in whenever you wish
- play from the safety of your own computer
- Enjoy an excellent user experience
- Less loading time
- Regular updates required
- Anti Virus program has to be up to date at all times
- Not all games available as download version
Instant Play Software for Online Casinos
That’s the norm today: play immediately and without any download required directly in your browser. Most sites are optimized for the standard browsers like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Yahoo or Bing so you can enjoy your game right after accessing the casino site and clicking on the respective title in their games section. The pre-form of today’s modern instant play technology were Flash based games which then slowly disappeared and html5 technology took over. The change of user behavior to mobile preference plays a big role in this development.
- Use on a variety of devices, from desktop to mobile and laptop
- No storage needed
- Try out a large number of online casinos
- Full games selection
- Strong Internet connection needed
- Loading times can be longer
From Mega Moolah to Playboy
A leader and pioneer of the online casino industry, Microgaming holds the distinction of releasing the first casino in 1994. Since then, Microgaming has created more than 800 online casino games and over 500 game variants, which are available to be played online, on the go and in real time. Some of its most popular games include Playboy, Avalon, Mega Moolah, Thunderstruck, Game of Thrones, Roulette and Blackjack Gold Series, among others. The online gaming software provider has been honored with many prestigious gambling awards, including the Player’s Choice Award as well as awards for Mobile product, and yes, even innovation. The old dog does have some new tricks up its sleeve with games like Wicked Tales: Magic Red.
Now back in Canada! Net Entertainment, also commonly referred to as NetEnt, is one of the leading online casino software providers whose games are used by some of most trusted and best online casino operators. Its award-winning online gaming system, known as NetEnt’s Casino Module, comprises of more than 200 popular casino gaming titles, with each having high entertainment value and offering one of the best online casino experiences.
Some well-known NetEnt games include Mega Fortune, Blackjack Pro, Starburst, Red Dog Progressive, Halls of Gods, and more. One of their most prominent successes till date has been non-downloadable casino software. The software they developed was originally based on the Java platform, but has now become flash-based. It is understood, NetEnt is responsible for one of the biggest innovations in the online casino industry.
From Age of Gods to Gladiator
Playtech has been in the online casino scene since 1999, building a very solid reputation during this time. The software provider is renowned for creating some of the most popular slots in the online casino industry, including the renowned Marvel Series slots that are based on different superheroes from Marvel’s comic books. Some of its games include, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man and the Age of Gods series of slot games. The online gambling software company and it’s casino studio partners have more than 500 online casino games to choose from, each with perfect sounds, excellent animations and high quality graphics. Enjoy a seamless gaming experience with top-notch security and a thrilling gaming atmosphere.
From Dream Catcher to Live Roulette
Evolution may only do one thing, Live Casino gaming, but they do it so well they have effectively created a monopoly on the genre. Their Live Dealer casino games range from Blackjack, Craps, Roulette and Baccarat to plenty of exciting variations of each. There is also Dream Catcher and a variety of other games. They are constantly adding to the fun and pretty much every online casino uses them. Chances are, if you are playing live dealer then you are probably playing with Evolution’s software. They recently won the multiple awards, including eGR’s Game of the Year Award, for their latest release, Lightning Roulette.
From Book of Dead to Fire Joker
Established in 2004, they are not exactly new kids on the block and with over 70 quality games to their credit, they are a solid provider. They have transitioned to mobile gaming much faster than the big players and all their games seamlessly play on phones and tablets as well as desktop. With some great themes and fast loading times their games are particularly enjoyable. PlayNGo have a long list of excellent titles including Viking Runecraft, Fire Joker and the Riche Wilde adventure series of slots like Book of Dead. Unlike other smaller developers they are a full service provider as they also have table games, video poker, scratch cards and bingo on offer.
From Boomanji to Sugar Pop
Betsoft were established in 1999 and have a good amount of classic games but they are perhaps known most for their Slots3 games. These games were the first to truly take advantage of modern gaming as they developed games that almost literally burst out of your screen. Delivering a more immersive experience, the 3D slots have influenced a lot of the other developers you see on this page. Betsoft also made a quick transition to mobile in 2012 and now all of their games are very mobile friendly. Popular Betsoft title include the Slotfather, At the Copa, Fafa Twins, Sugar Pop and, of course, Boomanji slot games.
From Vikings to Spina Colada
Relatively new to the iGaming industry, Yggdrasil has quickly made a name for themselves. With their 50th game due to be released soon, they are growing at a steady clip. They have won multiple awards ranging from Rising Star and Innovator of the Year to Supplier of the Year. With phenomenal graphics and responsive game-play, they are quickly becoming a force. Known for their dark-themed headline Viking series of slot games but they do have a lot more like Reptoids and Spina Colada. They also have focused on mobile compatible games and developing exciting, new graphic laden content.
From Spinions to Second Strike
Quickspin has been around since 2012 and developed many excellent games until 2016 when they were acquired by Playtech. They are well known for delivering quality over quantity and the end result have been some very well done slot games. Case in point is the popularity of their games ranging from Spinions and Second Strike. As we mentioned with Playtech above, there are many casino developer studios that either partner with or are acquired by the larger providers and Quickspin is one of the latter. Even so, they still put out some great games.
From Turning Totems to Sunset Delight
Thunderkick also began in 2012, a great year for software provider startups. They have had the luxury of developing entirely in the mobile-focuses world we live in. All of their games have great graphics and play perfectly on the go. They are very well know for thinking outside the reels by developing game-play that breaks a lot of the old conventions. Case in point are games like Sunset Delight, which stacks ice cream cones, Turning Totems, where the reels don’t spin but the individual totem pieces do, and Bird on a Wire, where birds land on telephone wires.
The following software providers are not available to play online in Canada
Not Available in Canada due to their association with provincial gaming commissions, IGT are mostly known for their land based casino slot games. They do have some online games, all of which are classic games. Other than familiarity and nostalgia, IGT isn’t exactly a leader in the online gaming industry. The classic games they are known for include the Wheel of Fortune series of slot games, Cleopatra slot game, DaVinci Diamonds and Wolf Run.
SG Digital is a new software developer entity that is the result of Scientific Games acquiring many smaller suppliers. These include WMS Gaming, NYX, NextGen, and Bally. Teh online casino software properties are housed under the SG Digital brand while the land based casinos fall under the SG Gaming umbrella. Because of their land based games, SG Digital games are not available to Canadians due to the legal requirements that online casinos have no physical presence in Canada in order to be legal. Scientific Gaming are probably more well know for their land casino games but with titles from NYX and NextGen they do have some pretty good games available.
Also not available in Canada, Williams Interactive are another land based casino giant that also have online versions of their classics. This is a tried and true approach to getting land casino players to play online but this does not mean they are comparable to the top gaming providers. In 2013, they were acquired by Scientific Games and are now a subsidiary of SG Digital and SG Gaming.
NYX and NextGen
NYX is one of the original casino software suppliers established in 1999 and merged with fellow developer NextGen in 2011. The Swedish based team was then acquired by Scientifc Gaming and are now under the SG Digital conglomerate. Under the NYX Gaming group sub-brand are 1×2 Gaming, IronDog, Leap, Ainsworth, Chance Interactive, Big Time Gaming, Leander and more. The casino supplier industry has consolidated over the past decade with smaller studios being acquired by the big gaming houses.
Continuing with the theme of amalgamation in the online casino supplier industry brings us to Cryptologic and the Amaya gaming group. Cryptologic was started in the basement of the Rivkin brothers’ house in Toronto in 1995. The Canadian journey continued when they were bought by the Amaya Gaming group in 2012. The Amaya Group has since re-branded as the Stars Group and have both software and casino brands in house. You will best know them for their brands PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.
Casino Software Studios
The next big thing in casino gaming
Independent casino software studios are companies that create casino games for software providers. Studios may produce games exclusively for one software provider or they may have various providers they work with. Alternatively, studios may provide their games directly to online casinos.
Software studios are also creative hubs with a team of graphic designers, coders and specialized developers. Below we list some of the best casino software studios from around the world, along with who they work with and their very best games.
If you have played online casino games for a while, you may have heard of Stormcraft Studios – this is because they are one of the most popular software studios with hundreds of games under their belt.
Stormcraft Studios is an experienced software studio based in South Africa. The company is run by a group of veterans in the gaming industry and they produce games exclusively for Microgaming, one of the largest and best known casino software developers in the world. Working exclusively for one provider may appear to be limiting, but Microgaming is such a giant in the industry that Stormcraft is never lacking in workload.
Stormcraft is run on passion and a genuine interest for games, and that passion is evident in the excellent range of titles produced. Some of Stormcraft’s best games include Jungle Jim El Dorado, Game of Thrones online slot game, Immortal Romance online slot game and Tarzan among others. The team are whizzes at animation and many of their slot games have blockbuster movie themes.
Just for the Win
Just for the Win (JFTW) is considered as leaders in the world of online video slots. The company was only established in 2016, and thus, is one of the youngest software developers around. Despite its young age, Just for the Win has already built up an excellent name in the industry. This is mainly due to their high quality, cutting edge 3D animations, which is the reason why providers and casinos have been flocking to the young start-up.
JFTW pride themselves on three main principles: creativity, inspiration and professionalism- as listed on their official website.
Further to this, JFTW creates games for a range of admired software providers and casinos, such as Microgaming, Hero Gaming, Casumo and LeoVegas, just to name a few. JFTW also developed some truly fantastic titles such as Amazing Aztecs, Deco Diamonds and Lucky Links.
It is no doubt that Rabcat is a well-known name in the world of online casinos. They were established way back in 2001 and have produced many exciting games since then. Their head offices and studios are in Vienna, Austria.
Rabcat games are easy to spot as the quality of the characteristic 3D graphics are out of this world. But Rabcat doesn’t just do video slots, they also produce video poker games and other casino games. Rabcat offers support in a multitude of languages. The studios are also part of the Austrian lottery’s venture ‘win2day’.
Rabcat works exclusively with Microgaming and their Quickfire platform. The company has produced many games you may recognise, including Frozen Diamonds, River of Riches, Dragon’s Myth and Castle Builder. Rabcat excels in bringing original themes and ideas to life through the games that they produce.
Derivco is yet another casino software developer that is based in South Africa, with world class studios in Durban, Pretoria and Cape Town. Derivco has a massive studio with hundreds of employees that pride themselves in having some of the brightest minds in the business, producing fantastic games and great entertainment experiences. The Derivco team has over 20 years of experience in the industry and is looked to as a leader and highly respected software provider company.
Derivco creates games exclusively for Microgaming casinos, a mega force in the world of online casino games, and have created some of their most popular games to date.
ELK Studios is one of the casino software studios that flies under the radar, but should definitely not be underestimated. The Swedish company has received a number of industry awards and has many original features that sets it apart from competitors. ELK Studios specialises in mobile friendly games which are especially designed with mobile play in mind. With an increased number of mobile players, ELK Studios may become more popular with time.
Some of ELK Studios’ most loved games include Sam on the Beach; Bloopers; Poltava Flames of War; and The Lab: DJ Wild. The number of casinos that stock ELK Studio games is ever growing, but just a few of these casinos are Leo Vegas, Ikibu and Kaboo Casino.
Barcrest Game Studios
Barcrest Game Studios produces games for Scientific Gaming Interactive. Scientific Gaming Interactive is a group of software developers that produces amazing games. The company is involved with both Bally and Williams Interactive and has many years of experience in the industry. SG Interactive still maintains a feisty, start-up spirit, but draws knowledge from its wealth of experience.
The Barcrest studios are located in the UK, but SG has studios all over the world!
Some of Barcrest’s most popular games are Rainbow Riches, Soldier of Rome, Hula Nights, Snow Leopard and Boulder Bucks. Barcrest’s games can be found at dozens of online casinos and are always a popular feature among the online slot options.
1×2 Gaming prides itself in being an independent company with a unique perspective and outlook. This UK based studio is located in the techie hub of Brighton, known as Silicon Beach. Despite the company’s somewhat humble beginnings, it has an international presence. 1×2 Gaming was founded in 2002 and has continued to grow from strength to strength.
The software developer offers a wide variety of games and is a supplier of Virtual Football, casino games and general fixed odd gambling games. The virtual football games are probably the most popular of all of the studio’s creations, but slot titles such as Puppy Payday, Candy Cash, Kitty Cash, Under the Sea and Kickass, have also gained enormous traction. As far as slots go, 1×2 Gaming is known for their innovative themes and quirky style of graphics.
The company works with a number of well-known ventures, namely Solid Gaming, Groove Gaming and First Look Games.
Why Do Multiple Online Casino Brands Use the Same Software?
The online casino industry has evolved to the point where various aspects of the casino experience have been specialized. In particular, casino games have evolved beyond individual casinos making the games to dedicated companies and studios developing games for many casinos. If each casino had to make their own games we would have very little choices as the overhead to start a casino would be huge. You would need to employ a whole team of game creators for many months to be able to build up enough games to start a casino.
Nowadays, an online casino simply needs to partner with any casino software supplier in order to put together an exciting experience for the player. In the beginning, most casinos were single source software casinos like Microgaming casinos or Playtech casinos. There are still some of those today as the offerings from these giants are broad and well respected. However, partnering with one of these plus 10 to 15 other suppliers gives a much bigger and more diverse experience. This is one of the key differentiators in the online casino market today.