Old-school casinos are legitimately concerned about the threat of online competitors. You might already guess why: They’re convenient, can offer more generous bonuses (lower overheads), and the games on offer are just as good as anything you’d find on the Las Vegas Strip. For many, they’re even better.
But this step up in quality is not down to the online operators, at least not directly. You can pour as much money into advertising but if your product sucks, it won’t pay off. To deliver an outstanding player experience, casinos don’t develop the games in-house, but put deals in place with software development companies. These are the true backbone of today’s iGaming industry. Here’s our compiled list of key aspects you need to know about them:
Why Software Developers Matter in iGaming
Online casino software is what sets the tone for the quality of a given operator. It’s not the customer service, the fancy website design, or the name/reputation of the casino (well, it can be big welcome bonuses but they only last for so long).
When it comes right down to it, an online casino is as good as its game developer. If you’re offering duds rather than AAA titles, you’re not going to do well, even if you’re a Bally’s or Ladbrokes.
Signing up to a casino is not only about gambling with an iGaming provider, but you’re committing to playing games released by a set of developers. They can vary hugely in both variety and quality, so you may want to look into which companies your potential casino uses. BTW for online poker rooms this is different: They might have a software provider, but the largest operators have their in-house developers.
What Are Some New Games & Exciting Trends
What keeps players coming back for more isn’t just about the existing library of games. Online casino software developers also need to make sure they have their finger on the pulse, releasing new games on a regular bas and both driving and keeping up with the latest technological developments in the games industry. Online space for gaming in general is getting extremely crowded, and some traditional forms of games and gambling have been sharply declining as new formats are being introduced to consumers.
Augmented Reality (AR)
In 2023, the most recognizable usage of AR is in Pokemon Go, a game that absolutely exploded in 2016. The game takes place within your surroundings, enhancing the world you live in.
However, the recent buzz is all about augmented reality casinos, a technology that effectively blurs the lines between the ‘real world’ and the virtual one.
This is how it can work in an online casino environment, for example: slots, roulette, poker, not on your screen, but in your living room. The cards are on your table, virtually. The dealer, somewhere thousands of miles away, is simultaneously in your living room. It sounds a bit surreal, yet it might not take long before all kinds of poker players or roulette fans have the ability to try it out.
Live Dealer Games
This one delivers what punters want, a human touch coupled with an improved technological experience. Land-based casinos always felt they had a trump card against online competitors: they were able to offer interaction with people, not a virtual machine. And as humans, we’re wired for connection, even when gambling.
But now, online casinos have fully-fledged live dealer games on offer. The dealer is shown via a video link, running so smoothly that it delivers a similar experience as the ‘real thing’. They even crack jokes and players can chat to the dealer, just like an in-person experience.
These are the types of changes that online casino software is responsible for. With the level of investment in the industry, it’s not a surprise there’s plenty of research and development money going into driving new games, new trends, all with a view to retaining and drawing in new players.
Who Are Some Key Online Casino Software Providers
Of course, there’s not just one single company in the mixer. This is a competitive environment, with new developers entering the field all the time. It’s an exciting time to be involved with online casino software, and these are some of the biggest players on the market:
They started as a small upstart studio in 1999, and are now one of the largest providers on the market. They have gobbled up competitors along the way through takeovers, including the respected Ash Gaming, and the company is primarily known for its killer slot titles. You can read the complete history of Playtech here.
This company has been around since the 1970s, providing the tech behind some of the most famous slots out there. If you’re a casino veteran, you’ve undoubtedly played a few spins on Wheel of Fortune and/or Cleopatra.
Another name that’s been in the industry for a long time, having been founded in 1994. This company was one of the first to leverage IP, Disney-style. For example, they have titles like Terminator 2, Jurassic Park, and Game of Thrones (hopefully your slot experience ends better than the show’s unfortunate finale!).
These companies are just a few of the providers who make it possible for online casinos to run a lucrative business. Without their innovative contributions and countless titles, online operators simply wouldn’t be able to compete with land-based casinos effectively. Or perhaps, at all – or maybe there would be just a few online casinos who have the resources to develop their own games.
Bearing this in mind, modern slots and games available from the best online casino software companies can be extremely addictive. Don’t play with more than what you can afford to lose, and gamble responsibly.