Size, they say, is not everything, but in the slots world size is a good (and perhaps inevitable) sign.
A big company is more likely to be legitimate and to have proved its worth. And it’s getting harder and harder to find smaller companies as they are snaffled up by the giants as soon as they reach any sort of profile.
At the end of 2020, NetEnt, certainly, one of the giants of the slots world was on the verge of being taken over by Evolution Gaming, the undisputed king of the live casino world. Bigger keeps getting bigger!
So who are the biggest and best slots providers in the world? Sadly, it’s not possible to come up with a definition of “biggest” that is easy to apply to what we know about slot companies, but we’re looking for major movers with lots of titles.
1 – IGT
International Gaming Technology has the history, size, and stock market listing to make its claims to be a giant pretty concrete. The company was founded in 1980, has an HQ in London and a stock market listing ($17.27 when we last looked), and several subsidiaries, including regional offshoots like IGT Australia and WagerWorks. Among their biggest titles are Cleopatra, Mistress of Egypt, Hex Breaker 3, Skeleton key, and the enormous Da Vinci Diamonds series.
2 – Microgaming
Microgaming claim to have made the world’s first online casino, and they’ve not wasted any of the time since that mid-90s landmark was passed, churning out slot after slot as well as behind-the-curtain software and systems that keep your favourite casino site running. Based in the Isle of Man, a sort of UK off-shore territory, the company’s biggest title is nearly a teenager. Mega Moolah is one of the world’s best-known progressives, and since its launch in 2009 has made a ton of millionaires and broken the world record for slots pay-outs at least once. This company is nothing if not versatile, and their other hits include the likes of movie tie-ins like Game of Thrones and series like Immortal Romance.
3 – NetEnt
NetEnt are in the takeover churn at the moment, but we’re confident that this Swedish brand will exist for a while yet. The company is massive and commands enormous shares of the world slots market: around a fifth of the world market, and nearly a third in Europe. They’re rated as the number one slots company in the UK and their hits – from Starburst and Gonzo’s Quest to Narcos and Koi Princess – are everywhere you look.
4 – Playtech
Here is a company that have no doubt that they are the biggest in the world – at least the largest “online gaming software supplier”. They range across the gambling industry, including sports betting, bingo (via Virtue Fusion), currency and stock trading, and more. And slots! The company has done its fair share of buying and selling off smaller operators so it’s quite possible you’ve played Playtech games without ever knowing it (QuickTime are a Playtech firm for example). Under their own name, you’ll find the likes of Buffalo Blitz, Epic Ape, the enormous Age of the Gods franchise and a load of casino and live casino games too.
5 - Novomatic
Novomatic is another slot giant that you may not be aware of. The company makes tons of online slots, but its history is in land-based games, which have helped it grow from its Austrian base to become a globe-straddling giant with more than 22,000 staff and offices in 50 countries. The slots business is often handled through subsidiaries, and the company has branded off-shoots like Octavian Game Technology, Impera Line, Cool Fire, and NovoLine. Among the relatively few big hits listed under its own name are Star Nova, Prized Panda, Ice Queen and Asian Fortunes. Novomatic games often hit big in land-based casinos before being converted for online use.
6 – Aristocrat
If you know Australian games you know Aristocrat. They’re big Down Under, and the US and they’ve been making the reels spin since the 1950s – an enormous length of time in the world of online slots. Like many of these companies, they are a mesh of brands and subsidiaries. The digital world is served by Plarium, Big Fish Games (a free-to-play company) and digitisation of land games by Product Madness. Among their big slot titles are: Queen of the Nile I/II, Big Red, 5 Dragons, and Wild Panda.
7 – Scientific Games
Another giant hiding in plain sight, SG or Scientific Games Corporation of Las Vegas, can lay claim to some of the biggest hits in slots history without you even realising it! The company has getting on for 10,000 employees around the world, and among its off-shoots and component parts is the legendary Bally company. Under their own banner you’ll find big titles like 88 Fortunes, Dancing Drums, and Kronos Unleashed, while also put out many titles, including Tetris Super Jackpots, Fu Dao Le, and Ra and the Scarab Temple.
8 – Amaya
Have you heard of Amaya? Maybe not, but the company is in fact the world’s leading supplier of games for online casino sites. Not all of those games are slots, however. Amaya first hit the big time when they snapped up Poker Stars, the leading poker room, but they also have plenty of digital slots among their portfolio of titles. Among big hitters from the 2001-founded company are Aladdin’s Legacy, Jade Idol, and Pirate Plunder.
These guys are the biggest in the business? Are they the best? That’s for you to decide, but you can be sure that with all of these companies’ games you’ll be playing legitimate software that gives you a fair, high-quality experience, and that’s worth a lot in the world of online gambling. Make sure you play their games at licensed, safe sites, and make sure you play them safely!
The slots world is forever changing, and with NetEnt snapped up – after they bought Red Tiger just last year – who’s to say what this list will look like in a year’s time.