You know all those excellent slots you just love to play week after week, or the online casino software which keeps the roulette wheel spinning, or poker cards being dealt? We have news for you: it doesn’t just appear overnight.
In fact, there is a lot of effort and skill which goes into producing the casino software we all use when playing our favourite games. From the interface of a website to the clever twists and turns of a video slot, there are casino games software companies which have invested blood, sweat, and tears into making that experience as engaging as smooth as possible.
These companies are, of course, software game developers. To be more precise, they are known as casino and gaming software developers. The quality, ambition, and final product of each developer varies, as do the online casinos which turn to them in order to provide an entertaining and pleasurable experience for players. Some players even have their own favourite developer and turn to their games first and foremost.
Top UK Casino Software Providers
- Play n GO
- Reel Time Gaming
- Big Time Gaming
- Elk Studios
- Blueprint Gaming
- Evolution Gaming
- Red Tiger
- Pragmatic Play
- Slingo Originals
You probably know the brand of your computer or phone. And you probably know the system it runs on – Windows, Android, iOS, whatever. But behind the scenes are dozens of other companies who provide bits and pieces of machinery that keep things going smoothly.
The same is true of casino sites, so:
What is an online casino software provider?
Casinos are among the most heavily branded sites on the internet. They’re also among the most advertised. If you watch any football around the world you’ll have seen dozens of online gambling logos running around the pitch.
That’s fair enough. But rather than thinking of these big brands as gaming companies you should think of them as more like a department store.
And like department stores they carry products from all sorts of other companies.
The technical stuff probably won’t interest you too much, but it’s important that things work. You will want to see good quality banking and payment providers, but you probably don’t care too much about a whole load of other behind the scenes operations.
It’s games that get players excited, and gaming providers are the names that casino sites are most likely to push on their front pages.
This too takes in a range of company types. Some games are branded with the names of companies who act as distributors in the way that record companies and publishers used to aggregate and sell talented musicians and writers.
Some companies go even further than that and sell a whole system. This might include games, and all the payment and membership software needed to run it, which is then left to the owner to brand and market. It’s not dissimilar to the way McDonald’s and other franchise restaurants work.
Players often like these big brands – like they like chain restaurants – because they offer a guaranteed level of safety and security while allowing players to pick a site that they can really identify with.
But there are swings and roundabouts. This industry architecture can mean that the image of a diverse and varied industry is a little bit of a chimaera. You can visit a dozen sites and play the same games and use the same systems every time.
There is still competition, but that relies on informed consumers who shop around, so make sure you do that, not just between games but between gaming systems and software providers.
Baccarat is the Rolls Royce of casino games, the go-to choice of many high-rollers and the most sophisticated casino visitors.
You can enjoy a wonderful baccarat experience online too these days.
You’ll see excellent versions of the game from NetEnt, who supply a lot of big names, including Leo Vegas (who also use Play ‘N Go software, which shows a diversity that’s encouraging). IGT also offer baccarat, and you can check them out at several casino sites.
Video Poker software
Poker is the game that has resisted online adaptation most stubbornly. To play poker effectively you really need a group of people. But even against algorithms, it’s a fundamentally good game, and excellent versions of the game, marketed as video poker, have been produced with a great deal of success. In Australia, “pokies” are the main form of cabinet machine gambling, and the term has come to cover the whole slots industry.
You’ll find a wide variety of video poker software, most of it offering a large number of versions of one of the most diverse card games in the gambling world.
Among the best producers of video poker software are Cryptologic, Real Time Gaming, and Microgaming, all of whom also offer many other forms of online gambling.
Because it’s pretty much the simplest way you can gamble, bingo has a long online history. It tends to exist in a slightly separate world to slots and casino games because of its off-line reputation as a game that is most enjoyed by older women.
Bingo’s just as exciting as any other game of chance though, and the best software providers usually provide an all-in-one solution that includes chat rooms and slots that you can play as mini-games while you wait for the balls to fall.
These developers often run their own network of sites, so signing up at one may sign up at them all and cost you a bonus later down the line.
The giants are Dragonfish, GameSys, IGT, Microgaming and Cozy.
Keno is essentially a Far Eastern version of a lotto game. It’s very random, and very compelling, and very simple to play.
Its massive popularity in Asian markets is starting to spread worldwide as the Internet continues to shrink the world in all ways. There are a number of variants of the keno game, and it’s one – that despite its apparent simplicity – that rewards study.
Keno can be played as a simulation or in a live-dealer situation. Among the biggest and best keno software providers are Ezugi (who specialise in live games), 1x2Gaming (including Keno Kick Off), NetEnt (makers of Bonus Keno), and Microgaming.
The online slots market is the biggest and liveliest part of the online gaming business. The slot has been automated from its first day – back in 1895 – and all that has changed is the mechanisms by which the reels are sent spinning.
There are hundreds (maybe thousands) of slots developers. The industry is trending towards consolidation, with a number of larger companies that often licence games from smaller design studios.
Among the giants of the business are NetEnt, Microgaming, IGT, and legacy companies who provided old-fashioned cabinet games in casinos like Bally, and Barcrest, who are branded as Scientific Games online.
Among the leading smaller companies are Yggdrasil and ELK Studios, but look out for many more.
Because it’s played against a dealer – the house – Blackjack works brilliantly as a mechanised game. The small-scale setting also means it’s cost-effective for casinos to offer it as a live dealer game.
The simplicity of the game architecture doesn’t stop Blackjack giving players a rich playing and gambling experience whether they play against a computer programme or a real-life dealer.
Blackjack is a must-have for a casino, and all of the big names are represented in the roll call of blackjack software providers. NetEnt supply some of the best blackjack sites. Realistic Software supply many big casinos, and Play ‘N Go blackjack is also well represented on the market.
The click of the ball in the wheel is the archetypal sound of the casino, and you can hear a great many versions of it online.
Alongside choosing between live games and simulators you will likely face a choice between European (more generous to the player), French (even more generous), and American (less generous) games. Make sure you know the deal before you sit down at a virtual table.
The game is simple, but betting can take a while to get your head around so read up with a good roulette guide first.
You’ll see these names all around the net: World Gaming, Random Logic, Playtech, Microgaming, NetEnt, WagerWorks and many more.
Top UK Casino Software Providers:
Below, we take a look at the most well-respected UK casino software developers in the business today.
UK players will recognise Microgaming as an online casino software developer of the highest quality. With almost 900 games under their belt, the Isle of Man-based company has seen it all and been around for what seems like forever. To be more precise, they have been doing their thing since 1994. The casino games software giants – widely regarded as the best in the online casino software sphere – claim to have invented the first online casino software.
These days fans will find their awesome products and games feature in the very best land-based and online casinos around the world. Online is where they reign. A typical online casino which is powered by Microgaming is usually packed full of quality software. Games such as high-class slots, roulette, blackjack, poker, live dealer games and many more are available to play instantly or via their downloadable software.
As trailblazers of online casino software, they do move with discernible confidence, and this is no surprise given their status as one of the absolute masters of online casino software development. Where would the online casino industry without Microgaming? UK players would certainly miss their craft.
This extraordinary company has become even better known in the last decade, as they are responsible for introducing mega jackpots to online casinos, among other key features which continue to earn them huge praise for their efforts.
What can we say about NetEnt that has not already been said before? This developer is typically among the pack leaders of online casino providers. This is as NetEnt is synonymous with quality. With tremendous graphics, intriguing plotlines, and games designed with nothing left to the imagination, NetEnt certainly deserves its place among the online gaming elite.
NetEnt specialises in supplying hundreds of online casinos with its superlative-earning software and collection of games. The straightforward nature and high-playability of their titles mean for hours and hours of fun in front of your laptop, computer, or mobile device. In the modern age, there is an abundance of ways to enjoy this trailblazing software.
Spellbinding, interesting, and unquestionably engaging, NetEnt’s creations are undoubtedly a major part of what makes online casinos the playgrounds of many keen slots and casino aficionados. Big on style, colour, innovation and bringing characters to life, the NetEnt brand always indicates an interesting road ahead for players.
As it stands, NetEnt’s portfolio incorporates hundreds of motion picture, music and TV-themed slots and games which are currently accessible to play on a wide number of devices. Working around the clock to push their way to even more inspirational levels, their suite of recreations develops titles to capture the imagination of even the most nonchalant player.
UK players may be pleasantly surprised to learn that Sweden’s online software kings, Play’n Go, are directly responsible for many of the games they love. Started by a group of consultants and tech-heads, the brains behind the operation created a company which came to be regarded as crucial to the online casino industry.
The software the company are known to produce is absolutely outstanding. The company has its history as far back as 1994, which may not seem like a long time ago to most, but it certainly is for an online casino developer. What we like about Play’n Go is that they stand out from their competitors – not just for their work in developing software – but that they are aiming to be the best in the business, not just the biggest developer on the planet.
Their efforts have led to class results and what is widely regarded as simply game-changing software is underpinned by a genuine concern for how players will receive their games. As such, Play n’Go has become the hallmark of sorts for casinos and clients all around the world. Players in the UK have a lot of respect for Play n’Go. The company is simply one of the best in the online casino software realm. Constantly evolving and wowing, there can be no doubting this company’s place in the industry.
Playtech is an outstanding software developer which should be known to many UK players. For those who don’t know, Playtech is essentially the driving force of a percentage of the largest players in the iGaming industry. These crafty software developers have come to be recognized as one of the go-to names in the online casino industry as a result. It has been well over 15 years that they have been producing solutions to the online casino software industry in pretty convincing fashion.
Playtech effectively promises superior quality when it comes to the run of their games and software. It is no wonder that players have been enjoying this company’s product via download, instant play, live dealer and mobile features for over a decade. Those with a love of the movies – or comic books – will be impressed by the wide range of games based on some of the most beloved franchises. It is not just in slots or casinos games where Playtech’s mark can be felt: their reach expands to sports betting, bingo, lottery, poker and many more areas.
Playtech still continues to ask some challenging questions to the rest of the players in the industry. In addition, they have some awesome games to show for their efforts.
Another European online betting software developer which UK players should recognise is Betsoft. The company can attribute their fame to their excellent 3D video slots which are industry-leading when the company is at their best. These games have never been as popular among players, on account of their trailblazing graphics, ridiculously meticulous production values and engaging features which keep slots players happy.
You may think that the company is exclusive to slots, but that is not the case. Many can often overlook the fact that Betsoft Gaming produces a litany of casino games, including roulette, blackjack, craps, and even video poker, and keno, too. Much like many of its competitors, Betsoft tends to dominate among a large number of the foremost online casinos around the world.
There is an argument that Betsoft is one of the main reasons why the need for constant improvement is so pronounced in the online casino software. This is highly unlikely to change any time soon. Given the company’s propensity to give fans what they want, many will agree that they are certainly in the same tier as some of their competitors when it comes to positive reaction and player satisfaction. For players, this is never anything less than a great thing.
REEL TIME GAMING (RTG)
Reel Time Gaming has been the provider of quality games to the gambling industry for a number of years. The team is comprised of a number of software developers, game designers, artists and architects. They have 20+ years in the industry and are renowned as being a boutique developer with a solid range of games.
Within RTG’s catalogue are a number of slots which online players and those who frequent betting terminals will recognise. Mermaid Queen, 7 Seas Pirates, Eye of Horus, and many more are testaments to the developer’s design and commitment to producing top-notch slots which captivate players from around the world.
No one slot tends to be the same with these guys. Although they may not have the budget which the bigger developers have, they do well with what they have and really make an impression.
Quickspin has converted a huge amount of fans on account of its innovative designs, and its smart Swedish style and conviction. The slots which Quickspin are known to have captivated fans ever since the company opened its doors. From the UK to Australia, there are a number of fans who are keen on this company’s product. Given the skill the developers at Quickspin are renowned for, slots enthusiasts and players of all kind have had some pretty special things to say about the company.
Quickspin shows that the right planning and talent to make things work can get you far in the world of online casino games development. The company does go a long way to ensuring that their emphasis on providing an all-around casino experience is well and truly embraced by the players who come to play their games. Quickpsin is certainly a player-friendly company with a difference.
Yggdrasil’s software and games have really caught the attention of players from all around the world. Their design, playability, and imaginative themes really stand out in the world of casino software design. They do everything to make sure that the software and games they design are more than just up to scratch, leaving their fingerprints of quality and innovation to be recognized by anyone who is lucky enough to use them.
Yggdrasil can claim originality without having to go to extreme lengths, like some other companies out there. Visual excellence and vibrant colours punctuate a keen sense of adventure and catch the eye. Their games have a nice and warm welcoming quality to them and are good to look at, which is nice. A perfect example of this is the Double Dragons slot which includes a nice few features like falling symbols, stacked wilds and much, much more. Players love extras, and the big block symbols, cascading wins and the opportunity for huge prizes can only be a good thing, right?
Another game which catches the eye of this company is the Legend of the White Snake Lady. This game pays both ways, with the chance to double wins and land sticky wilds. Other games which are provided by the developer are also as popular as their highly-celebrated slots. Yggdrasil is also behind a number of scratchcard games, lotto express, 3D video keno games and live studio lotto, making their output pretty clinical when you think about it.
Blueprint Gaming, it can be argued, created the “blueprint” for many of the strategies online casino developers use these days. UK players may be surprised to know that the company’s roots stretch back to the 1950s, which is incredibly rich when compared to a high number of their competitors. There was no internet around back then, so the company’s work was focused on analogue games, but still, they are pretty much far and away the company with the most impressive legacy.
This old-school approach does not translate to their modern work, at least not in a bad way. Some of the company’s slots have become favourites on the market, given their quirky and original design. Blueprint Gaming has many cool innovations and advancements which are more in line with the modern age.
Casino Software Developers – In Conclusion
Players can only celebrate the number of high-quality online casino software developers which are currently operating these days in the online casino sphere. Year after year, it seems that there are more and more developments and advancements out there for casino enthusiasts to enjoy, and it is only made possible by the big players putting in the work.