Most people know that the majority of casinos neither create nor run their own games. Instead they work with companies that provide gaming solutions, meaning that the games you play on your favourite online casino are being operated by a different entity altogether. That’s why you’ll often find games are available on numerous different platforms and aren’t exclusive to one particular casino or another. Here we’ll give you a little bit of information about NetEnt, one of the most successful and long-running of all gaming solution operators.
Founded in Scandinavia in 1996, the company’s full title is Net Entertainment and they are licensed in Malta. Whilst some gaming solutions companies set up their own casino in order to make use of their creations and increase their profit, NetEnt haven’t done that. Instead they made a conscious decision to focus solely on the games that they create in order to ensure that they’re the best that they can be. Their headquarters is in Sweden, though they also have offices in Malta and Gibraltar, in case you were wondering.
Though NetEnt has been in existence for more than twenty years, they’ve used this time to produce quality games rather than a vast quantity of them. You can always tell whether a company’s decision on games is the right one by how well punters receive them and players absolutely love those offered by NetEnt. The first proper game ever produced by them, Gonzo’s Quest, is about as popular today as it was when it was first released, which gives you some indication of the time and effort put in to producing the best games possible. Even games based on TV shows, such as their South Park offering, which you might think would have a short shelf-life, are still very much going strong.
NetEnt’s ethos is to spend time getting the games that they produce right, rather than to churn out a load of drivel just so that they can boast large numbers. As far as the company is concerned, two hundred exceptional games will give their customers fair greater value than a thousand mediocre ones. After all, what casinos want more than anything else is returning custom. Nothing brings people back to the table like enjoyment of the games that they’ve been playing. This ethos is reflected in the casinos that NetEnt work with; there aren’t necessarily loads of them, but the casinos that do turn to the company to run things behind-the-scenes are some of the biggest names around.
Coral, Ladbrokes, William Hill, BetVictor, Betway; these are just some of the names of companies that work closely with NetEnt when it comes to their online casinos. There is no greater statement of trust in a company’s work than the continued support of the industry’s biggest names. A lot of that is down to the fact that NetEnt has never allowed the fact that they only run a relatively small number of games to stop them from having a decent amount of variety within them. Designed and developed from the ground up, NetEnt don’t do template games that are merely a case of putting your own skin on top of. From licensed games like Aliens, Guns N’ Roses and the aforementioned South Park through to their own ideas, such as Gonzo’s Quest and Starburst, NetEnt does its best to live up to the company motto of ‘Better Gaming’.
Certain companies tend to split their games offering between instant play and download casino games. NetEnt have made a conscious decision not to offer download casinos, meaning that if you sign up to a casino to play some NetEnt games then you’ll know you can play all of them without having to download anything to your desktop computer. A significantly useful decision in a world of gaming on the go. Though they are moving towards HTML5 with their latest releases, the majority of NetEnt games are Flash-based. This isn’t a major issue, but it’s worth knowing if you regularly use a device that doesn’t allow Flash.
Numbers-wise, about three-quarters of the company’s two hundred plus games are slots or video slots. The rest of the games are made up of a fairly equal number of live table games and and standard instant play casino games. All of the usual can be found, so we’re talking about the likes of roulette, blackjack, mahjong, and more. As we’ve already intimated, if you’re hoping to play a table game of pretty much any mainstream variety or a slot with depth of story then NetEnt will have you covered.
In 2011, perhaps foreseeing the manner in which mobile gaming was going to become such a crucial part of the industry, NetEnt developed NetEnt Touch. The idea was to develop games that would be suitable for mobile devices rather than their desktop equivalents. To begin with only the company’s most successful and sought after games were available on mobiles, but over time they have added more and more titles.
At the time of writing there are still only around thirty games available to play on mobile devices, but this is very much in keeping with the NetEnt ethos – develop games slowly so that they are as good as their desktop version rather than rush things through production just to have them ‘out there’. What that means for mobile users is that you’ll be playing games as rich and enjoyable as you would find on proper computers.
As hinted at before, NetEnt produce about twenty-five live table games at the time of writing. This includes the majority of popular games, so whether you’re a roulette, blackjack or mahjong fan you’ll doubtless find something here that will please you.
Arguably the best-known of slot games created by NetEnt is their Mega Fortune video slot game. With 5-reels and twenty-five payout lines, the main prize of the game is a progressive jackpot that guarantees its winner will become a millionaire. In 2013 a Finnish man won nearly €18 million, which is the largest amount ever won online, whilst playing Mega Fortune. The second largest jackpot won online is over €11 million and was picked up by a student in Norway in 2011. The game he was playing? Mega Fortune.
That isn’t the only game with a progressive jackpot that has come out of the NetEnt factory, of course. There are, in fact, eleven others that regular casino users will have heard of or perhaps even played. Mega Fortune: Dreams is one of the newest games that NetEnt has created and it’s being lined up to take over from Mega Fortune at some point in the future. Other popular games with progressive jackpots include Arabian Nights, Hall of Gods and Cosmic Fortune. Eleven might not seem like a huge number of games but, once again, it very much fits the NetEnt way of doing things – get them right the first time.
There are other progressive jackpot games, with mega Joker being an example of a classic game with a ‘fruit machine’ style to it that has a local progressive jackpot. Keno and Caribbean Stud Poker are also games with local jackpots, meaning that the amount that you’ll be able to win will be different in every casino. There are also a series of ‘Wonders’ games, such as Tiki Wonders, Geisha Wonders and Icy Wonders, that tend to share local jackpots. Again, the local nature of the jackpot means that it’s impossible to predict how much money you might win. With the bigger games, on the other hand, the jackpots will start at around a million Euros and increase from there.
NetEnt have learnt over the years that the best way to encourage users to keep returning is by ensuring regular payouts. After all if you’re winning, no matter how small the amount, then you’re likely to keep coming back. Who knows when the payout will go from small to gigantic? That’s why they’ve created games that have payouts at about the 95% mark. It’s a tactic that’s paid off, with a high retention rate of bettors and more than eighty operators using their services. An impressive success story for a company that has a history based in real-life casinos and that has been in operation since the middle of the 1990s.
NetEnt was founded by Pontus Lindwall in 1996 and was one of the pioneers of online gaming as it began to explode during the latter stage of that decade. His father, Bill Lindwall, had established a company named Cherryföretagen that provided slot machines to restaurants all around Sweden. NetEnt began to offer online casino solutions to new companies in 2003 and went international in 2004. They gained their gaming licence in Malta the following year and went onto the Stockholm Stock Exchange in 2009. Mobile games were brought into the fold in 2011 and their first forage into working with big UK-based bookmakers and online casinos occurred a year later. By 2016 nearly 40% of all revenue for the company was coming from mobile gaming.