When it comes to slot games and slot machines, you’ve likely heard of Charles Fey, the man who reportedly created the first slot machine called a Liberty Bell. The current iterations seen in casinos around the world are said to be based on his original design.
Now with time and redesigns, the slot machine as we know it has changed.
Who are the top slot machine game providers right now, when it comes to features and innovations? Keep reading to find out.
International Game Technology PLC
With the reputation behind them of being the largest slot producer in the world, and with offices that reach from Rome to Las Vegas, International Game Technology (IGT) is quite possibly the top slot game manufacturer to date. They were started in 1971 under a different name, A 1 Distributing brand. Fast forward to 1980’s and they made their mark by creating the popular Megabucks which was quickly beloved for being the first wide area progressive slot machine.
To date, the Megabucks has awarded the most progressive jackpot money than any other slot so far in history in Las Vegas on 14 December 2012, when it awarded a jackpot pay-out of $17,329,817.67. In 1996 the company created another slot hit called Wheel of Fortune, named after the popular Wheel of Fortune game show.
In 2005 WagerWorks acquired the company and turned its talents to the online gaming industry, with titles such as Cleopatra, CSI: Slots, Family Guy and Ghostbusters to name a few fan favourites. The company has never abandoned its original physical slot game roots, and has produced titles recently such as Avatar, Star Trek, The Hangover and Orange is The New Black. In 2014 IGT was bought by GTech, and renamed to IGT PLC.
Canadian company Amaya launched in 2004 and while they started off as a relatively unknown slot producer, they became world famous in 2014 when they announced their plan to buy PokerStars for a sum total of $4.9 billion. This made them the world’s first and largest publicly traded gaming company.
While they may have gained fame for having an online poker addition to their portfolio, they also continued to create a variety of slot games for their land-based casino slot machines, as well as for online slot games. In fact, due to their physical gaming popularity, a lot of land-based slots that they produced have been recreated for the online gaming community too. Some of the top slot titles produced – or bought – by the company include Forrest Gump, Jenga, King Kong, Vampires vs Werewolves and Emerald Island.
The company hasn’t slowed down with their business dealings either, and new portfolio acquisitions for them include a 2011 purchase of Chartwell for $23 million, as well as purchasing Cryptologic in 2012 for $35.8 million. The company then went on to sell both new portfolios in 2015 to NYX Gaming, in order to leave the B2B space and focus on their B2C operations instead.
Despite being an industry name associated with innovation, the company which started in 1968 – under the name Advanced Patent Technologies – began on a totally different track to where they are now. When they first formed, the company focused on collecting patents and had amassed over 80 different ones in their first decade of operations – holding papers on everything from ultrasonic fluidic fuel systems to meat tenderisers.
Fast forward to the 1980’s and they entered into the gaming industry by producing slot machines. They were slow to start and after a few failed casinos and more than a few name changes, Bally emerged in 2010 by making their mark with the U Spin feature. This feature was one in which a wheel could be spun during slot bonus rounds via the touchscreen features on the slots. This won them the Best Slot Product honours at the Gaming and Technology Awards in 2010.
Other innovations that the company is associated with include iREELS and iDECK both of which involve great 3D effects. Some of the most notable slot machines that the company produced include Betty Boop, China River, Duck Dynasty, Grease, and Pawn Stars. In 2014 Scientific Games purchased the company for $5.1 billion and they are now a subsidiary of them.
Industry heavyweight Konami is one of the biggest slot machine manufacturers around, and they’re also known for having found fame in the arcade and video games industries too. They began in 1969 as a Jukebox rental and repair business in Japan, and it was only in the 1970’s that they began to develop arcade games. In the 1980’s they began to gain fame for titles such as Scrambler and Frogger. You can find more informations on non-gamstop-casinos.com.
By joining the console gaming market with Famicom and NES releases like Metal Gear Solid and Castlevania, they started to get more successes under their belt – and gained millions of fans when they tied in video games such as Yu-Gi-Oh!. In 2005 Konami started a branch in Las Vegas and started to get more involved with casino gaming, and to date, they have an office in Australia too that focuses heavily on the gambling sphere.
Slot machines that they have produced to international acclaim include Full Moo Diamon, Ancient Dragon, China Shores and African Treasure.
WMS Gaming is a subsidiary of Williams Manufacturing Company, and became a household name for their collection of pinball games and arcade offerings in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The decline of popularity in arcade offerings made them shift gears ad start creating slot machines in 1996 with multi coin and multi-line secondary pay-outs.
This was game changing since the industry had mainly focused on simplistic pay-out structures previously. Top titles from them include King of Africa, Star Trek: Red Alert, and Bruce Lee.
While most of the slot machine developers on this list have become known for other innovations and games, their history in the slot world helped shape what is known and loved today. At land-based casinos, across the web and at cryptothrills.io. New industry additions like Amaya are likely to continue to make waves with what they create, while old favourites have a place in casinos around the world.