What is a Software Provider?
Put simply, a software provider is a team of creators. They are a company that create slots, table games, casino games, and live casino games. From concept to the finished product, the software provider will do all of the work in between. Each team will consist of developers, illustrators, animators, sound technicians, and much more. Even the maths model built into your favourite game is designed by the software provider, not the casino. The software provider sets the maximum win, the volatility of the game, and the frequency of features.
After creating their game, the software provider will offer it to casinos. Even though casinos are hands off in the making of the game, it still goes through rigorous testing to ensure it is up to standard, and ensure it is fair for players. Just as the casino has to be licensed and regulated by a reputable authority, so too do software providers. These authorities ensure the game pays out in the way it has been designed and ensure it has been made in a way that keeps things fair and enjoyable for players.
Each of the best software providers on the market will offer their games across numerous casino groups and brands, which is great news for players. Imagine how frustrating it would be to sign up to a casino to play games from a certain studio, only to then have to sign up to a second casino to get access to another studio? This is why casinos offer a vast array of games from a number of the most popular providers – so everything you need is in one place.
Fruity Slots Top 5 Game Providers
It’s hard to pick favourites when there are so many to choose from, but here are our top 5 casino software providers!
Originally founded in 2010, Push Gaming started out as a business that repurposed land-based casino game content for online use, but they’ve come a long way since then.
With over 100 team members spanning across 5 locations, Push Gaming now offer games across more than 200 operators, making it easier than ever to access their products. Their releases are known for being incredibly volatile, with many of them offering huge wins to players.
However, the team don’t offer hundreds of games within their catalogue. This is very much a software provider that focuses on quality over quantity, releasing less than 12 games per year. As time goes on, the team are venturing out into more unique experiments, including releases that offer an experience somewhere between a slot and a table game.
It seems 2010 was a great year for game studios because Relax Gaming was also founded then. The ambition for Relax Gaming was to become a leading technical provider of high-quality gaming solutions, and they certainly achieved this. In fact, the team’s slogan is ‘Driving Differentiation’, so that should give you an idea of what they’re all about.
Relax Gaming, too, have hundreds of employees spanning across multiple locations, but where they differ from some of the other studios on the market is in the services they offer – particularly ‘Powered by Relax’. Through this service Relax Gaming work as aggregators, helping new studios to run their games through the Relax platform and be integrated into operator networks sooner.
Within their own portfolio, Relax Gaming offer nearly 100 games, including series, collaborations, and a Progressive Jackpot known as Dream Drop Jackpots.
By looking at Evolution Gaming we take a bit of a side step, as they offer products vastly different from the other studios on this list. Referred to as the ‘leading provider of online casino tech’, Evolution Gaming were founded in 2006.
The team specialise in a number of areas of business, including the acquisition of some of the other extremely popular studios on the market, but they are most well-known amongst players for the live casino games and live casino game shows they offer.
If you visit any live casino, it will probably offer a selection of Evolution Gaming releases. The team have created some of the most popular Roulette and Blackjack games on the market but have also revolutionised online gambling with their game shows, wherein players can participate alongside players from around the world, betting on bonus rounds and cash prizes, watching as a live dealer spins the wheel to reveal the prize. Innovative and incredibly fun, it’s no wonder Evolution Gaming are the go-to for casino games.
Players want to play games where they can win – especially games where they can win a lot of money, and that’s where Nolimit City come in. Founded in 2013, this team have made it their mission to be considered the most innovative group in the industry, often releasing games with themes or stories that most other providers wouldn’t think of.
What makes their games particularly special though, is the win potential that has been built in. Nolimit City made news in 2021 when they released a slot game that offered the highest maximum win on any slot ever made that wasn’t a progressive jackpot. Believe it or not, said game isn’t even their highest possible win now – they went on to surpass it mere months later.
Nolimit City have just under 100 employees across multiple locations and operates with one very clear message – ‘we just do different’ – made evident by the number of unique mechanics the team have pioneered.
Possibly the oldest provider on our list, Microgaming are also one of the biggest providers on the market, if not the biggest. Founded in 1994, Microgaming are similar to Relax Gaming in that they act as an aggregator, supplying online gaming platforms, systems, and services.
With hundreds of employees, Microgaming offer over 1,000 games – more than the rest of this list combined. With this much experience, it’s a fair bet the team know what they’re doing and know how to produce a great game.
One of the things Microgaming are most known for is their Mega Moolah Progressive Jackpot – a jackpot that offers players the chance to win millions of pounds in one single spin. The biggest winner to date was a British soldier in 2015, who won £13.2 million.
RTP, which stands for Return to Player, is one of the most important pieces of knowledge you can have when playing slots online, but many players still struggle to understand what it means. Put simply, RTP is the percentage of wagered money a slot or casino game will pay back to players across a particular period of time.
RTP is measured over millions of spins, and the more spins played, the less room for error there is. Regulators will test RTP to ensure games are fair and will expect there to be very little deviation from the advertised value.
Players should, however, be aware of short-term volatility compared to long-term predictability when considering RTP. If a slot advertises a 96% RTP, you know that for every £100 wagered on the game, the slot will return £96 on average. It would be boring for every slot to return 96p per £1 spin though, which is where volatility comes in. You may have one player who doubles their money, and another who loses the lot – this is volatility. The RTP value has to be correct over all players, overall spins, so it’s important to not assume that worst case, you lose 4%.
Many software providers offer their games with multiple RTP options, and the casino can choose for themselves which one they offer. In a licensed casino, you’ll always find the RTP available to check – usually in the information or menu. It’s always worth checking the RTP and when in doubt, always choose the game with a higher RTP – statistically, it will give you a better chance.
What Makes a Good Game Provider?
There’s no one size fits all when it comes to game providers, especially when you’re catering to so many players worldwide. However, even when you might not personally enjoy the games of one provider, you can usually still tell that they’re a good studio. There are a number of factors that make a game provider one of the best, and here’s our top 5.
Creating something new is exciting for so many reasons. Firstly, people will always remember you as the inventor, but also because you get to offer users an experience they’ve never had before. Innovation is probably the most important factor in determining a good game provider – as players, you deserve new experiences. Studios should be thinking of how they can progress the industry and give players something they haven’t seen before. Even on the occasions it doesn’t work, innovation is always respectable.
Maths and RTP
It’s important to find game providers that offer an experience that is both risky and entertaining. Whilst the graphics and sounds make a game cool to look at and listen to, the maths model behind the game makes it what it is. Maths both adds and determines the level of risk. Great game studios are those that move with trends and player favour – they don’t just offer extremely volatile releases for the sake of it, and they don’t offer soft releases when players are enjoying volatility. Most importantly, good game studios offer RTP values that stand up against the competition and give players the best possible chance, and win potential that makes the risk worthwhile.
It’s important for a game provider to be able to change as times change. Years ago, slots were nothing like they are today. In order to get to where we are, innovation was necessary, but so was the ability to change. It’s important for software providers to not only offer players something new, but to keep up with their competition. As studios compete with each other to offer the best games on the market, players reap the rewards.
It’s important for a game provider to understand the market, and to spend time talking to and listening to players. If players are telling you that they feel there’s something missing from every slot on the market, why would you ignore that? The best game providers not only strive to think of great things themselves, but also listen to great ideas from consumers.
Even if it had the highest RTP on the market, you wouldn’t sit and play a slot that just had a coin flipping over and over, would you? Slot games should be fun because gambling is a source of entertainment above all else. The best game providers offer exciting themes, great graphics, interesting features, and music that helps players become completely immersed.
Game Providers and Unique Features
Player focus and fun are both important, but the most important thing of all is to be unique. Game providers strive to produce unique games and are quite protective over the features and mechanics they create – and for good reason.
The best studios on the market can create games so interesting that they will provide their game on an exclusive basis to a casino – meaning this particular casino or group gets the game before everyone else. If the game is special enough, players will join the casino just to have access to this one game, and that’s when you know you’ve done a good job.
Taking care and attention to choose the right games for you, your bankroll, and your gambling style is just as important as choosing the right casino. By finding the best casino software provider for you, you can make your overall gambling experience even better.