Where do slot machines come from? It’s a question that players rarely ask. After all, the answer doesn’t matter much to the average casino visitor: all that matters is that when they show up to play, there are fun and exciting (and potentially lucrative) games there for them to try out.
In reality, though, these games don’t just magically appear on gaming floors. Instead, they are the work of development teams that specialize in creating games for casinos, both in the physical world and on the Internet. Slots developers create countless new games every year, and each company in the industry has their own style, strengths, and weaknesses. This means that players who get to learn more about these groups can quickly find that there are a few creators that make games they particularly enjoy, which means they can look to play at sites or resorts that offer games from those companies.
We've compiled an exhaustive list of online slot developers below. The number in green to the right of each indicates the number of games we have from that software provider. Simply click your favourite slot maker and get instant access to their full library of online slots.
Active Software Providers
Inactive Software Providers
The following groups aren’t all headquartered in Las Vegas, but they all have strong connections to the most iconic city in the casino world. These companies tend to have a strong reputation throughout the industry, and many of them have proven to be nearly as successful on the Internet as they previously were in brick-and-mortar locations.
Bally Technologies: Bally is mostly known for their extensive live operations, which date back to the late 1970s. However, they have started to offer online games as well in recent years.
IGT: Formerly known as International Game Technology, IGT is almost certainly the biggest name in casino manufacturing, and has created some of the most famous games in the world for both live and Internet casinos.
WMS: Also known as Williams, you can find this company’s games at casinos around the world – particularly in the United States – as well as at many regulated gambling sites.
H5G: High 5 Games are another huge Vegas firm who often release games in conjunction with IGT and Bally. Their games are most popular at land based casinos in the US, though they are also a hit at social casinos too.
Other Land-Based Developers
While Las Vegas might be the center of the gaming development universe, there are plenty of other companies around the world that are also in the business of creating great games. Many of these firms are equally active in both the brick-and-mortar and virtual markets.
- Ainsworth: Ainsworth is an Australian developer known for their brick-and-mortar games, as well as their online social slots.
- Aristocrat: Perhaps the largest and most important of the Australian development companies, Aristocrat has published numerous games for markets around the world, both online and live.
- Barcrest: Founded in 1968, Barcrest was once the only name in live UK machine play, and now offer a handful of their games over the web as well. They provide many games for fixed odds betting terminals in UK bookies and are part of the Scientific Games Group which also includes Bally and Shufflemaster.
- EGT: Euro Games Technology (also known as EGT) is based in Bulgaria, but supplies games to casino around the world, and also offers online gaming products through its interactive wing.
- Konami: This Japanese company is known for many things in the gaming world: everything from gaming machines to console video games. They are still primarily a land-based firm when it comes to producing slots, though they have made some limited forays into the online world.
- Novomatic: Formed in 1980, this Austrian company has been particularly successful in Europe and Asia, and has now moved many of their games to web-based casinos.
- Playtech: One of the largest Internet slot developers since 1999, Playtech is now also a player in the land-based gambling world, making them a major player in the overall gaming industry.
In the past two decades, casino sites have become a huge part of the gaming industry. The following companies operate exclusively in that side of the market, eschewing land-based products.
- Ash Gaming: Based in the UK, Ash Gaming offers a small number of games that are particularly popular in their home market.
- Betsoft: This company was founded in 1999, but has only became a major player over the past decade, following the release of their now famous 3D slots.
- Cryptologic: Since 1996, Cryptologic has been developing software for virtual casinos, making it one of the true founders of the Internet gaming industry.
- GameSys: Primarily known for their social games, Gamesys has also made a number of machines that can be played for real money at casinos, particularly in Europe.
- Leander: A smaller developer based in Argentina, Leander’s game collection is small but highly regarded throughout the industry.
- Microgaming: Once the single most dominant name in online gaming, Microgaming is still one of the industry leaders, offering several hundred slots to their clients and producing new titles every month.
- NetEnt: This Swedish firm has created a mix of original and licensed titles that have proven extremely popular, including some of the biggest progressive jackpot machines in the world.
- NextGen Gaming: This developer is based in Australia, and has been successful not only in creating their own games, but also in porting other companies’ titles to the Internet market.
- Play’n Go: Mostly known for their mobile gaming development, Play’n Go games have been showing up at more and more gaming sites in recent years.
- Rival: Rival Gaming is one of the smaller companies on this list, but while they only offer a small number of titles, their games tend to be fairly innovative and popular on the sites at which they can be found.
- Realtime Gaming: Also known as RTG, this firm has been in the gambling business since 1998, and have licensed their software and games to countless Internet casino sites. They are best known for their Real Series games, which have retained their popularity for many years now.
- Topgame: Founded in 2007, this firm has developed a wide number of products for various gaming companies, ranging from slots to other games and complete casino software solutions.
- Yggdrasil: While they are very new (only being formed in 2013), Yggdrasil has distinguished itself by creating games with a distinctive style and beautiful animations that truly stand out from the crowd.
As well as all of the above there are a large number of other slot manufacturers who run smaller shops but are attempting to grab market share in an increasingly competitive space. There are also developers who make slots exclusively for Bitcoin casinos. Last but not least, there are platform providers such as Openbet, NYX and Odobo who offer games from a number of different companies all built into a single platform.
One thing is certain - it's a good time to be a slots player and one is unlikely to get bored any time soon given the multitude of games, themes and formats that are available.