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Online Casinos and their Game Spread

By: Joe Valentino, Friday December 18th 2009
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Some online gaming software providers like Microgaming offer more than 400 games in their portfolio. Whereas other software providers like Rival Gaming offer only about 60 online casino games. How crucial is this difference in game spread? Should new players automatically sign up at one of the online casinos that offer a significantly larger number of games? These questions must be in the minds of new players and this article endeavors to provide some answers.

The first thing to understand is that why does this difference in game spread arise. There are two reasons for this. The first reason is that some online gaming software providers have been around for a much longer time than others. Microgaming has been providing online casino software for well over a decade. Rival Gaming is only a few years old. This historical basis partly accounts for the difference in the number of games. The second reason is that Microgaming has been adding three to four games per month, month after month for many years. Rival Gaming on the other hand has been adding games only sporadically.

A new player who joins up at a Microgaming online casino today is unlikely to play all the over 400 games on offer. The number is far too vast. Everyone will have their likes and dislikes. For example if a new player tries out a fruit machine slot game and does not like it he will give the other fruit machines a wide berth. However some players will like fruit machines and will play all the fruit machines, other players will like scratch cards and play all the scratch card games and yet others may like games based on casino poker. Hence the importance does not lie in the 400 games, but in the variety offered in the 400 games. One can argue that the more the number of games the greater will be the variety on offer. This is true to some extent but not completely true. Rival Gaming with its 60 odd online casino games cannot match the variety of Microgaming, but Cryptologic with its 200 games can match the variety of Microgaming.

More important is the rate of addition of new games. Though some online casino games attain a sort of eternal status, most games have a high obsolescence rate. Players tire of playing the same game again and again. Innovations in new games also hurry up the fading away of older games. For example online slots today without a bonus game on the second screen would generally be unattractive. Hence there would be few takers for the older slots without this feature. Therefore online gaming software providers who add more games regularly are bound to keep players more interested.

One factor that new players must keep in mind is that the direct competition in the online gaming industry is decreasing and there is greater fragmentation with different online gaming software providers trying to establish niche markets. For example Cryptologic is strong in branded slot games whereas Rival Gaming is strong in its unique i-slots. As new players wager more and more they too will ultimately find their niche and then the numbers game will not matter that much to them.

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Comment by: Sara D. On: January 11, 2010
Games that are unique are key to a top rated online casino expereince. I'm glad that most of the software providers out there recognize this and do a really good job at ensuring that they they have a good spread of games for players to choose from and play.
Comment by: m8351 On: January 03, 2010
I prefer game spreads that are based on having more slots games as opposed to other kinds of games but it is important for sure for casinos to develop games that target all of their audience :)
Comment by: Sharon Wallace On: January 01, 2010
It's most certainly justified having these large libraries of games and more importantly I think that because of the way that online casino software works it's no big deal to have these large libraries of games. It's cheap for them to produce and implement these large selection of games as opposed to when you look at land based casinos and the costs associated with building physical slot machines!
Comment by: Amber Tilson On: December 28, 2009
Agreed but that's what most people want myself included. I think it's key that they keep the emphasis on the games that make the casino the most money and there's no doubt that for the casino those are slots.
Comment by: Lilian Black On: December 24, 2009
Online casinos that don't offer new games that are added on a regular basis I think will eventually become phased out. There is a lot of competition in this industry and the ones that will come out on top will be those that really care about the software that they're developing and the future of their software more importantly.
Comment by: kristoph On: December 21, 2009
I find that most online casinos really put most of their focus and emphasis on the development of online casino slots games over and above all other games. I think that it's good to a certain extend but it would also be good to see some new game types that are being developed and concepts that we've never seen before that have a gambling element to them.

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