Software Providers Offer Niche SlotsBy: Joan Peppin, Thursday July 30th 2009
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Personal care product companies swear by product differentiation to create niche markets for themselves. Online gaming software providers do the same with their online slots. Each software provider offers a significant number of slots games that have characteristics which differentiate them from slots games of other software providers. In this manner they are able to create brand equity for their online slot games. This article discusses these slots games from some of the more popular software providers.
Cryptologic has made a name for itself with its branded superhero slot games. These games have been developed under license from Marvel Comics who own the superhero brands. There are currently just under twenty such slot games based on superheroes like Spiderman, the Incredible Hulk, Captain America and the Fantastic Four. These superheroes have been around since over 40 years in comic book form and have their individual legends. These tales include how they got their super powers and who their enemies are. These legends are brought to life through appropriate symbols on the reels enabling players to relive them. Such is the popularity of these games that Cryptologic is licensing them to online casinos powered by other software providers.
Playtech has used an unusual mechanism to differentiate its slots games. Rather than use a feature within the slot game, it has incorporated an external feature in many of its online slots. This is the Dollar Ball game. Players have to pay an additional amount of $1 per spin to activate this progressive jackpot game. They then choose five numbers from 1 to 49, which are recorded on the screen. While the reels of the main slot game spin, five random numbers are generated. Depending on how many of the numbers chosen by the player feature in the drawn list the player receives payouts. If all five numbers match then the player is paid the full amount of the progressive jackpot.
Rival Gaming has perhaps created the strongest niche for itself through its I-slots. The I-slots are online slots games that involve more player interaction than any other slots game. Each I-slot is based on a chain of events that progresses through bonus rounds. When the player triggers a bonus round he is often made to participate in a game that involves some level of skill. How well he performs in the bonus round decides what direction the story will take. Similarly in the next bonus round the story moves one step ahead. This way the player is able to complete the chain of events. What makes I-slots from Rival Gaming interesting is that the story may end differently each time the player plays the game.
Vegas Technology has created a niche for itself by loading its progressive jackpots on its three reel slots. Most online gaming software providers have most of their progressive jackpots in their five reel slots. This has helped Vegas Technology to establish itself in the three reel slots segment. Vegas Technology three reel slots are full of symbols found in the original mechanical slot machines and this has further enhanced the brand value of the slot games. Vegas Technology has also catered to the low roller slots players by allowing a fraction of the progressive jackpot to be won by players who wager one or two coins instead of the maximum three coins.
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