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Software Providers Offer Niche Slots

By: 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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Comment by: Andy B. On: January 08, 2010
Vegas Tech and RTG really need to get on the ball with this stuff and possibly offer some really cool branded games. I think that in their doing so that they'll emerge as key players in the US gaming space with regards to being major players if regulation happens at some point in the near future.
Comment by: m8351 On: December 25, 2009
All these new games coming out these days are really making my head spin, lol... Don't get me wrong I think it's great but sometimes too much isn't as good as a few that have super quality... I think that should be the focus of online casino software developers as opposed to more games and less quality. The games they're releasing are pretty good and consistent but would be nice to see some more elaborate bonus rounds and other features.
Comment by: budahbless On: November 20, 2009
These kinds of games and the fact that online casinos are seemingly doing more and more branded online casino games is really something that separates one software provider from another and this is something that I truly beleive myself.
Comment by: Tealmantis On: October 04, 2009
These custom slots and partnerships for licenses that software providers form are really what differentiate one software provider from the next these days as far as what I can see... I think that it's great that we have software providers out there that are actively seeking out other opportunities and perusing them.
Comment by: sadie777 On: August 13, 2009
Many of the new slots that are coming about that come from licensed brands are great. I hear that Playtech is going to be launching their own line of Marvel themed slots games as Cryptologic has already done. I think licensing of big brand names will become bigger and bigger. I don't think that casinos that operate in the US will have as much luck in licensing these kinds of brands though due to the uncertainty in this market.
Comment by: Steve Brando On: August 11, 2009
I see that licensed games are definitely starting to become far more popular especially with the release of the new Playtech game called the Gladiator which is based around and themed to the motion picture movie. The funny thing that I noticed about this game though was the fact that Russle Crowe's character didn't appear in the game. I suppose that theres some kind of legal issue surrounding this. The fact is though that even the Hollywood motion picture industry want's a piece of the online gambling market, hence why they're probably getting involved like this.
Comment by: Kevin Jones On: August 05, 2009
Some of the Rival Gaming games are quite interesting and unique from what I've seen. The iSlot concept is quite interesting and the games they produce are fun. I do think that their games could certainly use some better animations, graphics and sounds. I think that Wizard Gaming has some very interested in unique games as well. In fact some of the newer slots games they produce are very enjoyable to play and games that I've been getting quite a bit of play on. I still think that Microgaming slots games are the best in the industry though.
Comment by: Kenny Curron On: August 02, 2009
I'm seeing more and more being posted and discussed in regards to the "niche / custom" online slots games that casino software providers are introducing into their platforms. I think this is really great and will hopefully continue. It would be super great if we could start seeing some more Movie themed slots games. I think it would be a great way to promote new movies directly within online casinos as there's is definitely a means of creating exposure for such games within the casinos which will ultimately help to promote the new movies. I don't know whether this would happen or not but it would certainly be a great thing!

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