Exploring the Magical World of NetEnt
Among the sizeable number of online and mobile casino software providers, NetEnt is one company that stands out. This is a company that has traversed the whole path – from being a pioneer in the gaming industry to growing phenomenally over the years and still remaining at the top of the heap. The company’s journey over the past 21 years has been nothing short of epic. And at the core of its phenomenal success and popularity is its relentless pursuit of innovation.
NetEnt was launched in Sweden in 1996 and has come a long way since then, with operations in different parts of the world. The growth of the company from NetEnt to NetEnt AB is a story that makes for interesting reading, and the numbers tell the story:
- 200+ exciting games
- 170+ reputed casino operators using NetEnt software
- 1000+ employees across the world
- Offices in Sweden, Malta, Ukraine, Gibraltar, Poland, and USA
- 4 billion gaming transactions handled in 2014 alone!
- Entry to the US market in 2015
But let us begin at the beginning, when the whole NetEnt story started.
Brief History of NetEnt
NetEnt was launched in 1996, yes, but there is way more history to the company than that. Back in the 1970s one of the leading land-based casino operators in Sweden was Cherry until the government imposed a ban on slot machines, which formed a significant number of the attractions at Cherry. The company therefore had to restructure and re-strategize and that put into motion a chain of events that resulted in the establishment of NetEnt.
In 1984, Cherry started acquiring existing land-based casino companies in Sweden with the idea of forming a Group company. While the acquisitions happened, the company also started operating and providing slot machines in a number of East European countries between 1986 and 1991 as an alternative business model. However, things soon took another turn in 1992, with Cherry deciding to trim its East European business.
At around the same time, the Internet came about and Pontus Lindwall came up with the idea of taking the casino to the Internet so that just about anyone with an Internet connection could play their favorite casino games directly from home. After toying with the idea and laying the groundwork, Lindwall founded NetEnt in 1996 and then got Cherry, along with another entity called Kinnevik, to invest in it. The rest, as they say, is history.
In its early years, NetEnt was focused on developing video slots for the still nascent online casino industry. The strategy behind NetEnt’s approach was two-pronged:
- Showcase an entire range of games including slots and video poker.
- Launch the NetEnt Jackpot Network to give players the incentive of winning big.
With all the marketing strategies and campaigns, the company was able to launch its first casino in 2002. As word of the high quality offerings from NetEnt spread more and more casino operators began to use its software. In 2009, the company was listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange. Over the years the company grew steadily launching its live casino platform and mobile gaming platform.
NetEnt in the Present
NetEnt has managed over the years what most others would struggle to do: remain the industry leader from the time it came into existence right until today. Today, the company has offices in multiple locations across the world including:
- Stockholm, Sweden: This is the office of the parent company and has the role of managing infrastructure and also technical development.
- Malta: This office looks after IT operations, sales, product management, marketing, and customer support.
- Gibraltar: This office looks after the company’s general business.
- Ukraine: This office is the development wing of the company.
The company also now has offices in Poland and the USA.
A team of over 1000 trained and dedicated professionals operate out of these locations and enables NetEnt to unleash new games driven by innovation. The company has an extensive range of games, many of which have been the outcome of collaborations with multiple top-notch third parties like:
- 20th Century Fox
- Universal Studios
- Comedy Central
The launch of the NetEnt TouchTM platform has enabled the company to become a significant player in the mobile casino space as well.
The following timeline sums up the growth story of NetEnt over the years:
- 1996: NetEnt is founded in Stockholm, Sweden.
- 2002: NetEnt launches its first casino.
- 2009: The company lists on NASDAQ and starts trading on the Stockholm Stock Exchange.
- 2011: First mobile game launched on the NetEnt TouchTM
- 2013: The Live Casino solution is launched.
- 2014: NetEnt reaches the magical number of 21.4 billion customer transactions in the year.
- 2015: The company is set to enter the US market.
At the core of the popularity that NetEnt enjoys among players and casino operators is the range of high quality games it offers. There are more than 200 such games, all with an average payout of between 95% and 98%. The games all come with a range of exciting features that include:
- Excellent built-in features through the CasinoModuleTM offering
- Ease of integration
- High quality 3D graphics and animations
- Availability across multiple channels: desktop, mobile, and retail.
- High payouts
The game range is diverse, and includes:
- Slots: These include classic slots, video slots, and also jackpot slots. Some of the most popular game offerings from NetEnt are the branded slots, developed in collaboration with major Hollywood studios including the likes of:
- 20th Century Fox
- Universal Studios
- Comedy Central
- Table and Card Games: These include games like roulette and blackjack, among others.
- Video Poker: There is a whole range of games here, including games like Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild.
- Progressive Jackpots: There are some amazing progressive jackpots as well, with big money games like Mega Fortune.
- Specialty Games: These include games like Keno, scratch cards, and more.
- Mobile Games: NetEnt has an entire range of mobile casino games.
- Live Dealer Casino Games: The Live Dealer Studio is the proprietary platform that NetEnt uses to release exciting live dealer games for players to try out.
NetEnt slots are known in the online casino community for their high quality of graphics and animations. Each slot has its own theme and that is why each NetEnt slot is unique. Innovation has a big part to play in game development at NetEnt and the result is a range of games with numerous exciting features right in the base game. This increases a player’s chances of winning and also giving him higher wins.
Some of these features are:
- Cascading symbols: The symbols cascade down on to the reels, and those that form winning combinations disappear to make place for new reels to land in their position and form more possible winning combinations.
- Avalanche reels: The symbols fall on to the screen; unlike in other games they do not spin. Once the symbols are in their positions on the reels and form a winning combination, the winning symbols collapse again to be replaced by other new symbols.
- Sticky wilds: These are wilds that stick to their positions during a free spin bonus round, increasing the possibility of forming winning combinations.
- Stacked wilds: The wilds come stacked on a reel and may cover the whole reel to give bigger wins to players compared to a regular win with just a single wild.
- Expanding wilds: The wilds expand to cover a whole reel and also other neighbouring reels.
These symbols add to the allure of the game and make a nice build-up to the bonus round that the games are armed with.
Slots form the bulk of NetEnt’s game offerings. The following are the slots you get at a NetEnt casino:
- Alien RobotsTM
- Aloha Cluster PaysTM
- Arabian NightsTM
- Big BangTM
- Blood SuckersTM
- Boom BrothersTM
- Butterfly StaxxTM
- Champion of the TrackTM
- Copy CatsTM
- Cosmic FortuneTM
- Creature from the Black LagoonTM
- Crime SceneTM
- Crusade of FortuneTM
- Dazzle MeTM
- Dead or AliveTM
- Demolition SquadTM
- Devil’s DelightTM
- Diamond DogsTM
- Disco SpinsTM
- Divine FortuneTM
- Dragon IslandTM
- Drive: Multiplier MayhemTM
- Egyptian HeroesTM
- Fairy Tale Legends: Hansel and GretelTM
- Fairy Tale Legends: Red Riding HoodTM
- Fantasini: Master of MysteryTM
- Fishy FortuneTM
- Football: Champions CupTM
- Fortune TellerTM
- Fruit CaseTM
- Fruit ShopTM
- Funky 70sTM
- Geisha WondersTM
- Ghost PiratesTM
- Go BananasTM
- Golden ShamrockTM
- Gonzo’s QuestTM
- Guns ‘n RosesTM
- Hall of GodsTM
- Hook’s HeroesTM
- Hot CityTM
- Icy WondersTM
- Jack and the BeanstalkTM
- Jack Hammer 2TM
- Jimi HendrixTM
- Joker ProTM
- Jungle GamesTM
- Jungle Spirit: Call of the WildTM
- King of SlotsTM
- Kings of ChicagoTM
- Koi PrincessTM
- Lost IslandTM
- Lucky AnglerTM
- Magic PortalsTM
- Mega FortuneTM
- Mystery at the MansionTM
- Mythic MaidenTM
- Neon StaxxTM
- NRVNA: The Nxt XperienceTM
- Pacific AttackTM
- Piggy RichesTM
- Pyramid: Quest for ImmortalityTM
- Reel RushTM
- Reel StealTM
- Relic RaidersTM
- Retro Groovy 60sTM
- Robin HoodTM
- Scruffy DuckTM
- Secret of the StonesTM
- Secrets of AtlantisTM
- Secrets of ChristmasTM
- Secrets of HorusTM
- Silent RunTM
- South Park Reel ChaosTM
- South ParkTM
- Space WarsTM
- Spinata GrandeTM
- Steam TowerTM
- Super 80sTM
- Super Lucky FrogTM
- Tales of KrakowTM
- The Invisible ManTM
- Theme Park: Tickets of FortuneTM
- Thrill SpinTM
- Tiki WondersTM
- Tornado Farm EscapeTM
- Twin SpinTM
- Vikings TreasureTM
- Voodoo VibesTM
- Warlords: Crystals of PowerTM
- When Pigs FlyTM
- Wild RocketsTM
- Wild TurkeyTM
- Wild WaterTM
- Wild Wild West: The Great Train HeistTM
- Wild WitchesTM
- Wish MasterTM
- Wonky WabbitsTM
Out of these 100+ slots there are a few that have become all-time favorites among players. Some of these games are listed below, with a brief description of each:
- Gonzo’s Quest
- Invisible Man
- Jack and the Beanstalk
- Guns n Roses
There are a number of loose slots as well. These are slots that yield quick wins and come with relatively high RTPs. We list 5 of them below, along with a basic description and the RTP.
- Mega Joker: This is a 3-reel slot with 2 sets of reels. One set of reel is for the regular game and another is for the cool Supermeter mode. The maximum bet possible is a 10-coin bet, for which you get a 99% RTP. This value goes down if you use a lesser number of coins, e.g. a 1-coin bet yields a low 76.9% RTP.
- Jackpot 6000: This is a 3-reel slot with a 6000-coin jackpot. Other cool options include the Supermeter mode and also a double-up feature that is optional. The maximum RTP when playing in Max Bet mode goes right up to 98.9%.
- Blood Suckers: This is a 5-reel slot with 25 paylines and is themed on vampires. The maximum win on this goes up to €50,730 and the maximum RTP can go up to 98% in Max Bet mode. Bonus features include the Vampire Slaying bonus round.
- Fishy Fortune: This is a 5-reel slot with 10 paylines. The maximum win in this game is a cool 10,000-coin jackpot. The RTP when played in Max Bet mode goes right up to 97.9%. The game also has a standalone progressive jackpot.
- Kings of Chicago: This is a cool slot themed on video poker. The symbols are cards from a standard 52-card deck. The maximum RTP goes up to 97.8% and there are a number of bonus features. These include free deals, a wild Joker multiplier, and also a 20,000-coin jackpot.
Some of the tighter NetEnt slots include:
- Super Lucky Frog: 93% RTP
- Tiki Wonders: 93.2% RTP
- Tales of Krakow: 93.3% RTP
- Geisha Wonders: 93.4% RTP
- Icy Wonders: 93.5% RTP
NetEnt Progressive Jackpots
There are some amazing progressive jackpots in the range of NetEnt games. These include, among others:
- Mega Fortune
- Mega Fortune Dreams
- Hall of Gods
- Arabian Nights
Apart from these 4 progressive jackpots there are a number of others that are pooled jackpots – local progressives or fixed jackpots. Some of them are listed below:
- Cosmic Fortune
- Super Lucky Frog
- Geisha Wonders
- Tiki Wonders
- Icy Wonders
- Mega Joker
- Caribbean Stud Poker
A number of players have struck it rich by playing the NetEnt progressive jackpots. The following are some of the biggest winners playing these progressives:
||Anonymous player from Finland
||Anonymous player from Norway
||Hall of Gods
||Anonymous player from Sweden
||Hall of Gods
||Anonymous player from Scotland
||Anonymous player from the UK
NetEnt Mobile Games
When the mobile casino emerged, it was only natural for NetEnt to adapt its offerings to this new platform. The result was the development of NetEnt TouchTM platform or launching mobile games. The games come with high quality graphics, excellent animations, loads of cool features and bonus rounds, and an RTP of 95% to 98%.
The initial games on this platform were slots; over time other existing games were added to the mobile gaming portfolio. The slot portfolio was further expanded and games like mobile blackjack and mobile roulette were added. Some of the top NetEnt mobile casino games currently are:
- Gonzo’s Quest
- Twin Spin
- South Park
- Jack Hammer
Along with the regular games you also find progressive jackpots on the TouchTM platform. There have been some big progressive jackpot wins at NetEnt mobile casinos as well:
The biggest win at a NetEnt mobile casino was €8.6 million on a bet of €1.50 on Mega Fortune TouchTM at ComeOn mobile casino by Alexander, a 30-year old player from Stockholm, Sweden, on 2nd December, 2015.
Another big win in January 2015 was worth €5.6 million on a bet of €1.30 on the Mega Fortune TouchTM slot at the LeoVegas mobile casino.
In March 2014 a man playing the Mega Fortune TouchTM slot at Betsson mobile casino had won €2.45 million.
NetEnt Live Casino Games
NetEnt also has a superb collection of live dealer casino games. The games are delivered through the proprietary NetEnt Live Casino platform. All games come with high quality graphics and animations and excellent features to help players win. There are attractive and efficient professional live dealers and croupiers who run the game – including dealing the cards or spinning the wheel, collecting player bets, handing out winnings, and more.
The use of Chroma key technology enables seamless integration of live HD images, and the games are developed in collaboration with real players. This enables the company to exactly replicate a real-life casino environment. The following are some of the features of NetEnt’s live dealer casino games:
- Smooth and easy-to-use interface
- Seamless graphics and sound
- Availability of the games in both portrait and landscape modes
- Professional live dealers and croupiers
- Customized promotions
- Availability in 25 languages and currencies
NetEnt’s live casino games are now available on the mobile platform as well. The experience is as real as in a land-based casino, the only difference is players can play wherever they are, on the go. The games are available to players from 22 countries and in 25 languages, like the standard live casino games on the online platform. Players are allowed to place bets during the spin and the backgrounds are customizable.
Platforms NetEnt Games are Available In
NetEnt as an industry leader has ensured that its game solution is available across multiple platforms. All the online casino games are available directly in the instant play mode; there is no download mode at all. This saves players the time and hassle of downloading games to their computer. It also helps free up computer memory. The quality of games is the same as one would expect if a download option was available and you get the full complement of games.
When it comes to the mobile casino platform the games are all developed in HTML5. This means they can be played directly from the browser of the mobile device the player is accessing the casino from. There is no need to download a native app from the app store. The mobile casino games are compatible with the following platforms:
- The iOS platform: Players can play at their favorite NetEnt casino directly from their iPhone or iPad. Playing on newer versions of the devices gives the guarantee of high quality images and an unforgettable experience.
- The Android platform: Players can access their favorite games at a NetEnt mobile casino directly from their Android device – be it a smartphone or tablet. Commonly used devices include Samsung smartphones and tablets, Sony Experia, and others.
Security and Support at NetEnt
As an industry leader, NetEnt gives the complete guarantee of security and fairness for all its platforms and games. Different aspects of gaming, including the random number generators (RNGs) are tested and certified by various reputed independent accredited test facilities (ATF) to ensure conformance to existing regulations in terms of fairness, security, and player protection. The different ATFs that test and certify NetEnt’s products include:
- eCOGRA: The live casino testing and certification is undertaken by eCOGRA.
- Gaming Laboratories International (GLI): All online security inspection is done on a regular basis by GLI.
- iTech Labs: Testing and certification of the different NetEnt games and platforms is done by iTech Labs.
- Technical Services Bureau: This is another ATF that takes care of testing NetEnt games and platforms.
When it comes to fairness specifically, there are two organizations that perform annual audits that result in certification for multiple domains including:
- Player protection
- Responsible gaming
- Fair gaming
- Software development
The two organizations that undertake these audits and provide the required certifications are:
- eCOGRA: This organization audits NetEnt for being a Certified Software Supplier and Certified Live Dealer.
- Global Gambling Guidance Group: This outfit provides certification for adherence to the G4 program and the Remote Gambling Code of Practice.
NetEnt and Responsible Gambling
NetEnt is a firm believer in responsible gambling. That is why it offers customers a number of tools in the NetEnt CasinoModuleTM for self-control and self-exclusion. These tools include:
- Self-Exclusion: Players with a gambling problem can contact the casino they are playing at with their username and request for self-exclusion by freezing their account temporarily or permanently. This becomes easy for the operator as authentication and authorization functionalities are with the operator.
- Play Limits: API functionality in the CasinoModuleTM enables players to set game play limits. When they reach that limit an in-game message pops up informing the player of the same.
- Reality Checks: The Reality Check feature enables players to keep track of the time and money they have spent playing. When this feature is activated an in-game message is displayed with all the relevant stats and game play is suspended when the message is displayed. The player has to acknowledge the message to get game play reactivated.
- Game Speed: Another built-in feature in the CasinoModuleTM allows for configuration to ensure there is mandatorily a period of time between 2 game rounds.
- Visible Clock: The visible clock is a direct visual reminder of the amount of time a player has spent on a particular game or at a particular casino.
NetEnt also donates towards research in the areas of:
- Prevention and treatment of problem gambling
- Identification and treatment of problem gamblers
- Public education on gambling-related risks and dangers
- Public education on safe gambling
It contributes annually to the Responsible Gambling Trust in the UK.
NetEnt Bonuses and Promotions
You will find a range of exciting bonuses at NetEnt-powered casinos. There are superb bonuses for new players and also a good range of bonuses for the casino’s existing player base. The new player bonuses include mostly:
- No deposit bonuses: There are different kinds of no deposit bonuses available at NetEnt-powered casinos. These include, among others:
- Cash bonuses
- Free spins
- Free cash to be used in a specific time period
- Deposit bonuses: The deposit bonuses for new players are usually match bonuses: the casino matches your deposit with one of its own. The deposit bonus offered is a percentage of the amount you deposit, and at most casinos it is 100%, which means you get double the money you deposited overall to play with.
Deposit bonuses can be on just the first deposit or across multiple deposits. A number of casinos, like LeoVegas for instance, offers welcome bonuses that are a combination of deposit bonuses and free spins, across multiple deposits.
There are multiple bonuses for the existing player base at a NetEnt-powered casino. These include:
- Match bonuses
- Weekend bonuses
- Weekly bonuses
- Cashback bonuses
- Free spins
- Referral bonuses
That NetEnt has remained an industry leader for over 20 years speaks volumes of the quality of its platforms and games. And that fact is reflected every year in the numerous awards it picks up at different award ceremonies. Here we list for you a few of the awards in recent years:
- Casino Content Supplier of the Year at the EGR Nordic Awards
- Mobile Supplier of the Year, RNG Casino Supplier of the Year, and Innovation in RNG Casino Software at the eGR B2B Awards.
- Innovation in Mobile, RNG Casino Supplier of the Year, Innovation in Slots Provision categories at the eGR B2B Awards.
- Slot Provider of the Year, Innovation in Mobile, and Mobile Supplier of the Year at the eGR B2B Awards.
- Hidden Talent of the Year award for Fayan Pourisa, NetEnt’s Live Casino Development Manager, at the WiG Awards.
- Digital Gaming Innovation of the Year at the Global Gaming Awards (GGA).
- Mobile Supplier of the Year, Slot Provider of the Year, RNG Casino Supplier of the Year at the eGR B2B Awards.
- Leader of the Year (iGaming) award for Maria Hedengren, NetEnt’s CFO.
- Innovator of the Year at the IGA Awards.