NetEnt, short for Net Entertainment, was founded in 1996 by Scandinavian entrepreneurs with offline casino experience. Within two decades NetEnt managed to conquer most of the gaming market and defeat established gaming providers such as Microgaming and Playtech. NetEnt currently has offices in Sweden and Malta with an employee count of over 500. Many players see NetEnt’s gaming output as the most innovative and creative, resulting from visually stunning slots such as Theme Park Tickets of Fortune and Gonzo’s Quest.
It is also one of the few providers that is listed at a stock exchange and thus required to post earnings reports to its shareholders. This level of transparency gives players the chance to play the games of a trustworthy gaming provider.
Most people are not familiar with NetEnt’s beginnings, especially not its offline activities. There is not much information available about NetEnt’s casinos or machines. Visitors of the old NetEnt website could find plenty of information on NetEnt’s early activities. Nowadays NetEnt wants players to exclusively focus on their online catalogue, which consists of hundreds of games.
As you might have seen, the term NetEnt casino gets thrown around a lot. This implies that NetEnt still runs their own casino’s like they used to back in the day. NetEnt merely provides casino with casino software on which players can play. Being a stand-alone organization providing casino software, casinos are prevented from tampering with the software and adjusting the games to their benefit.
The gaming powerhouse that NetEnt is, offers casino’s a complete collection of casino games ranging from slot machines to roulette tables. There are in fact casino’s that exclusively offer players NetEnt games. Therefore, players can visit a casino that is more a NetEnt casino than any other.
NetEnt also develops live table games that can be provided through a camera set-up from a live casino or a studio. The popularity of these types of online live table games have increased each year. As NetEnt aims to be the leader of the pack and not the follower, its live games have been praised by many casino critics. Their most popular live games are Live Roulette and Live Blackjack.
A fun experience for everyone
There isn’t a spot where NetEnt has been able to distinguish themselves as much as they did on the experience of their games. Competitors are still struggling to develop games that are able to offer the interactive gaming experience and graphics of NetEnt games. Most games developed by competing developers are solely focused on spinning wheels and dated graphics. NetEnt wants to be seen as a true gaming developer and less as a developer of casino slots. By hiring experienced designers, NetEnt is able to design casino games like Ubisoft and EA are designing console games.
This vision has rocketed NetEnt up to everyone’s mind when searching for a casino. NetEnt’s slots are widely regarded as the most enjoyable, resulting from its unique user stories and stunning visuals.
Partnerships with big studios
Being listed on a major stock exchange (and having influential shareholders) has its benefits. It’s likely that one of these shareholders has some connections that will help NetEnt to get into places that otherwise would have been impossible.
An impressive example of this is NetEnts releases that have been done in cooperation with major movie studios. In the last five years NetEnt released more than ten slots that feature blockbuster movies or series, such as The Godfather, Frankenstein, Scarface and South Park. NetEnt appears to also have connections within the music industry since its ‘Music series’ feature artist such as Jimi Hendrix, Guns ’n Roses and the Village People.
Companies not working within the realm of online gaming used to look at casino’s as outlaws and were rarely interested in working together. With NetEnt and its international allure more outside companies are willing to look at the options of working with gaming operators.
A continuously expanding assortment of slots and table games
Some gaming developers aim to release multiple slot machines a month in order to keep up with the relentless pace of casinos. Many casino’s want to keep players in by offering tons of new slots. This development has shown to have a negative impact on the quality. Smaller players release knock-offs of their own releases and rarely add any new features to their games.
Even though NetEnt is one of the biggest developers of online games within this industry, it only releases a couple of games a month. But when NetEnt releases a new game, players are counting the days before the game gets released. Nearly each NetEnt release has been well received by gaming critics and players.
Most of NetEnts releases are gaming slots, since new themes and features can easily be welded into a new gaming slot. Most players forget that NetEnt also continuously improves existing games, such as roulette, casino hold’ em, baccarat and blackjack. Without noticing players are able to play a much-improved version of the original NetEnt table games in their favourite online casino.
Compelling features and high jackpots
One of the areas where developers of casino slots are able to really excel are the features. Most gaming slots offer players a set combination of features, such as free spins, wilds and multipliers. Developers can make their games more attractive by adding additional features, such as Multiplier Wilds, Pick-a-Prize sets or Jackpots. Creative developers open up the ‘market of features’ by developing completely new features that have not been featured yet. This practice of innovating online gaming has been propelled by the entrance of NetEnt. Many of NetEnt’s flagship slots offer players features that cannot be found on any other video slots, like Gonzo’s Virtual Reality slot and Secret of the Stones gifts. At last, the progressive jackpots that are common in many NetEnt games deserve a mention. Mega Fortune, Starburst, Arabian Nights and Hall of Gods are the most popular NetEnt jackpot slots. In 2011 NetEnt’s Mega Fortune video slot was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records after a player won over € 10.000.000 as a result of winning Mega Fortune’s progressive jackpot.