Who could ever forget the clang of a coin hitting the tray when the slot machine player would hit a winning spin? Could it really have been that long ago? Much has changed in the gambling industry over the last 20 years. The slot machine has gone quiet with lots of new features. Perhaps the biggest change has been the move away from land-based casino gambling to online casino gambling.
Internet casino gambling
It was only 20 years ago that slot players started playing slots from their living rooms. The online slot games of yesteryear were simple. Think back to the early days of the land-based casino. The slots, or fruit machines, only had three reels, one to three pay lines and small jackpots. That’s what software developers like Playtech and Microgaming gave online players in the early days of Internet gambling. It wasn’t that they didn’t want to offer more, it’s just technology had its limitations.
Turn of the century
Around the turn of the century, innovators started innovating. New software development technologies were being introduced and companies like Microgaming took full advantage. The new technologies in graphics made is possible to start building a slot with animation. Game themes became the driving force behind the online casino industry. Also, free slots gained in popularity.
The move to video gaming formats
As the competition for clients increased, software developers knew they had to amaze both clients and eventually, players. Around 2005, the video game slot format started popping up on a wave of new online casinos. These new games had recognizable themes, an increased number of pay lines (as many as 30), and some really exciting bonus games. All of a sudden, online casinos could offer the same gaming experience players were getting in land-based casino. This would serve as the catalyst that would change the gambling industry forever. It didn’t hurt that free slots were being made available in record numbers for social network enthusiasts.
The stakes are rising
As Microgaming and Playtech were spitting out new slot games at record rates, a third major player threw its hat into the ring. Net Entertainment (NetEnt) came to market with a vision. The companies focus was on 3D graphics and as many pay lines as they could construct within a game.
It wasn’t long before players had thousands of online slot games from which to choose. When Microgaming introduced the progressive jackpot game Mega Moolah, the industry exploded. Players could now play online games that were tied together over the Internet, creating massage progressive jackpots in the millions. It wasn’t long before Playtech introduced The Marvel Mystery progressive slot game built around the company’s collection of slots with a Superhero theme. Finally, NetEnt gave us Mega Fortune, plus games with hundreds of pay lines.
The Next Chapter
In recent years, gaming software developers have begun focusing on mobile gaming formats. People don’t want to sit in their living rooms. By allowing folks to gamble on their mobile devices, people can now play whenever and wherever they want. Free slot games keep getting better and more accessible, and the industry keeps growing.
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