Casino software providers have been struggling to take the lead in the online gambling market since the late nineties. Three big players are Microgaming, PlaytechGeek, and NetEnt. The first company is arguably the most reputable because it released the innovative online casino far back in 1994. However, Microgaming has slowed down its development efforts, giving way to more active players.
In this article, we are going to compare the most promising providers, Playtech and NetEnt. Both companies aim at expanding their target audience, capturing new markets, and creating exciting games. Generally, international customers claim that Playtech is ahead of its main rival but is it true? Let’s sort out!
According to iGaming, in 2017 Playtech and NetEnt took top places among casino software providers in the UK. The report by iGaming is divided into two parts: research on traditional casino sites and sportsbooks. When it comes to powering online casinos, Playtech is acknowledged as the market leader, and NetEnt is rated second with a bit smaller share. Other developers like Microgaming, IGT, and Random Logic compare poorly to the leaders in terms of the market share. As for sports betting websites, Playtech beats NetEnt once again, leaving it on the second place. However, Blueprint and SG Interactive are breathing down their necks.
What about financial statistics? Playtech is a big company which is listed on the London Stock Exchange. As of mid-August 2018, the price of one Playtech’s share is $7.1. At the same time, NetEnt is listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange with its share price of $3.9 per unit. Let’s compare their 2017 revenues as well. Playtech earned $990 million within this period, while NetEnt’s revenue amounted to $175 million.
When it comes to profits and market share, the advantages of Playtech are obvious. However, NetEnt is known for its innovative approach to gaming software development, so let’s try to figure out who will come off best in terms of games and their features.
Although the company was established later than its rival, Playtech holds a strong lead in the development of casino software. Playtech focuses on cross-platform solutions that allow for easy gaming through any device. The company cooperates with the world’s famous brands to create immersive slots, and invests in innovative startups to stay ahead of their competitors.
Solid experience. The success of Playtech comes from its reputation and early-mover efforts. For instance, it was one of the first brands to develop mobile-optimized games and now it lists over 500 unique titles, which is twice the number of those listed by NetEnt.
Branded slots. Owing to partnership with the world’s famous brands like MGM or HBO, Playtech is able to create unique games such as Gladiator or The Mummy. The company offers a superb collection of Marvel-related slots featuring Avengers and other heroes.
Multi-game jackpots. Playtech takes an innovative approach to awarding jackpots. Jackpots from different games can be combined to create a larger final pool.
Exclusive licenses. According to the company’s policy, Playtech-powered casinos cannot use any other gambling software provided by third-party developers. It means that websites with the Playtech games can’t list projects from other companies like NetEnt legally.
Being ranked second is sometimes beneficial for a fast-growing company as it can watch out for the leader’s weaknesses and improve on them. NetEnt focuses on developing unique slots with premium graphics and sound, and creating innovative solutions like virtual reality gambling. Unlike Playtech, the company shares affiliate casinos with other software providers.
“Purple cow”. This marketing approach provides for turning an ordinary product into something unusual. NetEnt’s “purple cow” is slots with autoplay, cascading and rotating reels, respins, and various types of wild symbols. NetEnt also allows for rich and immersive gaming experience.
Free trial. The company allows gamblers to test all slots for free, without wagering real money. This option may help you to “feel” the game and choose the one that you like most.
VR gambling. NetEnt was one of the first software providers to create VR slots. Gonzo’s Quest VR was announced in February, 2017 and will become available in summer 2018.
No downloadable clients. Native NetEnt games aren’t available in the form of desktop apps, so gamblers can access them via browser only.
What do Gamblers Choose?
As you can see, it’s difficult to decide on the winner. As for the size, revenue, and market share, Playtech is a clear leader thanks to its long-standing history and record of success. However, NetEnt is catching up with the opponent. It is constantly expanding the range of its products and working on innovative casino solutions. Both software providers have advantages and disadvantages, so it would be rash to assert that there’s only one worthy of your attention.
The online gambling industry is growing rapidly and it could well be the case that in a year or two we will see a new leader in casino software development.