Last week, NetEnt released their second quarter report and it was packed with telling signs about the future of the online slot industry. As one of the best software developers around, and one of the most popular too, NetEnt clearly have a firm grasp on what players want and how to deliver it.
They're slots are impeccably designed, filled with innovative features and beautiful graphics. Plus, they're responsible for creating some of the biggest slots of the past decade: Starburst, Gonzo's Quest and Dead or Alive are all NetEnt titles.
Since the brand have such a clear understanding of the market, we always find it fascinating to listen to their findings as they can tell us a lot about the direction the industry is heading in. That being said, we're not going to recommend you read the whole report yourself (it's a little tedious). Instead, we've done the hard work for you and hand selected the parts we think you'll be most interested in hearing about.
If you're reading this, the chances are you're already a slot fan. But did you know you're in very good company? During the second quarter of the year, the UK was the largest consumer of NetEnt titles. As a country, this makes us one of the biggest slots markets around, as NetEnt slots make up a large part of the games played at online casinos.
Part of the reason we play more slots than other countries is because we're blessed with so many fantastic online casinos. We're not one to toot our own horn, but sites like ours allow UK players to enjoy a high-quality casino experience, complete with access to the best games around (including NetEnt titles). This means that playing slots in the UK is easy and convenient, making it a perfect pastime of choice.
For us, the popularity of mobile gaming isn't a surprise. We know that our players love to game on the go and that's why GoWin was created with a mobile-first philosophy. However, NetEnt's Q2 report showed just how important mobile slots are. NetEnt's game win statistics show that 49% of wins from their games came from mobile players. In June, the percentage increased to over 50%.
This means that over half of online gamblers are playing straight from their smartphones. Per Eriksson, the CEO of NetEnt, attributes the preference for mobile gaming to new players and young people. He suggests that whilst older, seasoned, online casino players still visit desktop sites, most people who are just starting to play slots are doing so on mobile.
It's clear then, that mobile play needs to be at the forefront of software developers' minds and for online casino operators too. We're happy to say that at GoWin, you can play all of our titles on any device you like, whether that's desktop, tablet or mobile.
We've spoke before, on this blog, about how much both players and software developers love branded titles. There's many reasons as to why branded slots do so well, but a major factor is that we love to play something familiar. Whether we're spinning alien-invaded reels, or listening to classic rock music whilst we play, a game that's based around a pop culture reference makes it all the more special and exciting.
NetEnt are, arguably, the leading software developer when it comes to branded titles. In fact, some of their very best slots and most innovative inventions have come out of movie and music based games. They're also never seem to spare any expense when it comes to securing the rights for future slot tie-ins.
In the Q2 report, NetEnt talked extensively about the two new branded slots they'll be releasing this year; Planet of the Apes and Emoji Planet. Although they're keeping quite secretive about what the slots will be like, they did hint at the fact that these titles will be far from ‘regular' and will offer ‘something extremely new.' The fact that NetEnt are putting so much effort into these games shows that these types of games are big business and so, in the future we can probably expect a lot more branded titles from all software developers.
One of the report's stand out statistics was just how popular slots are, compared to other casino games. Video slots accounted for 90% of NetEnt's total game win for the second quarter, showing that the majority of players will opt for slots over table games and live dealer rooms.
NetEnt are fully aware of how popular their games are and within the Q2 report, Eriksson expressed that he, and his team, are up to the challenge of satisfying demand. Talking about the future, Eriksson said that players' appetites for NetEnt slots have grown so much, that they expect to expand production.
This can only be good news. Here at GoWin we're huge fans of NetEnt games and we'd be more than happy if this meant that the brand would be able to release more titles. Currently NetEnt release, on average, one slot per month. Nothing has been confirmed yet, but if they could raise this to two games per month (like some of their competitors), we wouldn't be complaining!