Among the earlier gambling software developers which are still around today, Playtech stands out a bit, mainly because of their approach to branded content, on which they seem to have based much of their growth over the years.
They’re an established company, founded in 1999, which offers games for all types of online gaming sites. From casinos, to poker rooms, bingo rooms, mobile titles, live dealer content, arcade games or even sports betting, they have their fingers in every part of the gambling market, provided that it’s available online.
It’s a company with revenues of over €807 million in 2017, which will soon celebrate its 20 year anniversary. They’re listed on the London Stock Exchange, they’re present in 17 countries with offices, in 20 regulated jurisdictions and they have 140 licensees for their content. More than 5,000 employees work hard to keep Playtech successful in all these markets and competitive in all game categories.
This is not just a software or game developer. They offer complete solutions to new gaming sites. This can even include Turnkey services, which gets them the hosting, payment solutions, network management, marketing, customer support and financial services that they need as they’re starting out, making it incredibly easy for their licensees.
The Playtech One solution is the company’s big platform, on which they’re basing all their content. There are solutions as part of this platform which integrate content for Casino, Live, Virtual, Poker, Lottery, Bingo, Retail and Sports. Those that want to, can create a complete experience for players using the Playtech One platform. Obviously, it’s also a mobile friendly solution, so both desktop and smartphone users are covered.
Playtech Open Platform (POP)
This platform gives the company’s licensees an opportunity to have access to over 600 games from Playtech and from some of the other developers that they’ve signed with (over 30 suppliers). From classic to modern slot machines, this large collection is available on desktop and mobile alike.
History of Playtech
Playtech’s history begins in 1999, as a company from Estonia. Its founders had roots in the casino industry, along with backgrounds in multimedia, engineering and software.
They got their first licensee and were available at a casino in 2001. Fast forward a couple of years, to 2004, and they founded the iPoker network, the largest one in the world. As of 2006, Playtech was made available at London Stock Exchange, in the AIM market. That same year they acquired a poker software developer, launched Bingo Broadway and bought Videobet as well.
Expansion in the land-based market followed in 2008, when a deal was signed with an Italian licensee, Snai. They did the same online, with William Hill, from UK. William Hill is soon created after that, with Playtech’s share of the new company being at 29%.
The Spanish market is entered in 2009, after which Playtech signs with Betfair and becomes a member of World Lottery Association. One of the biggest game aggregators of the gambling industry, Gaming Technology Solutions, is acquired in June 2009.
Their efforts so far are recognized at the AIM Awards, in 2010, where they get the title International Company of the Year. They keep expanding and they buy Virtue Fusion Ltd, becoming a supplier of bingo to Bingo.com and Unibet. Their expansion shows no sign of stopping in the years to come, as they buy companies like IGS, PTTS, Mobenga and Ash Gaming (game developer).
Playtech also signs several important deals over the next couple of years, such as the one they did with Gala Coral. An existing client, Paddy Power, moves to the Playtech platform.
In 2012, Playtech becomes one of the companies which are listed on the London Stock Exchange, the main market.
Playtech exits William Hill Online in 2013, getting £424 million in exchange for their 29% in the company.
Their current flagship product, Playtech ONE, is released in 2015, as a result of the Coral Connect experience, which got 160,000 players to spend 2.5x more time on it than on regular platforms.
Playtech’s history and expansion is one that’s based on acquisitions, and there are several that followed in the last couple of years. They show no sign of wanting to stop either. Companies like Best Gaming Technology, ECM Systems, Self Service Betting Terminals, Consolidated Financial Holdings and Eyecon were acquired in 2016 and 2017.
Available via the Playtech One platform, with over 200 games, their own collection is already one of the most impressive that you’re going to find. Partnerships are often the key to Playtech’s success, and their collection of branded slot machines is considered by many to be the best on the market.
Some of those branded titles might be for older movies, like Ace Ventura or Top Gun, but they’re also covering new titles like Green Lantern, Batman, Superman or Iron Man. The companies with which they collaborate include DC Comics, HBO and Warner Bros.
The quality of their games tends to be pretty good on average, though I wouldn’t compare them with the likes of NetEnt when it comes to production value. The graphics might be only average at times, but the slots they put out tend to be fun, often because they integrate incredibly fun features. They rarely go for the simple route of just adding some wilds and free spins, so if you want games that don’t bore you easily, Playtech’s titles might be a good fit.
There is no easy way to pick just a few popular titles from among those available at Playtech casinos. With so many branded slot machines, especially from DC Comics, their titles are played by a lot of people. Gladiator and Grease are two of the more popular branded games among players, as of right now. Of special note should be the Age of the Gods series, the most important one in Playtech’s collection. Several of those titles are among the most popular available from Playtech, and it doesn’t hurt that they offer big progressive jackpots.
Highest RTP Games
The RTP of the games which are offered by Playtech will be somewhat low in some cases, even as low as 91%, but they do have their share of titles which go higher than 96%. You just have to pick the ones which are better. I for one would recommend slot machines like Halloween Fortune (97.06%), Desert Treasure (97.05%) and Golden Tour (97.71%).