One of the longest standing online casino software companies is Microgaming. This South African-based developer has been powering some of the largest operators in the industry since the late 1990s and has continued to push the envelope through its new game production over the last two decades. While having to make adjustments along the way as the industry changed shape, Microgaming has come out the other side remaining one of the leading providers of games in the market today.
A Brief History of Microgaming
Now listed as a company based in the Isle of Man, the history of Microgaming finds the company being born in South Africa in the early 1990s. The company claims to have released the first ever online casino game all the way back in 1994. It is hard actually to determine if that is a true statement, but what we do know is that Microgaming has been at the forefront of this industry for well over two decades, and did launch many of the concepts that we now find across the landscape.
After releasing their first slot game somewhere around 1994, the company continued to plow through the development of a full casino platform through the 1990s, with several of their games becoming very popular. In 1998, Microgaming launched Cash Splash, introducing the first network-linked progressive jackpot game to the world. Today, there are hundreds of these games creating huge jackpots across the industry; everyone can thank Microgaming for being the first to put it into action.
Continuing the trend of being a trailblazer in the online casino space, the company launched their non-download version of their casino all the way back in 2000. This meant that players could now access their account from any computer through this new thing called an Internet Browser. These days it is hard to imagine a time when you could only play casino games through a downloadable piece of software.
The company has many more firsts in their history, but the most significant over the next few years was the launch of the first-ever branded-content slot machine in 2005. The Tomb Raider: Lara Croft machine was the first to incorporate a brand from outside the industry and based on the amount of licensed content you can find now, it is safe to say this was a wise decision on the part of both Microgaming and the folks behind Tomb Raider.
2006 found Microgaming having to make a significant shift by moving out of the U.S. market after the passing of UIGEA. While this was a hit to the bottom line, it allowed the company to operate without prosecution, which cannot be said for many of their competitors. They released the first 3D slot in 2011, and they now own the record for the largest jackpot ever won online when their Mega Moolah machine coughed up over 17 million Euros to one player in 2015. Microgaming continues to add to their roster of games with additional content deals and boasts over 400 games available to players today.
Microgaming started as a casino provider, and it is no surprise that they continue to focus the majority of their time and resources on this vertical. You can see the quality of the games right away when you start playing.
The group also has a full slate of table games, and their entire casino offering is available in both download and non-download formats. They have even gone so far as to release games available for smartwatches!
Once they had a significant number of licensees on their platform, Microgaming started to look at other ways to monetize their player base. With that in mind, they launched the Microgaming Poker Network in the mid-2000s. This network, also known at one point at Prima Poker Network, gave their licensees a chance to pool together liquidity to create large games and tournaments. The MPN is still in existence, however, after having to pull out of the American market, it is not a significant money-maker for their clients.
Along with their focus on mobile development in recent years, Microgaming is continuing to put themselves on the leading edge of the industry. Recently, they developed a VR version of Roulette that can be played via the Oculus Rift product; this is no doubt the start of the next wave of online casino development. They have also made it much easier for third parties to white-label their games with the launch of Quickfire in 2010. Now, anyone can get access to the over 500 games in the Microgaming library for their own release purposes.
You will find that many of our reviews of Microgaming casinos have a similar theme. Regardless of the operator behind the site, or the promotions available to players, if the Microgaming logo is found on a casino homepage, it is safe to assume that you are playing at one of the better casinos out there. This company continues to be an industry leader after more than 20 years in the game, and we see no signs of it slowing down anytime soon.