For decades now, and in fact, since the inception of the online casino industry, some of the best development has come out of Scandinavia. We aren’t sure if it is the quality of life or something in the water, but the Scandinavians have been churning out top-notch product for years. This is very true in the case of NetEnt, who is one of the longest standing software developers, and an industry leader in providing high-quality games to operators around the world.
A Brief History of NetEnt
While NetEnt is best known for the strides it made in casino development, many people may not know that when the company was founded in 1996, that wasn’t the focus of the group. The founders of the company came from the land-based casino world. They originally started out building sportsbook software (that was more popular back in those days). However, they came to realize that there was going to be a need for an excellent casino game that was accessible online, and so they made the pivot towards that development near the end of the century.
The first NetEnt casino games were introduced in 2002, just as the industry was about to find massive growth. However, what NetEnt had done that had yet to be solved by other casino developers was to build the entire platform in a non-download format. Using Java, they were able to replicate the casino client in a way that it could be accessed from any PC. Now, while the lag was noticeable and the product was slower and less graphics-rich as the large, downloadable pieces of software, the industry was blown away by what the team at NetEnt was able to do.
The NetEnt Casino product was released to clients in early 2003, and the response was very positive. It wasn’t long before the company had many clients on their roster. The next few years were a bit of a slow burn for the company; they continued to grow but a very manageable pace. They added offices and employees around the world as their client list was getting longer and more diverse.
Finally, the company decided it was time to raise some significant cash, and so they went public on the secondary market of the Stockholm Stock Exchange. This was a play that other Scandinavian companies had made, and the secondary markets were designed for mid-cap companies like NetEnt. The growth of the business continued, and by 2009 the stock had moved onto the main exchange, where it sits today.
As we mentioned, the USP for NetEnt when it launched was that it was the first non-download casino on the market. This dedication to that delivery method has not wavered. Even though they have switched to Flash from Java, the company still has no download options for their licensees. That was a courageous move to make when they launched, but the calculated risk has clearly paid off based on the direction that online gaming has taken in the last 15 years.
The company had a full suite of casino games available to their licensees, from table games to video poker to dozens of high-quality slot machines.
Seeing that delivery methods were at the forefront of their design at the launch of the company, it is no surprise that this continued as the technology changed over the last 10 years. In 2011, NetEnt introduced their NetEnt Touch line for the first time. What they had done was re-imagine their games to be played on mobile devices via touch versus mouse. Again, they were at the forefront of this development, and today the Touch versions of their games account for almost half of the company’s annual revenues.
We could go on for days about NetEnt. They are one of our favorite software suppliers, and we aren’t the only ones who feel that way. For a company to take such a bold stand as not to develop download games when they first launched required not only a lot of foresight but also a lot of guts. As we can all see, the gamble has paid off, and we are thrilled that the company continues to push the envelope when it comes to the future of casino development. While we sit back and enjoy the games they currently have, the management and engineers at NetEnt are no doubt hard at work looking at their product and the industry as a whole to figure out what’s next. We can’t wait to see what they have in store for the casino industry, and we suggest you read some of our reviews of NetEnt Casinos to find one you want to give a try.