In Australia, we’re lucky to have an open pokies market that exposes us to just about every game that’s been developed to date. This is certainly the case for online pokies, a domain in which we’re absolutely rich with choice. And it translates well to our land-based casinos and other gambling venues as well.
With all those options around, it may be hard to pinpoint one favorite game. But if you’re someone who’s been playing the pokies for quite some time, you, like many Australians, likely have a favorite developer. That’s because while themes and reels and paylines may vary from game to game, each developer has its own style, with its own magical touch that can be felt across all of its games. So which are the most popular pokies developers in Australia? This is a wide and interesting field we invite you to explore….
Local casino pokies developers you can find right here in Australia
Here in Australia, we’re proud to boast, that we’re not only the biggest pokies players around, we’re also home to some of the most popular pokies developers anywhere. In fact, so popular are our home-grown pokies developers that you have more than likely already heard these two superstars’ names.
Aristocrat Leisure Ltd. – The first poker machine to be developed in Australia was the Clubman in 1953, which was later upgraded to the Clubmaster in 1955. The original incarnation of this pokies sensation, the Clubman, was designed by a local named Joe Heywood, who worked for a company called Aristocrat. This development was much overdue, you might say, with the first pokies machines already having come to market in the US more than half a century prior and arriving on our shores some ten years after that. Once local development began, however, Aristocrat, quickly gained steam, steadily closing in on the pokies development gap with exceptional service and functionality. What were once simple three reel games with no frills, soon became the highly sophisticated games we know and love with an unbelievable range of features, exciting graphics, and near unlimited winning potential in about as many ways as you could possibly dream. Today Aristocrat’s pokies continue to be popular here in Australia, as well as at casinos around the world. So much so that in addition to being the biggest manufacturer of gambling machines in Australia, Aristocrat is currently the second largest slots manufacturer in the world. As for which Aristocrat games, we prefer, that’s easy. Queen of the Nile continues to reign supreme with More Chilli hot on its tail.
Ainsworth Game Technology – The other local leading pokies developer is undoubtedly Ainsworth Game Technology. A now publically listed company created in 1995 by Len Ainsworth the founder of Aristocrat, Ainsworth Game Technology has quickly grown over the years, in terms of both breadth and reach. The local launching of Ainsworth began with its flagship Ambassador machine with its animated graphics on an extra-large screen in 2001. This was followed by the Ambassador SL in 2007, a powerful pokies machine that’s made an equally enduring impression on our casinos and paved the company’s way into international hearts. In particular, what people here and abroad have come to love about this popular Australian pokies developer is the innovation, entertainment value, and high performance each of its machines provides.
Leading land-based casino pokies developers we love to import
While we certainly love our home-grown pokies developers, there’s no denying some imports perform exceptionally well.
International Game Technology – The pack, in terms of popularity, is irrefutably led by the now London-based (previously US-based) International Game Technology machines. This makes sense since IGT is the number one biggest pokies manufacturer in the world. Or more accurately perhaps, we’d have to say Gtech leads, as IGT was acquired by them in 2015, although it now operates under the IGT product name (confusing, we know!). IGT video poker machines have been popular in Australia for many decades now, starting from the early 1980s and growing through to this very day. Some of the pokies most preferred here, and which helped cement this great developer’s local name, needless to say, include Major Money and the Cleopatra machine.
Bally – Another bigtime player that’s popular here is Bally, or more precisely what is now called Bally Gaming International after the original company that manufactured the slots we know and love was sold off. Founded way back in 1932, Bally, a Chicago-based brand, was originally a manufacturer of pinball machines. Soon, however, the company found its true niche in the slots manufacturing industry, making critical improvements to the existing mechanical pokies that led to the company’s long-term success.
In addition to IGT and Bally, you can find pokies machines from many international developers in our local casinos. These include Konami games, pokies machines from WMS Gaming, and pokies games developed by Aruze Gaming, to name but a few.
Australians’ top picks for online pokies developers
Now that we’ve covered the most popular offline pokies developers in Australia, it’s time to consider the online pokies developers as well. After all, we are an online pokies reviews site!
Overall, there are a number of online casino developers whose pokies are particularly well loved here in Australia.
Microgaming – Microgaming is recognized by many as the first online casino software developer (like most things in life, however, this title is subject to debate). What is clear, however, is that Microgaming has not only stood the test of time, it is seemingly unstoppable in terms of its popularity. And what’s not to love? With a massive arsenal of original pokies, games (some 500+) licensed to hundreds if not thousands of white label casinos and/or third-party casino developers, its virtual arm is massive in reach. Here in Australia, this influence is well felt, with pretty much all online players choosing Microgaming pokies at some point or another. In many ways, the Microgaming offering is led by the ultimate online pokies of all time, the mega paying Mega Moolah progressive pokies machine. Some of its other leading titles over time have been Microgaming originals like Immortal Romance, Break Da Bank Again, and Avalon II.
Playtech – Another popular online pokies developer in Australia, and pretty much everywhere else, is Playtech. Of course Playtech, like Microgaming, develops the full range of casino games. But its pokies are always a crowd pleaser from our tabletop computers through to our laptops, and more and more these days, direct from our mobile phones. One major difference between Playtech and Microgaming, however, is the accessibility of its games. That is, you can often find Microgaming pokies at casinos that have a platform that features a mix of games from other software providers. However, Playtech is pretty much always a one-man show. But if you love Playtech games, which many of us certainly do, it’s worth seeking them out. As for which ones lead the show, these include popular progressive pokies like those in the Age of the Gods series, the DC Comics progressive pokies series, and terrific standalone games like Epic Ape, Frankie Dettori’s Magic Seven, and Buffalo Blitz.
Net Entertainment – Net Entertainment, more commonly known as NetEnt, is the developer of some of the most successful online pokies on the market, and some of the most popular online pokies machines here in Australia. Headquartered in Sweden, NetEnt creates games that are all about entertainment, with thrilling, cutting-edge effects. One of the best things about NetEnt to this end is undoubtedly the developer’s superior graphics. There is also a terrific range of themes and smooth play, all of which have helped cement NetEnt pokies as a top pick for Aussie players and those in the rest of the world alike.
These of course are not the only online pokies developers who have made a positive impression amongst Australian players. In fact, you might say we aren’t a particularly picky lot, as we tend to love variety in both our developers and our games. That means you can often find Australians engaging in online pokies bets on games from Novomatic, Dragonfish, Amatic, Evolution Gaming, Yggdrasil Gaming, Play’n GO, and many more.
Popular Australian online pokies developers
What about local Australian online pokies developers? Does such a thing exist? Interesting question. Unfortunately, as far as we can tell, not in a significant way. Or at least not in a way that has made much noise in the online gambling world. That is, Ainsworth Game Technology has made online versions of some of its pokies machines, but they are harder to find than most of the more familiar casino software names. Same goes for Aristocrat. Though in Aristocrat’s case, its online pokies are featured a little more prominently than Ainsworth’s, which means you are a bit more likely to come across them.
This seeming lacking in local online pokies development could have something to do with the legality of online casino operations within the Australian borders. Or maybe our local engineers simply realise it’s tough to compete with the awesomeness that’s already out there. Or perhaps, secretly, some locals are cooking up great things, yet to be released. Time will tell. In the meantime, we’re hoping the near future holds a stronger showing for Australian online pokies developers.
A few words on what makes a pokies developer popular
It may be a bit of a chicken or the egg kind of thing. Or in other words, a question of which came first. Is one pokies developer more popular than another in Australia because its games are in more casinos? Or are this developer’s games in more casinos because they have proven to be so popular amongst players? The truth is probably somewhere in between. That is, those companies that came around first likely have an edge over later developers, as that’s simply how these things tend to work.
Think about your own favorite games, and you likely have a special place in your heart for the classics you’ve played or your original spins. Once you got used to playing those machines, it is fairly natural that you’d choose other games by that developer. But how you originally chose those games is important to consider. For example, when you were new to land-based casinos, it is likely that you were drawn to the more popular machines. If you saw someone playing a particular machine around the clock, it’s natural for curiosity to arise. And if you saw half a dozen of the same machine on the casino floor, it may have prompted you to give it a try. In other words, exposure works.
The same thing can pretty much be said about online casinos and their pokies software and machines. That is, those people new to online casinos are usually doing a Google search to get started. And that will usually land them on a casino site populated by the more popular pokies developers. This, in turn, gives them a sense of security about the software. In addition, once they familiarise themselves with this offering, they’re used to it, and inherently want to keep on playing that developer’s games, both new and old. And so the cycle of popularity continues. The more a pokies developer gains in terms of popularity, in all likelihood, the more popular it will continue to be.
Of course, it’s not just exposure that makes a pokies game popular, here or anywhere. Nor is it a matter of coincidence. Some developers really are better. They have better graphics, better licensing agreements for popular themes (like familiar animation and soundtracks from superhero comics or blockbuster films), flashier features, more bonus rounds, and higher payouts. That is, some pokies developers have simply better figured out the secrets to success.
The bottom line is there are certain pokies developers that are more popular here in Australia – both online and offline. And each of these developers is popular for its own reasons. That being said, the pokies market in Australia is huge, which means there’s plenty of room for the competition to succeed. Even by capturing a fraction of our national pokies spends, a pokies developer could enjoy massive success. So while the big names continue to dominate in terms of pokies popularity, many smaller niche developers continue to reap the rewards of their development efforts, and likely, have plenty to look forward to for a long time to come.