Barcrest was launched in Manchester in the 1960s with the simple ambition to construct analogue fruit machines. Goal accomplished. By the end of the 20th century Barcrest had become a magical name in British gaming with terminals in every pub, arcade and bingo hall in the kingdom. The developers also moved well beyond the classic fruit machines to become the industry’s biggest player in amusement with prizes (AWP) games and skill with prizes (SWP) machines.
After more than three decades of brand building the Las Vegas gaming juggernaut International Game Technology (IGT) came knocking on Barcrest’s door in 1998 with bags of cash to bring the veteran slot developer’s familiar products to the interactive gaming world. With the backing of IGT Barcrest began sending out games for online play while continuing to develop for land-based games.
By 2011 Barcrest still boasted a small portfolio of online games but one was an all-time best seller in Rainbow Riches that was debuted in 2006. Since its release Rainbow Riches has been the progenitor of fourteen spin-off games and counting. In 2011 Barcrest was undocked from its American overlords and returned to Great Britain under the umbrella of Scientific Games Corporation. The plan was to weld Barcrest’s gaming expertise with that of Global Draw, an expert in producing server-based gaming machines.
The marriage of two long-time British gaming brands into a new division of SC Gaming promises to bring exciting mobile gaming options in years to come. The blending of resources has produced one regrettable side effect – Barcrest will stop building its classic terminals and cabinets.
Barcrest Casino Games
Any discussion of Barcrest’s online casino games begins with Rainbow Riches that chronicles the madcap energy of an Irish leprechaun. It has been one of gaming’s biggest hits and SC Gaming has followed the brand extension playbook with game after game based on the Irish imp who is never far from the action. The Rainbow Riches franchise is designed to appeal to all levels of stakes gamblers. There are no progressive jackpots or free spins but a trio of bonus games unlock the legendary Irish luck.
The cornerstone games Barcrest used to break into the online world were Ca$hino, Monty’s Millions and Money Mad Martians. These games were standard bearers in the pubs and gaming parlours and made an easy transition to the online platform. A Barcrest game does not overwhelm with fancy graphics and complicated game play but free spins and big prizes have a timeless allure to gamblers.
Since being bought by Scientific Games Corporation Barcrest has become tied in to the branded online games market. Given its handling of Rainbow Riches and its expansion to more than a dozen games it comes as no surprise that Barcrest has yoked its gaming fortunes to Hollywood properties that offer sequel possibilities. There are games tied to the Philadelphia club fighter Rocky Balboa, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, the popular Deal or No Deal and even an association with Andy Capp, the long-time single-panel cartoon syndicate drawn by British artist Reginald Smyth.
Barcrest has taken its time building an online slots portfolio and has characteristically come slow to table games. SC Gaming offers a pair of online blackjack games and nine variations of the roulette wheel. But so far no ventures to the poker table!