Netent (or to give them their full name, Net Entertainment) have been at the heart of the online casino industry since the company’s induction in 1996. They have a product that can be found in dozens of casino operators with some of the bigger brands including 888, Coral and BetVictor.
They are actually an amalgamation of companies from across Europe, but they have formed in an attempt to be one global powerhouse. Whilst Netent don’t actually operate through any land based casinos as such, part of the companies that merged were fully land-based operational, meaning they’ve got a fantastic grasp of what works in both the online and offline world of casino gaming.
Netent provide their customers with around 200 games to choose from. Whilst this isn’t the largest number in the industry, they do adhere to making new game releases every month, so you can expect their back-catalogue to continue to rise. The popular games come in the form of their branded games from companies such as Universal, 20th Century Fox and South Park Studios.
The standout feature for the company, for us at least, is their intricate eye for design and gameplay. The market is very strong at the minute with the likes of Playtech and Microgaming offering up a huge range of games, but it’s Netent who you will be looking more towards if you are looking to really get involved with the games. Their slots section is something that’s quite impressive, and we loved the inclusion of a story-based theme running throughout many of them.
Netent Casino Games
Like the majority of the bigger players in the online casino games industry, you can access the Net Entertainment games via your browser, but as far as we’re aware no download version of NetEnt’s software exists in any UK licensed casino (NordicBet did used to offer a NetEnt download, but they have since closed their doors to UK players).
Netent is strictly an integrated casino software company, and by this we mean that they don’t offer a unique casino of their own, but rather just provide the games for other casinos. This is pretty common in the industry, but what was interesting was reading into Netent’s past and the acquisition of companies to essentially form the brand. Whilst there were people brought in from all around Europe, a lot of these people had strong ties to both land-based and online casinos. They weren’t exactly from the design process, such as a company like Netent, which actually gives Netent a plethora of people high up in their company with a first hand background of running standalone casinos.
As mentioned, graphically the games at Netent are superb. Their portfolio isn’t as deep as someone like Microgaming, in fact, they have less than half of Microgaming’s portfolio, but what they lack in numbers, they make up for in execution. The slots especially were a section that was mightily impressive and the bigger games included a slick intro movie sequence that got you really submerged into your game before you start.
Some other features that Netent are keen to promote from their gaming section included an increased revenue and ARPU through a 95-98% RTP (Return To Player) pay-out, monthly releases of exciting branded games, improved portfolio with live casino inclusion, touch gaming (mobile), desktop games, live casino and combined player jackpots.
Like many online casino providers, the slots section is where the company really come to life. As mentioned, there are only 200 or so games to choose from, with about 150 of these being that of online slots. But, what we’ve seen is that Netent have a keen eye for detail for their slots and they are arguably some of the best about.
The branded slots such as Alien, South Park, Scarface and Frankenstein are the highlights of their portfolio. Each comes with their own gripping storyline and rather than being something where you just click away and watch the reels spin, it involves you in bonus games, jackpots, free spins, multipliers and more. The games almost don’t feel like you are playing a slot, more working your way through an enthralling story line. That may sound a little ambitious, but trust us; once you’ve played you will see how some of their bigger titles really set the bar against their competitors.
We’ve mentioned several times about the branded slots on offer and whilst these are generally all excellent, we wanted to quickly mention about the non-branded games. We’ve actually seen some these develop into becoming their own ‘brands’ of sorts. Some of the companies older titles such as Gonzo’s Quest, Fisticuffs, Disco Spins, Egg-o-Matic and Starburst are all great titles in their own right. We actually look forward to seeing new and improved versions of these games as much as we do the bigger titles!
Blackjack users get 4 choices of games to enjoy each with their own unique twist. The standard version is probably going to be the most popular, but again Netent have gone out their way to make even the basic of games that little bit more appealing with a slick 3D design. Blackjack Pro allows you to paly like the professionals in that you can play up to 3 hands on one table at any one time. Here you get the choice of playing for three levels of stakes from entry, to standard to high roller.
Roulette is another popular choice, again coming in with an eye catching 3D design that’s on hand to keep you playing for longer periods of time. You get the choice of American, French, French Pro and Roulette Pro. The variations are all pretty similar but with small quirky differences to keep things fresh. They actually run extremely smoothly and you can decide if you want to speed up the gameplay by skipping the animations. We’d actually advise on doing this as that ball can take a super long time to eventually drop!
On top of the favourites, Netent have compiled a hand full of other games to keep the table section of their casino on the top of its game. We were actually impressed to see the likes of Caribbean Stud, Red Dog Progressive, Punto Banco, Pontoon and Oasis Poker as they are games that not many software providers actually offer.
MOBILE CASINO GAMES
Touch has been Netent’s answer to the mobile casino world. The term ‘Touch’ is their official trademark for all their mobile casino products and whilst it took a bit longer to get here than some of their competitors, it now means that a decent percentage of their portfolio can be access via a number of smartphones and tablet devices.
Netent actually state they ‘handpick’ the games they want to include for mobile use, which means not all are on offer. Whilst this is unfortunate, especially given that they don’t offer a massive array of games in the first place, the majority of their bigger titles seemed to be there, which is the main thing.
The games are developed for Android, iOS and Windows mobile, giving a good coverage. We’ve even seen most of them integrated into the new iOS 8 that has only been on the market for a few months at the time of writing, showing how quick Netent have been to this development. Things like this certainly bode well for future releases.
The platform is supported and designed on by HTML 5 and for their efforts the Touch system has won awards at both the 2013 and 2104 EGR B2B Awards.
About Net Entertainment
The company have been around since 1996 and have a massive Scandinavian heritage. They were formed as a result of some of the best minds in the industry coming together and making one ‘super-brand’. The diverse mix of backgrounds and expertise has seen Netent rise to be one of the biggest operations in the online casino industry.
Per Eriksson is the CEO of the company, but they operate out of Sweden, Malta, Kiev, Gibraltar and Aldemey, giving them a huge international feel to the brand. The company are reported to have around a 30% in the entire market for online gaming, which is expected to reach a net worth â‚¬29 billion in 2014.