Every so often in the entertainment industry, a small operation can have an outsized impact on the rest of the sector. You might think of the Polish gaming developer CD Projekt Red, creator of games like the Witcher and Cyberpunk 2077, as an example of this. CDPR has only a small library of games, but when the world takes notice when the developer makes a move.
In the iGaming (online casino and betting) industry, a similar story is being told with Big Time Gaming (BTG), an Australian software developer that has punched above its weight for the last few years now. Most notably, BTG has created a whole new concept for online slots – Megaways – which has become one of the most popular genres of casino games on the internet.
Megaways is a type of slot with shifting reels, which act to create a potentially huge number of paylines. A typical Megaways game can have over 100,000 ways to win in a spin – some might have up to a million. The games have become hugely popular at online casinos all over the world. A few hundred titles have been released so far. Some sites have a full selection of Megaways games available to players, including the Casino.com platform in the UK.
Bonanza opened the door for new era of casino gaming
As mentioned, BTG is quite a niche developer. It has made some hugely popular games, such as Lil’ Devil and Danger High Voltage. But Megaways games was something altogether different. The first release was Dragon Born Megaways in 2016, but it was the launch of Bonanza (a mining-themed Megaways slot) that really blew the doors off. Players took notice, quickly turning Bonanza into one of the most popular online casino games in the world.
But other – bigger – software developers also took notice. The casino industry is incredibly competitive at the developer level, and that sometimes includes copying styles of games from one another if something has proven to be popular. But Megaways technology was patented by BTG, and that meant other developers could only get their hands on it for a price.
In short, BTG has allowed other developers to make Megaways games under licence. BTG probably wouldn’t have the resources to create 100s of games. And with the other developers involved, it has meant that approximately 300 titles have been created in a couple of years. That might seem like a large number, but, once again, we can’t stress enough how popular Megaways games are.
Top developers now using Megaways technology
Some of the most important slots developers, including NetEnt, Pragmatic, Blueprint, Microgaming, and iSoftBet, have released Megaways games under licence from BTG. This is important not just in the sense of having a large number of games, but because these developers can take their own popular games and give them a kind of Megaways makeover. For example, NetEnt took one of its massively popular games, Gonzo’s Quest, and released a Megaways version. Similarly, Blueprint Gaming had a popular Ted game, which is based on the Seth MacFarlane movie of the same name, and created Ted Megaways.
What will happen next with Megaways? It’s difficult to say. Any trend can simply come to a skidding halt. But this particular one seems like it is now slowing down. Someone within a small Australian development team had a big idea, and it has changed the face of the casino industry. Perhaps in 100 years, we will be talking about Megaways games in the same way we speak of roulette and blackjack today.