The history of companies that have mixed online gambling with real world wagering has not exactly been full of successes. Companies such as WMS, IGT, Bally and Barcrest have all struggled to marry their real-world and online efforts, and indeed three of those four companies have now been swallowed up by SG Digital.
One company that has bucked this trend though is Novomatic. With a history going back as far as 1980, Novomatic became one of the leading real-world slot makers in Europe, and then seamlessly added online slots, casinos and other games into their company processes. While Novomatic’s games are not exactly considered to be the best in the business, they’ve been incredibly successful in what they do – in 2018 their total revenue was an incredible €5 billion.
Read on to learn more about his incredible successful Austrian company.
Novomatic in Brief
- Founded: 1980.
- Based: Gumpoldskirchen, Austria.
- Number of Games: 330+
- Most popular games: Book of Ra, Sizzling Hot, Lucky Lady’s Charm.
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Who are Novomatic?
It’s always a good sign when a new company springs up that has the money of a billionaire behind it, and that’s really what happened with Novomatic, being founded by Johann Graf. Graf has already made his fortune alongside his partner Gerhard Brodnik in the 1970s with pinball machines. Their company – Brodnik & Graf – imported pinball machines from Belgium and distributed them throughout Austria.
When Brodnik decided to quit in 1980 Graf decided to form his own company called Admiral which concentrated on slots and casino games. This company was eventually renamed Novomatic and expanded beyond Austria into Germany, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland in its first year of operation. At that point the company only made real world slots and poker cabinets.
In 2010 the company expanded its online wagering portfolio substantially when it purchased the UK-based iGaming company Greentube. Greentube already had a substantial portfolio of online games and they took over the complete running of Novomatic’s online slots and games dealing. Novomatic also purchased Dutch company EuroCoin gaming in 2013, and Canadian company Bluebat via Greentube in 2015.
In 2018 Novomatic expanded even further by buying Australian company Ainsworth (previously part of Aristrocrat) to cement their online wagering presence.
In 2020 Novomatic were declared the second-most valuable brand in Austria by the European Brand Institute, behind energy drink company Red Bull but ahead of jewellery and watch-makers Swarovski. It was the first time in their history that Novomatic had been declared worthy of such an outstanding accolade.
What Makes Novomatic Unique?
Novomatic are perhaps so successful because their wagering reach expands so far, plus they still make slots cabinets as well as online games and gaming platforms. They make many kinds of slots cabinets, from machines that host a single game to those that house computer hardware that enables the same machine to host a large number of titles. They also create self-service betting terminals and lottery ticket vending machines.
Via subsidiary Greentube they make and distribute online slots, while they provide no less than four gaming platforms, including Coolfire which is their most advanced gaming system. Like Microgaming, they offer linked progressive jackpots and all their games work on multiple platforms, from desktop to phones.
What Could Novomatic Do Better?
It’s hard to understand what a company with over 30,000 employees across the world and revenues over €5 billion per annum could do better, but if there is one thing we don’t admire that much about Novomatic it’s that their online slots are never very memorable. A new Novomatic/Greentube release is never that much to get excited about, and we’d love to see that change in the very near future!
Three of the Best – Novomatic Games
Book of Ra
Definitely the most well-known slot from Novomatic Games via Greentube is Book of Ra.
Like many a slot before it and most definitely many a slot after it the theme of this slot is Ancient Egypt, in this game enhanced with an Indiana Jones feel.
This game boasts simplistic gameplay over five reels and nine paylines.
Book of Ra has spawned several sequels, including Book of Ra Deluxe, Book of Ra Dice and Book of Ra Magic. Book of Ra Deluxe was a very notable addition to this list as it contained no less than ten reels!
Another ‘classic’ from Novomatic via Greentube, here the standard slotting template is in evidence again with five reels and three rows, and a mere five paylines.
All the symbols used are classic ‘pub fruity’ slot symbols – oranges, lemons, melons and grapes plus that lucky number seven. Wild symbols abound as well to hopefully help players win sizzling hot jackpots.
Another game that Novomatic have ‘flogged’ a little as there are several sequels, including Sizzling Hot Deluxe, Sizzling Hot Quattro (with which you play four games at once) and Sizzling Hot 6 Extra Gold with six reels.
Lucky Lady’s Charm
Too many online slots seem aimed at players with both an X and Y chromosome, so it’s nice to see a slot that maybe has been designed with those who prefer a gentler spinning of the reels.
This pinky slot stars the Lucky Lady herself plus other elements associated with luck including horseshoes and four-leaf clovers. This slot has ten paylines and some excellent feature so it’s well-worth paying, no matter your gender!
And guess what – like most of Novomatic’s successful slots the game has spawned a few sequels, including Lucky Lady’s Charm Deluxe 10 and even Lucky Spin Jackpots.
A. It’s a software platform that other online casino providers and online casino software providers can use to create their own online casinos and games.
A. Huge! The company provides jobs for 30,000 people all over the globe and has revenues in excess of €5.1 billion.
A. Yes, they have offices in Mount Prospect, which is in Illinois. Because of US federal regulations though they concentrate purely on the real-world cabinets that they manufacture.
The Bottom Line
Novomatic are perhaps the most well-known name when it comes to real-world slots throughout mainland Europe, but that have not as yet grabbed the same kind of attention when it comes to online slotting titles. Perhaps one day the slotting world will be thrilled about the next Novomatic online slots release, but that day has yet to arrive! Novomatic seem to be content about what they do and they are doing incredibly well, so there are no complaints from them.