History of Microgaming Casinos
Microgaming was founded in January 1994 – the same year that Antigua and Barbuda started issuing remote gaming licences. Along with a number of operators of the time, the company claims to be the first to have developed a fully-fledged online casino. While this is disputed by some within the industry, Microgaming casinos have gone from strength to strength since then.
Little information is actually available regarding the people behind this enigmatic game developer. However, its innovations, especially during the uncertain days of online casino gambling, are beyond dispute.
The First Progressive Slot
In 1998, it released Cash Splash, the first ever online slot machine linked to a progressive jackpot. Initially a three-reel game with a single pay-line and a fixed bet per spin, it was eventually upgraded to a five reel video slot. In many ways it was the spiritual predecessor of the famed Mega Moolah slot – more of that later.
The mechanics of Cash Splash caught the attention of many within the industry and was integral to the evolution of Microgaming. Within a short time, the fledgling developer had attracted a solid base of clients.
During this period, it also established the IGC (Interactive Gaming Council) in an effort to regulate the wild and unruly landscape of the early iGaming industry. This was followed by the creation of the eCogra (eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation) of which the company was a founding member.
First Branded Online Slot Game
Microgaming casinos continued to develop throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s. In 2005, it released one of the first branded slots, Tomb Raider. Drawing from the smash-hit console game, cartoon and movie, this pioneering online slot was a major trend-setter. Today most top developers include branded games in one form or another.
Mega Moolah Unveiled
One year later, the company released one of the most popular and widely played progress slots of all time: Mega Moolah. Playing on the old American slang word, Moolah, this illustrious game went on to set a number of milestones in terms of pay-outs. In 2009, it was inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records for awarding the largest ever casino jackpot to a man in Ireland. The figure of over €6 million Euros has since been bettered (including subsequent triggers in Mega Moolah itself).
100 Pay-Line Milestone
Then, in 2008, Microgaming casinos software raised the bar even further by releasing Cashapillar – the first ever slot to offer 100 pay lines. This constituted an important milestone in the journey from the bog-standard single pay-line slot to modern day variants, of which many now feature up to 243 pay lines and beyond.
Microgaming Quickfire Unveiled
2010 saw the unveiling of Quickfire – a cutting-edge software platform that enabled operators to access all of Microgaming’s casino game content. Licensed and regulating by the UK Gambling Commission, the framework became a major hit with British-based operators who were able to serve their customers top games like Mega Moolah as well as branded titles like Tomb Raider and later, Game of Thrones.
Table Game Innovations
To complement their burgeoning range of online slots, the company also launched the Microgaming Poker Network. Comprising almost 30 live poker rooms, this relatively early live casino dealer platform featured the world largest online pot at the time. It remains in operation to this day and recently held a record-breaking festival in London that included a prize of £200,000.
Microgaming Casinos Technology
When it comes to describing the culture of innovation and creativity behind the design of its now formidable back-catalogue of games, the company isn’t afraid to employ rather colourful language:
“We use a dash of art, pinch of mathematics and sprinkle of experience. Prepared by the most creative cooks in the industry and served using the latest, most advanced technology, our creations include lashings of imagination.”
Despite the mixed culinary metaphors, there’s no denying that Microgaming casinos helped to drive the industry forward from the very beginning. They have won a slew of awards, including four successive iGB Affiliate gongs for Best iGaming Casino Software. This was achieved from 2007-2010.
They have also created over 850 unique casino games with over 1,200 variants – perhaps more than any other software developer. Their most famous titles include Mega Moolah, Avalon, Thunderstruck 1 & 2, Lucky Leprechaun as well as top line branded content such as Tarzan, Jurassic Park, Terminator 2 and Tomb Raider.
There are also well over 600 brands that use Microgaming’s software, including the revered Quickfire platform. The software is a particular favourite of white label casinos because of the ease in which it can be set up. Once complete, a typical third party casino operator has access to one of the most acclaimed and expansive game portfolios in the industry.
Top Microgaming Casino Games
Of the many online slots and classic casino games developed by Microgaming casinos over the years, there are a few that stand out more than others. Here’s a run-down.
Mega Moolah ISIS
Mega Moolah ISIS is the long-awaited follow-up to one of the most celebrated progressive slots ever. Comprising the same 5 reel format and 25 pay-lines as its illustrious predecessor, this variant features an updated Egyptian theme and is linked to four other Mega Moola jackpots. A few additional elements have been included such as a free spins game offering 2x and 4x multipliers. In spite of the numerous visual embellishments, the base game remains largely unaltered and is just as addictive as the original version
The first Thunderstruck slot was enormously popular with players and became one of Microgaming’s most successful titles. As with the first instalment, Thunderstruck II is steeped in Norse mythology and boasts the same polished visuals and animations. Although it follows a standard 5-reel format, there are 243 pay-lines and six bonus features including the lucrative Wildstorms bonus. There aren’t too many slot games that are as feature-laden as this modern classic.
Immortal Romance is another immensely popular slot game with a now iconic vampire theme. But the typically smooth animations and graphics are not the main reason why this game has captivated so many gamers. Good as they are, it’s actually the 243 pay-lines and Chamber of Spins bonus game, with four separate free spin features, that has put this game firmly on the map. Based on a ghoulish assortment of paranormal characters, the Chamber of Spins allows (very, very lucky) players to unlock an array of multipliers which of course makes for some substantial pay-outs.
Game of Thrones
Inspired by the blockbuster TV series, the Game of Thrones video slot consists of 5 reels and 243 pay-lines. Boasting beautiful well-rendered visuals lifted straight out of the television show, the base game is enhanced by four free spin features, much like Immortal Romance. In the context of GOT, this side game allows players to try their luck with one of the four great Houses of Westeros, provided they land 3 scatter symbols. Each house offers a unique number of free spins, multipliers and stacked reel symbols. Baratheon House is considered the most rewarding and can pay out as much as 20,050 times your stake.
Avalon I and II
This online casino game is based on Arthurian legend and is the much-anticipated update of the massively popular 2006 slot. With a high RTP of 97% and up to 243 pay-lines, it was well-received upon its release and continues to be offered by an extensive range of web-based casinos. In keeping with many Microgaming slots, the slot includes eight bonus rounds. These accompany the ‘Quest for the Holy Grail’ base game and, as ever, are activated by landing three scatter symbols. It’s worth mentioning that many of these side games are extremely playable in their own right – you don’t actually have to be a gambler to enjoy them – perhaps one of the reasons why both Avolon games are so highly thought of by both player and developer.
Best Microgaming Casinos to play at
Scroll down to see our collection of online operators that offer Microgaming casino games. All are licensed by the UK Gambling Commission and feature some of the developer’s most celebrated titles. You can also learn more about some of the leading casino game developers via our software page.