Although there is an enormous number of New Zealand online casinos that seems to be growing all the time, the pokies and other games you play are actually produced by software developers who are separate from the casino operators (although there are some casinos that have their own proprietary slots).
As the quality of the games is ultimately the most important factor in the online gaming experience, the developer and provider of the pokies at a site is all important — it does’t matter if the signup bonus, promotions and customer support are great if the games themselves aren’t up to scratch.
That’s why on this page we examine in detail the role of software developers and the contribution they make to your gaming experience, tell you more about the major names in the industry, and show you where to play the best New Zealand online pokies games by the best producers.
Check out our list of the NZ online casinos with secure casino software:
Why casino software is important to your gaming experience
Casino software developers are the real creative brains behind your favourite games — they develop the themes, the gameplay, the visuals and graphics, and it is these factors that in the end determine how enjoyable an online pokies game is to play. While the casino operator is responsible for the customer experience (in terms of bonuses, rewards, etc.), it is the game producers who are responsible for bringing the variety, innovation, excitement and fun to online gaming.
The world of online pokies and casino games is highly competitive, with producers and operators all vying for your attention. This is great for us as players, as it’s what fires innovation and new developments, which in turn has resulted in enormous variety in the gameplay and presentation of online pokies. New features, bonus rounds, and other extras are constantly being developed to enhance the quality and attraction of games, while new and exciting themes are always being introduced.
Reputation is all in the online casino industry, and so the leading developers naturally ensure that their software is virus free, games are transparently fair, and that there is a reasonable return to player percentage (RTP) so as to incentivise you to keep playing. We only recommend online casinos that use the software of trusted developers, as this is the best way of ensuring that you have a safe and secure online gaming experience.
You will always find a better RTP on online pokies than on games in pubs, clubs or land-based casinos. Although individual games vary, you can expect the RTP on most online pokies to be around 95%, while on progressive jackpot games it is around 90% (as a percentage of every losing spin goes into the jackpot prize pool). As the games at our casinos are audited and tested by independent third party agencies, the RTP of all a casino’s online slots is always available and is updated monthly. Some sites also publish the RTP of individual online pokies games, so you can always get access to this information to reassure yourself that games are being operated fairly.
The best casino software developers
There are a number of software companies who provide the online pokies and other games at our recommended online casinos. Most will have a variety of games catalogues, although some specialise in only a few types of games. However, in terms of online pokies, although there are a number of new up-and-comers making their mark on the industry, the field is still dominated by the three major players — Microgaming, Playtech and NetEnt.
Microgaming is one of the pioneers of the online gaming industry, having begun life in 1994, and is still at the top of the tree today. It has always been innovative and was the first to introduce a number of new features into its online slots that have now become industry standard. Famous for its themed video pokies, like Game of Thrones and Jurassic Park, as well as hugely popular favourites like Thunderstruck (1 & 2), Immortal Romance and Avalon, Microgaming is also the home of the biggest progressive jackpot games, including the world record holder Mega Moolah.
A big name in the online gaming industry since 1999, you’ll find Playtech pokies at more than 150 online casinos. Over the years, Playtech has developed some hugely popular progressive jackpot networks, with its latest being based on DC Comics superheroes, with titles such as Green Lantern, Superman The Movie, and Batman & the Penguin Prize. Playtech has also been at the forefront of developing themed video pokies based on TV shows and movies, with games including Monty Python’s Life of Brian, The Sopranos, Little Britain and The Flintstones.
NetEnt is a Scandinavian games producer whose presence and leadership in the industry is growing all the time. Founded in 1996, it was pioneer in 3D video slots with its games like Gonzo’s Quest, Starburst and Jack & The Beanstalk, while recently it has also been the innovator in developing music-themed pokies games, with its 2016 releases Guns N’ Roses, Jimi Hendrix and Motorhead being amongst the most popular and successful online slots games of recent years. Alongside this, NetEnt also has its own Mega Fortune progressive jackpot network.
The most popular NZ online pokies
The variety of themes and game styles available in online pokies means that it’s hard to pinpoint any particular preferences New Zealand slots players have. Games with a sporting theme are naturally popular, as are movie and TV-themed games. Other genres that attract a lot of players have ancient themes (e.g., Egypt, Rome, etc.), while there are also many popular games with vampire themes. However, quirky games, with wacky themes and designs also attract a lot of attention from players who enjoy the unique experience they provide.
Amongst the most popular NZ online slots currently are:
- Microgaming — Mega Moolah, Major Millions, King Cashalot, Immortal Romance, Game of Thrones (ways to win and payline versions), Jurassic Park, Thunderstruck (1 & 2), Avalon
- Playtech — Gladiator, Beach Life, Green Lantern, Superman The Movie, Batman & the Penguin Prize, Batman & The Batgirl Bonanza, Monty Python’s Life of Brian, The Sopranos, Little Britain, The Flintstones
- NetEnt — Starburst, Gonzo’s Quest, Jack & The Beanstalk, Mega Fortune Dreams, Guns N’ Roses, Jimi Hendrix, Motorhead
Best NetEnt Pokies
The online casino operating model
The model on which the online casino industry is based is that casino operators and software developers are separate entities — one provides the platform on which games are played, while the other develops and maintains pokies games on the casino’s behalf. Games are then essentially released under licence, and this is why you find the same popular online pokies at a number of different casinos.
This model has to date actually worked very well for us as players. Developers compete to get their games into as many online casinos as possible, which has fuelled creativity and innovation, while the casino operators are then free to concentrate on enhancing the playing experience in terms of a site’s appearance and functionality, the levels of rewards and bonuses, player retention schemes and customer support services.
This model has resulted in better games and better bonuses — a win-win situation all round!