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Casino dashboard: September 2022

| By Kevin Dale
Kevin Dale of Egaming Monitor asks whether one of the big lumbering giants is getting its "ducks in a row" in the context of our latest casino game charts.

No surprise, as predicted, that Starburst is back to the top, reeling from its brief fall from grace, which happened to coincide with the game’s 10-year anniversary. Perhaps this was a decisive shot across the bows of Starship NetEnterprise, however.

The iconic game’s lead has been narrowing for months and the short-lived toppling seems to have stirred the Pacman subsidiary into action. Two not-quite-so-new entrants to the charts from NetEnt were the other real movers this month.

Fruit Shop Megaways joins stablemate Fruit Shop in the top 20, while another hit from a few years back, Blood Suckers, gouged out a spot too, both titles elbowing out 9 Pots and 9 Masks from Games Global on their way up. A handful of new titles popped up briefly into the top 20 mid-month, including Black Bull (Pragmatic Play), Amazon Kingdom (Just For The Win), Cats Of The Caribbean and Pile Em Up (Games Global), but it’s the back catalogue from NetEnt that’s hitting the mark.

Top 20 games by distribution

Product managers at Pacman HQ might have been happier with new titles vying for a place in the Slots Rich List but revenue is revenue and they won’t be too disappointed that their share of content was grown by a couple of golden oldies. Moreover, we’ve seen before that NetEnt play the long game with their slow-burning rather than flash-in-the-pan titles.

Performance data on a single game is useful for understanding the impact of account management activities, game marketing programmes, or game features recently incorporated. When you take a broader and longitudinal view of complete product catalogues across the universe of 2,000 operator sites, real trends start to emerge.

In a world of game proliferation, the pressure is on to produce more and/or better titles, to secure the best distribution deals with aggregators or the highest site positions with operators. And there are plenty of tools at their disposal: other than game output vis a vis quality choices, studios can offer exclusivity periods for distributors, operator-branded products, or improved rates in return for featured positions and game promotions. For the big titles, game promotion via affiliates can be used to generate more “pull” from consumers at the other end too….

Biggest studio dealmakers

When large businesses aren’t stifled by bureaucracy, their size can be deployed to matter. Whether it’s the scope to offer a multi-country, multi-operator, multi-studio, multi-vertical, omni­channel deal, or just the size of their networked jackpot, they simply have more of these tools to deploy. When big organisations really do walk the talk of their management speak, those ducks can line up and square the circles that turn the dials and needles, proverbially speaking.

What we may be witnessing is Evolution flexing its muscles and leveraging those size advantages better. As we noted back in July, while our sector continues to grow, it’s not obvious if you’re doing better or worse than your peers. It’s unashamedly commercial, yes, but the nice thing about game distribution profiles is that they provide an early barometer of changes afoot.

If Gonzo gets a new lease of life in the absence of a new spin-off, then we know that NetEnt are rattling their cages. There may even be a bit of intergroup rivalry at play; while NetEnt’s current output is overshadowed by Red Tiger and new kid on the block, Nolimit City, why not play to your strengths and flog the real hits harder?

On the deals front, PariPlay recently added Smartsoft Gaming, Topspin Games and Arcadia Gaming Solutions to their portfolio and thus remains head and shoulders above other aggregators as the busiest distributor. Meanwhile, Apparat Gaming signed up distribution partner EveryMatrix this month and so remains top studio dealmaker – ahead of even newer and noisier neighbour, Beter.

Biggest aggregator dealmakers

* Please note these are live charts which update every month so please ensure the month of September 2022 is selected in the drop-downs to match the analysis.

**The interactive games chart at the top excludes live games and table games. Game rankings are determined by the number of game appearances on the casino homepages of more than 2,000 casino sites. To access many other charts including game rankings, live and table games, positions on subpages or to filter game performance by game theme, game feature or by operator type, get in touch with our partner, egamingmonitor.com. Egamingmonitor covers 40,000 games, 1,300 suppliers and 2,000+ operators. 

***Data on deals by month was collected from April 2020 onwards and the rolling chart reflects current dealmaking performance, i.e. how many deals were signed over the last six months. Note that only deals either a) on company websites or b) in the gaming press or c) reported to us by studios and aggregators, are collated. Deals between studios and aggregators (and aggregators and operators) from all time are available via egamingmonitor.com.

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