I’ve been having a chat with a friend of mine over the upcoming conference, ICE, being held in early February 2018.
We were musing about what we could expect to see from both the Live Casino and Slots developers.
I’m expecting to see and hear about a lot of new initiatives in the live casino arena and I’ll be reporting on that when the conference is over.
But I thought it might be interesting to read the thoughts of Brian Wilkinson of the website GamingSlots.com about what we can expect at ICE 2018.
The International Casino Expo in London (ICE) is possibly the most significant date in any slot game developers calendar – after their mother’s birthdays and their wedding anniversaries of course…
It’s one of the few times in the year when all eyes in the gambling industry will be firmly set on what’s hot in the world of slots and casino gaming.
With a matter of weeks to go before the show begins, there will be some frantic preparations going on, as companies try to maximise the three-day casino banquet.
My interest is online slots and this article will be totally focused on these.
However, should you be going to the show, you will probably see a lot of new land based slot machine makers parading their top new wares as they seek to release the ‘next big thing’ in video slot entertainment.
Here is a roundup of what I have found through social media, company websites, casino forums and blogs. For simplicity, I have broken it down by developer:
Keeping their cards close to their chest is Isle of Man-based Microgaming, who will most likely have a stand that is larger than a decent sized barn at ICE.
They have announced one major release on its way with Playboy Gold.
According to a press release on their website this will be a 6 reel slot with a host of base game and bonus game features. It has been developed in partnership with Triple Edge Studios (something Microgaming do a lot these days).
Super-organised Playtech has already loaded their two big releases onto their showcase casino and I have reviewed both games already; Batman Begins slot and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
These slots follow a very similar pattern from this developer, which is to focus on the big franchise tie-ups that the masses will instantly recognise.
To be fair to Playtech they do tend to make quite interesting branded games and at least one of these two new releases I really liked.
Swedish casino software company NetEnt used Twitter to tell the world about their forthcoming big release, with the announcement of Jumanji slot.
Based on the 2017 movie featuring ‘The Rock’ Dwayne Johnson and Jack Black, this looks set to be a blockbuster video slot with no expense spared.
NetEnt normally do a really good job with the franchise slots, as we saw with Guns N’ Roses slot, but there is little in the way of detail of what we can expect from this one.
For now, you will have to make do with the trailer posted on their Youtube Channel giving you a tiny tease of what is coming.
We’re not sure what to expect from SciFi as so far there has been very little news coming out about new releases.
Their land based casino business will be their primary focus at ICE that is a guarantee.
But with developers Bally, WMS and Barcrest all under their umbrella they are sure to have something up their sleeve.
So far, just the slightly underwhelming announcements via Twitter of Hula Hula Nights and Snow Leopard are what I know about.
I am very much looking forward to what Big Time Gaming has to offer for 2018.
Having blown everything out the water last year with Bonanza slot and Danger High Voltage! I am anticipating something special from this Australian developer.
They have already announced Temple Quest Spinfinity and I imagine there is plenty more to come.
Thunderkick plan to take on all the legends of lost riches with The Falcon Huntress.
Endorphina have a cute and cuddly theme with Little Panda, already released apparently.
Play’n Go has a bunch of new releases out, which include Hugo 2 and Mystery Joker 6000. They will no doubt have a bunch of new releases to talk about at ICE.
Lastly Quickspin has already launched Pied Piper slot, based on the ancient fairytale. They also just released a very serene Scandinavian-style slot called Northern Sky.
I know lots of developers have been left out of this article, which is a shame as its likely that the next big hit in the online slot game world will come from somewhere completely unexpected.
However, I can only write about what I know and what has caught my eye, which is why I have picked what I have.
To see for yourself you can get yourself down to ExCeL in London between 6th – 8th February for ICE – registration required.
I have tried to be objective and consistent with all my live casino reviews. Hopefully, they will strike a chord with you, but I thought it might be helpful to explain the criteria I use to mark each of the casinos. Hopefully, the categories and explanations make sense.
Playability – What is the overall impression of the casino? Did I have a good time? are the dealers nice and chatty and is everything easy to understand? Does it have a good set of games and is there a comprehensive set of betting options? Are high stakes players taken care of?
Software – What is the software like to use and does it integrate well with the rest of the casino?. Are the images clear and is the video streaming fast? Have they taken more than the default shared tables? Is it available on mobile?
Payment Options – Does the casino have a good variety of payment options? Do they payout quickly and on time?
Security – How good is the reputation of the casino amongst other players? Do they hold a valid gaming license? Are they transparent about the security measures they have in place? Are they regularly audited? Do they publish this information?
Support – Do they have multiple methods for communication with me? Is support available 24×7? Do they have instant chat and are they quick to respond? Are they able to help me immediately? Do they have an online FAQ and self-help library? Are the support people knowledgeable about the product I’m playing?
Bonuses – Do they have bonuses?. How strict are the wagering requirements? Do they offer repeat bonuses?. Do they offer loyalty points and can they be redeemed for cash or playing credits?
After all that, would I play there regularly?