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Market trends for Q3: Shaping Slots

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Kevin Dale, eGaming Monitor, analyses the last summer months of Q3 this year. He looks at the fall of Starbust, the growth of slots with low to medium volatility, and the reasons why Megaways, Egyptian-themed games, and other similar titles are on the decline.

Unique Games

The theme of Q3 is definitely unique games. For the second consecutive quarter, the number found on operator websites has increased by an incredible 11%.

There are 25 new studios on the market. Existing studios have also increased their production. Existing studios have likely seen this due to the increased competition, which has inevitably led them to try and keep up with newcomers. We also see that the operators are not willing to retire their older games.

Here you can download eGaming Monitor Q3 Review.

Launches game by quarter

What does this mean in terms of numbers? We’re seeing an average of over 1,000 games released per month. This means that 365 studios are adding 3,000 games per quarter to our database.

The output rates of “producing studios”, which create 2.7 games on average per month, are up from the 2.3 created in the last quarter.

In the first nine-month period of 2018, we have seen games launched by 515 different studios. We found 705 different studios’ games on operator websites. This larger number reflects both studios no longer producing games, as well as those that still have their older titles on the market.

We can say, if we consider the entire number of studios that are currently active, we will find out that on average each studio releases around 1.5 games per month (or three games in two months). Comparing that number to the smaller number (370) of producing studios we get a figure of 2.8 per month.

Leading studios

We can get a sense of scale by looking at the largest players, Pragmatic Play and Evolution Gaming. Pragmatic play, in average, now produces at least one new game every day.

Evolution, however, would not be included in the top 10 if we exclude live casinos. The top three would be Games Global, Pragmatic Play, and Gauselmann Group.

Looking at the statistics, it is also clear that MGA and EGT have surpassed Novomatic and Light and Wonder to become the leading producers.

The number of slots on operator sites is declining

Slots are the most popular content on the sites we monitor. However, the total percentage of slots is decreasing.

They now make up 85.5% (down 1%) of the total content on casino pages. This is down nearly 3% compared to last year and 1% if you look at just one quarter.

Crash games have doubled in share since the start of the year.

Six more crash games have been launched during Q3, and Fly X by Games Global is the top-ranked game after Aviator. Check out our May dashboard at igamingbusiness.com.

Pragmatic play

Starbust, NetEnt’s king of the hill for nearly 10 years, has lost his crown. The legendary Pragmatic Play game was replaced, surprisingly by five other games. We have compiled a chart that shows all the subpages on operator websites over a three-month time period, including live games.

Pragmatic play now represents more than 50% of our 20 most popular games. Gates of Olympus was the most popular game in the quarter.

Pragmatic play dominates the Top 20 chart of new games. Play’n Go and Gameburger Studios were the only studios that made it to this new chart.

Hacksaw Gaming, Play’n Go, and Games Global are the likely main candidates for iGB’s Game of the year award. This will be presented at the iGB Affiliate Award in February.

The popularity of low/medium volatility gaming

Last quarter the ratio of medium to high-volatility games was fairly constant, but the new low/medium-volatility games saw a 6.6% increase compared with the previous quarter.

It is interesting to note that, although the general picture may be similar, the differences between volatility for games created and volatility distributed are slight. These data vary a lot by country.

Megaways, Egyptian themes and the declining

Megaways’ share in all content is down significantly from last quarter. It has fallen by 4,2%. There are now more licensed games than the last quarter (594 vs 623), but they still cannot match the speed at which all the games were produced.

The share of branded content in all games has decreased from 2,1% to 1,8%. MGA is ranked third in the world for branded content, behind Light & Wonder (Gauselmann) and Light & Wonder.

In Q3, the top themes were Action & Adventure, Money and Cute on Latin. Far East and Cute on Latin are also growing themes. Tales & Legends was on the decline, as were Egyptian, Jewels, and Tales & Legends. It was not surprising that games featuring a winter-themed theme were also down during the summer.

About the eGaming monitor

eGaming Monitor is a gambling industry advisory company with data that covers 25,000 games across 1,000 sites from 1,000 different suppliers. The interactive charts help make decisions about sales targeting, customer management and game development. Kevin Dale founded the company with Joel Keeble.

Kevin has been CEO at Gameaccount, (now GAN plc), and CMO for Eurobet Sportingbet Betfair. Joel is the founder and former director of H2 Gambling Capital, as well as industry data specialist H2 Mobile.

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