Microgaming is a legendary gaming software provider known for its innovation and quality. Founded in South Africa in 1994 by Martin Moshal, it is a privately held company and not much is known about it. However, Microgaming has long claimed to be the first to launch an online casino with real money slots and has been in business ever since.
In 1994, the first online casino games were released, with an increasing number of companies joining the market and introducing their own versions of online slots, blackjack, roulette, video poker, craps and more. Microgaming slots, however, claims to be the original pioneer in this area.
In 1995, Microgaming released the first real money online casino game and understood that it was a huge opportunity. At the time, the majority of the world had yet to learn about the internet, and those who had were mainly scientists, university professors, business and military leaders, and tech-savvy individuals who were waiting to receive their first AOL installation floppy disks. Cell phones were expensive and bulky, PCs were blocky and primitive, and there were no iPhones, Google, flat screen monitors, or cloud computing. Microgaming had become one of the true first movers in the digital age.
In 1998, as the World Wide Web was increasingly becoming known to the public and internet access was becoming more common in developed countries, Microgaming launched Cash Splash, an online slot game that allowed players to play for real money.
As other companies entered the market and filled the web with real money casino games, Microgaming’s Cash Splash stood out by introducing the world’s first ever progressive jackpot online slot machine, adding a completely new element to online gaming.
Microgaming revolutionized the casino industry with their progressive jackpot system: a small percentage of every coin played goes into a collective jackpot, which grows larger and larger as more people play. This system quickly became a global hit, and soon Microgaming was the go-to provider for many of the world’s top casino operators.
Microgaming, as visionaries in a new and rapidly growing industry, understood the need to add legitimacy to the unfamiliar online world of gambling, which had a past reputation for sleaze and mafia involvement. To do this, they brought together the largest players in the industry to form the Interactive Gaming Council (IGC).
The Interactive Gaming Council was established to promote standards of integrity, player protection, ethical unity, and reliable online gambling regulations that could help build consumer trust and a positive reputation, thus aiding the growth of the industry. It is still active today.
In the past, transferring money online was a brand new concept, and it left people vulnerable to being exploited by hackers, fraudsters, and other malicious actors. To build trust, it was necessary to create enforceable industry standards. Nowadays, this is a given, as there are plenty of security measures in place, like anti-fraud and anti-money laundering initiatives, as well as data protection protocols. We take for granted the ability to purchase items from online retailers like eBay and Amazon, or to make payments or send money to mobile slots.
The International Gaming Council (IGC) rapidly expanded to become the industry standard, providing oversight of the online gaming sector to identify and eliminate any illicit activities. They also provided counsel to state regulators like the UK Gambling Commission, The National Gaming Board of Sweden, the Lotteries and Gaming Authority of Malta, the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission, and many other state gambling boards, regarding industry-related matters and best practices.
In order to stimulate the growth of the industry, Microgaming was determined to create the IGC and ensure fairness, the best practices, and safety and security in the industry’s online transactions. To that end, they became a founding member of the e-Commerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance, which is now recognized as the most important organization in the industry.
In the early days of the online gaming industry, Microgaming faced some controversy as they attempted to establish themselves as the key players. They created the IGC and eCOGRA to regulate the industry, but some of their methods were seen as questionable as they sought to become the leading force in the industry.
One of Microgaming’s early practices was to require operators who wanted to be certified by the IGC and eCORGA to host their games on their servers. This gave Microgaming an advantage as they would have access to the operators’ data, including their VIP players. As Microgaming was an online casino operator as well as a games maker, there were accusations that they were keeping their clients’ players. Lawsuits followed, but were settled out of court for undisclosed amounts and Microgaming no longer forces their clients to use their servers. Eventually, the controversy died down.
Despite some early controversy, Microgaming has continued to be a world leader in the field of online casino games. To date, the company has released over 1,200 different, state-of-the-art casino games and continues to power ahead with its unique progressive jackpot idea. Microgaming has released cutting-edge multi feature slots games that include inventive story lines, bonus rounds, free spins, prize multipliers, major and minor progressive jackpots and more. With a wide range of different themes available, slots enthusiasts will never run out of options when browsing the Microgaming catalogue. And there’s clearly more to come.
Microgaming has introduced a new innovation – the pooled jackpot feature – which allows multiple license holding operators to combine the jackpot from a single slot, thus significantly increasing the total amount. This feature has the potential to transform lives, as seen with the Mega Moolah slot which has paid out more than $5 million in prizes, making it one of the most sought-after slots in online gambling.
In 2005, Microgaming made a revolutionary move by releasing the first co-branded slot, Tomb Raider. This was based on the famous comic book and movie, and allowed them to use brilliant graphics from the comic book and film, as well as actual video clips from the movie in the special features section. This caused a stir in the online gambling world, and many other major players in the industry began to imitate it to gain more market share by using popular characters, celebrities, and movie titles.
In only a few years, Microgaming released another industry first: the first 100 payline slot. In the same year, they achieved a remarkable feat with one of their progressive jackpot slots, as its prize money exceeded $10 million – a record-breaking amount for a single slot machine.
Finally, Microgaming launched an incredibly inventive game called My Slot. This 5-reel, 3-row, 9 adjustable payline slot was the first of its kind to allow players to upload their own video, sound and graphics to create a personalized online slot machine to play for either fun or real money.
Microgaming is renowned as a leader in the online casino games industry, thanks to its long and interesting history, vision, insight, and decades of continuous innovation. Its range of products is ever-expanding, making it a living legend in the world of online slots.