What started out as a single development studio – NextGen Gaming – has become a software behemoth via the acquisition of Side City Studios, Betdigital, CryptoLogic and Chartwell Technology; the last two of which were both formerly of Amaya. This combination has been a big hit; NYX supplies 200 of the world’s top online casino sites.
NYX Gaming Group’s roots can be traced back to Australia, and the launch of the NextGen Gaming development studio in 1999. Seven years later, NYX Interactive launched in Sweden as a platform provider. Both companies then merged in 2011, giving birth to the NYX Gaming Group we know and love today.
Scientific Games recently entered into an agreement to buy NYX for USD$635m, rounding off an impressive run of growth and success for the supplier. This has been achieved organically through its innovative approach to tech and games, but also via several bolt-on acquisitions that have allowed it to expand into additional verticals and add major firepower to its product and service offering.
Companies that have been acquired by the NYX machine include CryptoLogic and Chartwell (both formerly of Amaya), Side City Studios, OpenBet, and, most recently, Betdigital. The deals have also bolstered the company’s roster of talent, with more than 2,000 employees now on its roll call.
NYX is headquartered in Las Vegas, but has 16 offices around the world, including London, Oxford, and Surrey. It is licensed by the Gambling Commission as well as the Malta Gambling Authority, Gibraltar Gambling Commission, Alderney Gambling Control Commission, and the Gambling Supervision Commission of the Isle of Man.
The supplier develops games in Flash and HTML5, with its more recent titles rolling off the production line in the latter. It boasts more than 750 proprietary games across all verticals, and 1,000+ titles from third-party developers, which it offers via its Open Game System and Open Platform System.
NYX provides games to more than 200 online casino sites around the world, including PokerStars, Unibet, Mr Green, and LeoVegas in the UK.
NYX has built a comprehensive product suite that covers casino, bingo, lottery and sports betting, and is available to players via desktop, mobile and land-based channels. It focuses on driving player engagement, and has launched several market-first features and tools that deliver added value.
These have been developed across its five in-house studios:
NextGen Gaming (Australia)
Side City Studios (Canada)
Icecap Studios (formerly CryptoLogic and Chartwell) (Canada)
The supplier is one of the most prolific slots developers in the market, with its in-house studios rolling out a constant stream of new and exciting titles. It has built a reputation for launching slots with stunning graphics, authentic sounds, smooth and seamless gameplay, and innovative features.
One of its most recent games, Witch Pickings, boasts a seemingly endless mix-and-match bonus engine where players select and create their own rewards. It also comes with an achievements feature that sees players unlock magical trophies as they progress further through the game.
Other ground-breaking titles in its portfolio include Medusa, Foxin’ Wins, Merlin’s Millions, 1 Can 2 Can, Spin Sorceress, and Gorilla Go Wild. The latter, for example, features evolving gameplay that rewards players with additional bonus rounds the more they spin the reels.
When it comes to branded games, NYX holds licensing agreements with several entertainment franchises. Its most significant is DC Comics, allowing it to design slots based on popular superhero characters such as Superman, Batman, The Flash, Green Lantern, and The Justice League.
It has additional deals with the likes of Universal and MX Digital, launching slots themed around Psycho, James Dean, An Evening with Holly Madison, and Andre the Giant. Its selection of proprietary, branded games may not be as vast as the likes of Microgaming and Playtech, but it is large enough and certainly varied.
NYX also provides table games for roulette and blackjack, with variants for the former including single zero and double zero, and for the latter, single hand and multi-hand.
Unlike its rivals Playtech, Microgaming, and NetEnt, NYX does not have a large range of progressive jackpot games in its portfolio, and instead prefers to offer players big wins via in-game features. Most of its progressive slots came via its acquisition of CryptoLogic and Chartwell, including Millionaires Club I, II and III.
NYX allows online casino operators to throw a white label over the engine of Millionaires Club, meaning they can offer their players own-brand progressive games. Sky Vegas is one such operator to have done this with its Sky Millions slot. The game paid out £2.4m back in December 2015.
The NYX Gaming Group has really upped the ante when it comes to developing tools and features that deliver additional value and entertainment to players. Its games are highly interactive, and are brought to life with animated characters that reward players in various ways, from bonuses to dropping Wilds on the reels.
The evolving gameplay found in Gorilla Go Wild is a great example of just how innovative the supplier can be when it comes to delivering added player value. Gary the Gorilla is an animated character that sits at the side of the reels, and above his head hang 10 bananas.
The more players wager, the more bananas Gary eats. Once he has run out of bananas, Gary advances to the next level. The further he advances, the more regularly he rewards players with “Gary’s Bonus Time”. It’s a great way of engaging players and rewarding them for their continued play.
In addition, its Super Bet feature is offered across several titles and allows players to increase the number of re-spins or Wilds available. Games currently offering Super Bets include Merlin’s Magic Respins and A Dragon’s Story. In the latter, dragons sit at the bottom of the reels and burn them into Wilds.
The NYX Gaming Group has shifted very successfully into being an omni-channel software developer; that means its platforms, games, features and services run seamlessly across all channels – retail, online and mobile. Its in-house games are developed in Flash or HTML5, meaning they are optimised for mobile play.
Its games are compatible with most smartphone and tablet devices, as well as iOS, Android, and Windows operating systems.
Our top three NYX Gaming slots
With a portfolio of more than 750 casino games (many of which boast exciting features and rewards), knowing where to start can be tough. Whether you are looking for rich graphics or high-speed play, there is something for everyone. Here at Jackpot.co.uk, we have hit “spin” on most of the supplier’s slots, and our top three are:
25 pay lines
Desktop and mobile
RTP is 95.425%
Medusa is one of the supplier’s most successful proprietary game franchises to date. It comes with three generous bonus features – Turn to Stone Respins, Once Bitten Free Spins, and the Pegasus Bonus. The latter gives players the chance to win 50x their initial wager. The game is set against a haunting Greek theme, with symbols including jugs, arrows and snakes. Medusa herself acts as the Wild and will substitute for any regular symbol. The game boasts rich artwork and a thunderous soundtrack, too.
2. Merlin’s Millions
50 pay lines
Desktop and mobile
Super Bet feature offered
Merlin’s Millions is a five-reel 50-pay-line slot packed full of wizardry, magic and the chance to win big. Four bonus features are offered – Free Spins, Owl Bonus, Gamble, and Super Bet. The latter is a slider that allows players to adjust the multiplier applied to Wilds when Merlin zaps the reels. The game boasts vibrant graphics and a catchy soundtrack, with bets ranging from 50p to £25. It is one of the most popular in the NYX portfolio, with other games in the franchise including Merlin’s Magic Respins.
50 pay lines
Desktop and mobile
RTP is 95.2%
This is one for comic book fans, and comes via NYX Gaming’s licensing agreement with DC Comics. Symbols include the Batmobile, Batcycle, and a Joker playing card. The reels are set against the grey backdrop of Gotham City. Features include Bonus Bet, which also unlocks the Descent into Madness feature. Batman Respins are also available, as well as the option for players to gamble their winnings by guessing the colour of the card (double their winnings) or the suit (quadruple their winnings). If you guess wrong, however, you forfeit your winnings.
The NYX Gaming Group stands out for several reasons: the design and quality of its games are hard to beat, it has agreements with some of the most sought-after entertainment brands, and it is doing more than most to develop new features that reward players and enhance their experience.
The supplier is as creatively talented as it is mechanically and mathematically astute. This can be seen in the bold, vibrant, and immersive graphics used in its slots, as well as the state-of-the-art engine powering the smart features they offer. In this regard, it is ahead of the likes of Playtech and Microgaming.
The company also takes responsible gambling seriously, and holds permits with the GB Gambling Commission, as well as regulators in Malta, Alderney, Gibraltar, and the Isle of Man. This reassures players that their games are fair, honest, and meet internationally recognised standards.
As a content aggregator, its offering is highly impressive, but as a proprietary casino software developer, it needs to do a little more to enter the premier league.
But with NYX set to be owned by Scientific Games, one of the largest gambling conglomerates in the world, the industry’s power players will undoubtedly be looking over their shoulders.