There are now more studios, platforms, operators, games, games per operator, more, more, more, but what does this mean, and who comes out on top?
Egamingmonitor.com examined over 10,000 game-page URLs from 2,400 online casinos in 2022, identifying roughly 28,000 games from 621 distinct studios (belonging to 496 supplier groups). What are the ramifications for operators, platforms, and studios in comparison to 2021?
8% more suppliers than the previous year
In 2022, the supply side of our sector grew by 8%, or 100 enterprises, compared to 2021. There are now 1,405 suppliers in the game industry, divided into four categories: studios, studio/aggregators, aggregators, and others.
Because the relative percentage by type has remained relatively steady, slightly under 50 new studios were created last year, or over 70 if hybrid studio/aggregators are included. A total of 24 new aggregators or platform providers have also entered the market, including platforms spun out as B2B enterprises from established operators.
Over the course of a year, we discovered games from 621 different studios.
The top ten studio organisations control 56% of all game tiles worldwide.
When we examine which studios have the best game distribution across all pages of all operator sites in 2022, we see that the top ten groups account for more over half of all game tiles on operator game websites. Evolution Gaming leads the list, with all of its subsidiaries accounting for a whopping 14% of all gaming space across all casino sites worldwide.
The huge groups Novomatic, IGT, and 1X2Network are slightly outside the top 10 on the "% of game tiles" statistic.
If studio groups were ranked instead by the number of casino sites that each studio has access to, the rankings would be identical, with the exception that Novomatic, IGT, and 1X2Network would replace Inspired, Betsoft, and Playson in the top 10. The distinction is due to site penetration: some studios may have access to more sites, but others have more games per site and/or more games spread across several subpages on sites.
This second KPI is also dominated by Evolution Gaming, with gaming content from the company found on 2,081/2,459, or 85% of all casino sites worldwide.
70% of content supply has been consolidated.
Larger groups' game output currently accounts for 70% of all content on casino sites, and the figure is climbing. Yes, another 100 new studios entered the market last year, but the market share of the big incumbents continues to expand.
It should be noted that games from "big organisations" are those made by firms that have subsidiaries or parent businesses.
In comparison to 2021, casino sites provide 33% more games.
Each month, we detect over 25,000 distinct games across operator sites, a 33% increase from this time last year. The sheer quantity of games available on operator websites has grown much more - and for a variety of reasons:
a) Operators rarely retire games.
b) Each year, operators add new content studios, either directly or through aggregators.
b) Each year, aggregators add new studios to their portfolios.
d) Another 100 new studios are producing content this year.
In 2022, 6,780 games were released.
Every month, Egamingmonitor adds approximately 550 new games to its database from over 600 studios. The typical studio releases less than one game every month.
Some studios produce more than others. Our ranking of top game producers by studio group (rather than studio brand) reveals how seven studio groups release more than 100 games every year. It should be noted that this includes all game kinds, such as table games, instant games, and live games. In terms of output, Games Global's studio family comes in first, followed by Spinomenal. While less well-known, two studios that focus on offshore operators, Inbet Games and KA Gaming, are extremely productive.
More than 50 studio groups are producing at least two games per month, or 25+ per year, whereas the "median norm" is roughly seven games per studio per year.
Slot machines account for 87.5% of all gaming content on operator pages.
Slots account for 87.5% of all game material on casino websites across the 2,500 operator sites we monitor. In second place, live games account for approximately 5% of all game material on the page.
New game kinds, such as slingo and crash games, are making inroads but remain insignificant (the 55 crash games that exist, for example, account for 0.1% of the 43,000 total games in our database). While taking up a very small percentage of total "shelf space," some of the more inventive games are quite broadly spread in terms of the number of locations where they may be found. They are also more visible in better page locations, such as towards the top or in the new, featured, or popular sections.
On average, operators now have games from 50 developers on their site.
This year, operators added 14 studios' worth of content on average, and now offer content from 50 sources. However, the median is approximately 35.
If each studio produces slightly less than one game each month, the average number of new games that an operator may select to launch each month would be roughly 45, or one and a half new games every day. The ephemeral nature of innovation is another proof that the lifespan of games is shrinking.
A few operators provide over 4,000 games on-site.
In terms of game content, the main operators include Videoslots.com as well as sites licenced in Curacao by Altacore, Avento, and Equinox. More than 100 studios are represented by 16% of all operator sites.
Meanwhile, some operators do longer include all information from all suppliers, preferring to focus on relevance and quality above quantity.
In terms of distribution, Starburst remains the top game in the world for 2022, with the game available on 1,395 sites, accounting for 56% of the total. The top 20 rankings are dominated by the companies Evolution Gaming, Pragmatic Play, Games Global, and Play'n GO. Pragmatic Play's Bigger Bass Bonanza, Big Bass Splash, and Gates of Olympus, as well as Red Tiger's Dynamite Riches Megaways, were the top new games this year.
Branded games are declining, yet high volatility Animals & Nature titles are on the rise!
It's worth mentioning a few notable figures on game features from 2022. Branded games made up a lesser share of all gaming material this year compared to 2021, but Megaways increased somewhat.
Action & Adventure, Tales & Legends, and Animals & Nature were the top themes in 2022. Animals & Nature and Tales & Legends, in particular, increased their proportion of global game distribution.
Hot, Fruit, Fortune, Dragon, Gold, Wild, Gods, Magic, and Megaways were the most popular gaming phrases in 2022.
And the "Colour of the Year" winner is... brown.
Perhaps not the most interesting colour, but brown has raised its share the most across the billions of pixels of game-tiles out there!
Top 2022 dealmakers
In terms of integrating new content partners, the aggregator 1Click Games was the busiest in 2022, which may explain why they were recently acquired by crypto platform Lion Gaming. They signed contracts with 27 studios last year, far outnumbering the second and third-placed PariPlay and Relax Gaming. With casino material sourced from 217 studios, EveryMatrix remains the most "connected" aggregation platform of all time.
Beter, a live games supplier, was the busiest studio in terms of sales over the last year, securing six distribution deals through aggregators. Close runners-up were Apparat Gaming, CT Gaming, Lady Luck Games, Slotmill, and Spribe.
Finally, novelty is popular. Only 11% of games released in 2022 bore the same name.
A little-known truth is that historically, 15% of all slot games had the same name. However, there was an improvement last year, with only 11% of new slot games sharing names with an existing title. Football Fever was popular, but it was another slew of "Cleopatra" games (on top of the nine already available) that astonished us. Some studios are certainly hoping that some of the IGT royal lustre rubs off on them.
By fLEXI tEAM