NextGen Gaming was founded in 1999 by an Australian named Tony McAuslan. The company was based in North Sydney, Australia but has since expanded its operations worldwide with headquarters in both London and Stockholm. NextGen Gaming was acquired by Swedish online gaming software developer NYX Interactive in 2011 and operated as a subsidiary until Scientific Games, in turn, completed its acquisition of NYX in 2018.
NextGen's timing was a good one, established just as online casino was coming to life. Initially, however, the company licensed its games to other more prominent brands operating in land-based casinos; Aristocrat, Bally, Amaya to name a few. Players were likely not even aware of the fact that they were playing NextGen slots, whose cabinets were placed in the background due to a slightly lower standard in graphics and overall production. At this point, the company was not capable of producing slots qualified as featured main attractions.
But then came the era of online gambling which meant new opportunities for studios such as NextGen Gaming. The company was quick to recognise and embrace the iGaming market and eventually managed to establish themselves as one of the main actors, although, still not capable of producing slots featured on the front page.
The real breakthrough, as far as players are concerned, came with the release of 300 Shields. Released in May 2014, it was considered a low-quality production even at that time, with out-of-date visuals, choppy gameplay and poor audio. Player's didn't seem to care, however, and the game turned out to be a smash hit much thanks to its massive potential. It is still a popular choice today and often seen played by casino streamers on Twitch.
NextGen Gaming Slots
NextGen Gaming has produced a large number of slots throughout the years of various quality, and despite the extensive back catalogue, only a handful slots are good enough by today's standard while most others are best avoided due to lack of potential and dreadful mathematical models. Furthermore, just like other studios, most notably Microgaming, the company has started to team up with smaller studios which have resulted in some of the worst games we've seen in years. Example of such games is Serengeti Diamonds, Angel's Touch and Lost Temple.
While we've seen a considerable improvement in visual production in NextGen slots as of recently, there is still a lot of inconsistency in the mathematical models used. The Mask, for example, was visually appealing but is making use of a math model that makes it unplayable, leaving the player pretty much without a chance of a successful session.
Some of the new games certainly do give hope for the future, although the improvements seem more related to visuals rather than math, but NextGen is still to this day most appreciate for its classic slots such as 300 Shields, Medusa II, Gorilla Go Wild (a clone of Medusa II), and King Kong - all capable of impressive wins.
On Bigwinboard.com we hold NextGen in high regard despite the negative aspects mentioned above. There are a lot of entertaining games to choose from with a broad variety of features and volatility. Furthermore, the productions we've seen recently are of high enough quality to compete with the very best, if only they can slap some sense into the math team.