Novomatic is probably best known for their flagship games Book of Ra and Lucky Lady’s Charm. Most, if not all of their games are recognizable by their simplicity as well as their old-school retro looks.
The company was founded by Johann Graf, an Austrian businessman born in 1946 who is still the owner of the company. Graf was born in a one-bedroom flat and was raised by his grandparents. His first line of work was an apprentice butcher and it was presumed that he would follow in the line of the family business and assume control of the family’s butcher shop. It was in 1974 when he decided that he would venture off on his own.
Graf is divorced with three children and lives in Vienna. He collects vintage cars and owns some 120, most of which are Jaguars. The eldest of his three children is the chief technology officer of Novomatic. According to Forbes’ list of global billionaires, he is listed at number 208 with a net worth of $7 billion as of July 2015.
Novomatic has offices in 43 countries and also operates casinos, including in locations such as Berlin and Santiago, Chile. The Novomatic Group consists of three holding companies.
History & Development
Before it was Novomatic, the company actually got its start in the 1970s when a butcher by the name of Johann F. Graf partnered with a retailer named Gerhard Brodnik and the two founded Brodnik & Graf. Together they made a business out of importing Belgian pinball machines and distributing them to pubs, cafes, and brothels. When 1980 hit, Mr. Brodnik left the company and Mr. Graf launched a series of gaming machines under the name Admiral, with a company name of Novomatic. Over the next decade, the Admiral team worked to improve the technology of their
games and expanded globally.
In 1990 Novomatic released American Poker II, which remains popular among gamers today. Shortly thereafter, they were among the first to incorporate touch screens into their casino machines. Over time, the company has grown substantially through a series of acquisitions and mergers. They now reach over 80 countries, have more than 19,000 employees, and net around 4-billion dollars each year. The company takes great pride in responsible gaming and, as such, has very strict rules on where they will allow their games to be played.
As noted earlier this is a company that started in land-based machines and then took their classic games and developed them into online versions. Because of this, they all feature a real casino feel. Though the company can’t, or chooses not to, compete with those who are putting out studio-quality graphics, they deliver in regard to ease of gameplay. Most of their slots are played in exactly the same way, with the same features and payouts. This makes them simple enough for a beginner to take to. They’re most well known for their series of Elvis and Marilyn Monroe slots.
However, some of their other popular games include Book of Ra, Dolphin’s Pearl, Katana, Lucky Lady’s Charm, Power Stars, Captain Venture, Lord of the Ocean, Secret Elixir, Sharky, Sizzling Hot, Sizzling Hot Quattro, Sizzling6, Xtra Hot.
In 2010 Novomatic acquired Greentube, which allowed them to branch out online. As such, many of the early games mentioned above have a strict Novomatic feel. However, they also added in numerous other types of online slots, bingo, and table games. Included in the mix are 5 Card Draw, Omaha, and Texas Hold ‘em. Additionally, the variants of 70 and 90-ball bingo are available as well.
They have also put a casino spin on some traditional games of skill, like 8-Ball, Backgammon, and darts. Greentube, furthermore, has a group of social casino games, packaged under the Greentube Pro platform. This selection was developed with the intent to give land-based casinos an online casino that their loyal patrons could play free while counting down the days to their next visit.