Megaways slots – The future of online slotting?
The immediate success of MEGAWAYS SLOTS seems to be overwhelming in the online casino industry. Originally founding the initial concept was Big Time Gaming whom, until securing their positive presence in recent times, was pretty much unheard of. Since then they have gone from newcomer to shooting star, releasing several extremely popular slots that have casino bosses climbing over each other to get these titles available on their sites.
Megaways slots do not stop there however, in such a short time frame we have seen their game pop up at one casino after another and the hype is spreading now above and beyond Big Time Gaming who have now successfully contracted the Megaways licence to their competitors and other software providers out there such as Relax Gaming, Red Tiger Gaming and Scientific Games to name just a few.
So where and when did it all start
Looking back at slots evolving over the years players would originally be spinning away looking to secure those fruitful wins on just one single winning pay line, a bit like the old fruit machines found in amusement arcades, seaside resorts as well as pubs and clubs. Software developers then looked to add fresh ideas and make play sessions more enjoyable by increasing winning opportunities.
We then began to see slots with nine winning lines, classic examples would be Thunderstruck and Spring Break by Microgaming, still enjoying success to this day. Following these slots with increasingly more pay lines began to appear and we saw 15, 20, 25 and even 40 pay lines available.
A massive new concept hit the world of online slotting when in 2011 the way wins system was introduced. Basically, any symbols in view working from left to right would pay a winning combination, regardless of the symbols respective reel positions. This was quickly expanded upon and developers were soon to magnify this impressive concept and we saw slots offering 1,024 and even 4,096 ways to win! After several years of witnessing providers utilising these mechanics, the whole industry was in real need of something totally new, something fresh, something exciting, and then came Megaways…….
What is all the excitement about Megaways slots?
Megaways slots came along and were exactly what the casino world was in need of. No set reel strips, no set winning lines nor any set way wins. Nope, this was to offer a totally different, random possibility of each and every individual spin made! When games using this new and exhilarating mechanic came along, we saw a maximum ways range of winning combinations of 117,649.
This was made up of six reels, two would display six symbols and four would display seven symbols. This, of course, is decided at random at the start of the specific spin made by the player. Megaways slots could offer a vast range of combinations across four, five or six reel slots. This range would be from two symbols per reel strip up to seven symbols per reel.
As their popularity soared we then began to see a whole new level of Megaways mechanics and implementation. Nowadays we have several immensely popular slots which offer the potential of a maximum Megaways of 117,649 which are evident across just about every casino in today’s modern market. However above and beyond that, the programmers did not rest there, we now have a network of titles offering a huge variety of Megaways mechanics, there are games with 15,625 winning ways up to a gigantic 586,971 winning ways available and just waiting to be enjoyed!
What to play and Where
Ready to race off and see what all the hype is about? Firstly some examples of the seemingly more popular titles. Bonanza by the initial patent holders of the Megaways concept has to be the most popular to date and still play as much as it was when first released. Based on a gold mining theme and housing the 117,649 maximum ways to win, players can spin from as little as 0.20 credits to get them started.
The idea to secure four gold bar scatters spelling out the word G-O-L-D, thus awarding 12 free spins with an increasing win multiplier which is also an unlimited multiplier. Any wins on this game whether in normal play or the bonus will explode out, pay the winning amount and fresh symbols will cascade into their place. We have witnessed time and again players enjoying successes of several thousand times their bet amount!
Another quality example, again from Big Time Gaming has to be which some players originally referred to as Bonanza 2. This, however, is not the case, the game was an expansion on the original Bonanza and carried its own new name and theme in Extra Chilli. Using the same mechanics as its predecessor but with another new idea in the Feature Drop. Those thrill seekers wishing to enter the bonus round on those days when it seemed those scatters just didn’t want to come could now purchase the feature for 50x their stake, coin symbols were added to the reel strips which would randomly appear in the base game and steadily reduce the cost of the Feature Drop.
There are now a rather nice and growing collection of Megaways based slots to be found, examples of such would include, White Rabbit, Who wants to be a Millionaire, based on the popular TV show, both by Big Time Gaming. Also Primal Megaways, Vikings Unleashed and Genie Jackpots, all from Blueprint Gaming.
One hit wonder or here to stay?
Well, what does the future hold for Megaways slots, temporary hype or here for the duration? Well, it seems that it’s going to be one of the most successful things to hit the industry for a very long time. Since release, their slots have appeared as quick as overnight at the more popular online casinos and it did not stop there. Providers themselves saw just how popular this mechanic had become and went in talks with Big Time Gaming as a matter of urgency.
We now have to date a total of seven different providers who are now all using the Megaways mechanics and have secured licencing deals with Big Time Gaming. There will always, of course, be space for the much loved classic slots and fixed-line slots as players, particularly old school players will always want that variety and to visit their loyal favourites from time to time. However, brace yourselves as although we have already seen numerous developments along with this concept, I have a feeling that this is only the beginning.