IGT – International Game Technology
The history of International Game Technology goes all the way back to the 1950’s. This company is the leading slots manufacturer in the US. Over half of all slots found in US brick and mortar casinos are built by IGT, and the company is listed on the New York stock exchange. More recently, IGT has made moves to take their games online. This is for non-US casinos, where their titles can be found as extras at leading brands alongside other software. With movie and TV tie-ins and cutting edge technology, these slots are extremely popular.
This article takes you through the key aspects of IGT. First of all, I rewind the clock and take a look through their long and interesting history. After that some of the innovations that they bought to slots games are covered. The industry accolades which IGT has won are next, followed by my wrap-up and summary of this casino software creator.
International Game Technology History
Thought the early history of this company can be traced back as far as the 1950s, their influence on the world of gambling grew during the 1970’s. Their video poker games were a huge success which enabled IGT to list on the NASDAQ. Those early days saw several breakthroughs in technology and innovation within the brick and mortar slots arena.
In 1991, IGT moved their listing to the main New York stock exchange. They established service centers in many cities for their live slots, and expanded internationally too. 1998 saw the acquisition of Barcrest, which added more technology and titles to their line-up.
By 2001, International Game Technology had grown so large as to enter the S&P500 – the list of America’s biggest companies. More acquisitions would follow, including the 2005 purchase of rival WagerWorks.
It was this last acquisition which enabled IGT to make the transition from being a purely live slot provider to the online world. Due to restrictive laws in the US, this happened internationally, with many games licensed to the biggest European and UK based brands. The company has continued to grow to this day.
In July of 2014, IGT was itself acquired by industry giant GTEC for a huge $6.4 Billion. The company continues to use the IGT branding for games at the time of writing.
IGT Game Development
International Game Technology has been the driving force behind some of the biggest developments in slots gaming. These include many of the things we take for granted today. A great example is linked progressive jackpots, which were first introduced in Las Vegas by IGT.
This company were pioneers of slot games based on microchips, and later the video slots with free spin features and multiple winning lines which we see as the standard today. Breakthroughs came with themed slot games based on TV shows and popular singers.
It was the introduction of technology to track and reward play which really gave IGT slots a boost. With players able to collect points as they played, demand for their titles increased significantly – leading more casinos to feature their games.
Innovation did not stop with these early breakthroughs. Multi-player slots were also introduced by IGT. These games seat up to 5 players, and include a giant shared screen for bonus rounds. A new generation of slot games is in development, with progressive feature rounds and even the ability to register a player name so that you can pick up where you left off later.
There are simply too many awards and industry accolades to mention in one short article. This company has been at the forefront of innovation for such a long time that their trophy cabinet is packed with awards from the most prestigious ceremonies.
Most recently, IGT was named ‘Slot Manufacturer of the Year’ at the 2014 International Gaming Awards. They have also won eGR’s Slot Provider of the Year. Individual slots have won numerous accolades of their own. IGT has also won awards outside of the gambling industry, being named one of the top 100 companies to work for.
International Game Technology Summary
Their games are at the cutting edge of slot technology, and the innovation shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. Whether you enjoy the latest multi-player slot experiences at brick and mortar casinos, or the online slot games which are licensed to leading international brands – IGT slots are a must-see.
With the new focus on mobile casino gaming I expect to see the range of slots available on smartphones and tablets very soon. The best thing about the innovation with International Game Technology is that they consistently exceed expectations. One thing is for sure, we can expect the next generation of their slot games to be even more impressive than the exceptional titles which are available now.