Novomatic slots are slot games produced by the casino game
design company called Novomatic. This firm began life as a
land-based slot producer, though they now operate as a
full-service gaming provider, releasing land-based, online, and
mobile games across multiple platforms. Headquartered in
Austria, Novomatic employs 20,000 people distributing games in
70 countries in every gambling market in the world. Their focus
is on land-based and online slot machines, though they produce
online and mobile versions of table classics, bingo, and other
traditional gambling games.
Harald Neumann, CEO
Harald Neumann has been in various management roles for two
decades, all with various technology firms. He began his career
as Managing Director of Novomatic in 2011, rising to the role of
CEO in October of 2014. Before joining the Novomatic team, Mr.
Neumann managed G4S Security Services, served as Managing
Director at the Austrian Federal Computing Center, and held
low-level management roles with T-Systems and Alcatel. He earned
a degree in economics from Vienna University. He serves proudly
as a member of the Advisory Board at Webster Vienna Private
Ryszard Presch, COO
Mr. Presch serves as both Chief Operating Officer and Deputy
Chairman of the Executive Board at Novomatic, a role he’s held
since 2013. Besides his duties at Novomatic, Mr. Presch serves
as both the Managing Director and Chairman of the Supervisory
Board of Austrian Gaming Industries.
Thomas Graf, CTO
Mr. Graf is the son of Johann Graf, Novomatic’s founder. He
joined Greentube in September 2011reen Tube with Novomatic.
Besides serving as CEO of Greentube, he has two decades’ gaming
industry experience in various fields, from Research &
Development to Marketing, IP and to Operations Management.
Peter Stein, CFO
Mr. Stein came up through the Corporate Finance department at
Novomatic, beginning his long tenure as an executive in 1994. He
was invited to join the Board in 2006, and has sat on that body
since that time. He earned a degree in business and economics
from the Vienna University.
The story of Novomatic is the story of Johann Graf. Mr. Graf
had an inauspicious beginning to his life, raised by his
grandparents in a small town in Austria. He worked in the family
butcher shop for nearly thirty years before deciding to start
out on his own in the mid-70s. With a small loan from a friend,
his company Brodnik & Graf set out to import pinball machines
from nearby Belgium and re-sell them to pubs and storefronts
By 1980, Graf and his partner had the idea to produce their
own games, cutting out the Belgian middle man altogether. Their
new venture, which they called Novomatic, soon turned to
producing newly-legal AWP (amusement with prize) games, the
first of which were the soon-to-be household name Admiral gaming
machines. These games were a hit, and with a new regulatory
environment sweeping across Europe, Novomatic soon had new
fertile ground. They began producing games for the French,
German, Dutch, and Swiss markets.
By 1983, Novomatic games were available in dozens of
countries all over the world, though the US market eluded them.
Then came 1984 and the wide availability of microprocessors and
other hardware that changed the landscape of machine gaming.
Over the next decade, Novomatic was at the leading edge of new
development in slot and other machine games. Novomatic launched
the Czech Republic’s largest land-based casino in 1994, in
partnership with the city of Prague. By the end of the 1990s,
Novomatic games could be found in thirty countries around the
world, including the emerging African market.
Interestingly, Novomatic didn’t get in on the ground floor of
online game design. While companies like Microgaming and RTG
were dipping their toes in the water of online slot and video
poker design, Novomatic’s designers were neck deep in global
expansion in the traditional gambling machine industry, earning
licenses to produce games in Canada and (eventually) the US
state of Colorado in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The company
continued to dominate the European land-based slot and AWP
markets while online gambling took off and other companies were
earning millions of dollars producing Web-based slots.
It didn’t take long for Novomatic to set their sights on the
Web-based gambling market.
The company’s founders realized that online gambling in
general (and slot gambling in particular) wasn’t just a fad
sometime around 2008. They set their sights on acquiring any of
a half-dozen small and inexpensive-to-acquire online game design
firms to help them transition from the land-based to the
Web-based market. In 2009, they bought the leading Austrian
online game design firm Green Tube Solutions, and immediately
began releasing online games under the Novomatic brand.
These days, Novomatic is a major producer of online and
mobile slots and other games. The founder of Novomatic, Johann
Graf, is one of the 200 wealthiest men in the world, worth
nearly $90 billion. The Novomatic empire stretches the globe,
with offices in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Though Novomatic
has yet to make as big a splash in the online slot design world
as they did in the land-based market, they are a growing brand,
acquiring smaller companies and releasing new titles on what
seems like a monthly basis.
Novomatic Slot Machines
Here’s a look at 8 popular Novomatic slot games:
Book of Ra
Novomatic’s Book of Ra is one of their big land-based hit
games, so naturally it was one of the first titles they released
as part of their Web and mobile library. The theme is a strange
blend of Egyptian and African religious traditions. The top
prize is worth 5000x your wager, which means a total value of up
to $500,000. Novomatic doesn’t make many games as potentially
lucrative as this one, and the expanding wild Ra symbol becomes
even more valuable by activating it during the free spins round.
Book of Ra’s main feature is the free spins round, though
otherwise it’s a typical ten pay line and five reel online slot.
If you spend much time researching Novomatic or reading
reviews of the company’s games, you’ll come across multiple
references to Sizzling Hot, a slot inspired by the classic games
of old Las Vegas. Call it a classic slot, a fruit machine, or
any other name, it’s all the same. The addition of four pay
lines to the classic slot’s standard compliment of one gives it
some spring in its step, as does the addition of two additional
reels, for a total of five. The game takes on the classic fruit
machine slots of classic Vegas as its theme, featuring symbols
like lemons, bananas, cherries, and sevens. Though you won’t
find any bonus games here, there is a scatter symbol, and a
large top prize that’s eligible for promotion through a
Lucky Lady’s Charm
Lucky Lady’s Charm was another of Novomatic’s land-based
hits, appearing now in both Web- and mobile-capable formats.
Novomatic only makes a handful of ten pay line games, and Lucky
Lady’s Charm is one of them. The five reels rounds out the
layout. Lucky Lady’s Charm’s theme is (surprise, surprise) Lady
Luck herself, in all her wealth and glory. The inclusion of a
free spins bonus round that also pays out bet multipliers sets
this game apart from Novomatic’s other five reel titles. Players
are mostly looking to claim the game’s fifteen free spins, not
just because that’s a large number for a Novomatic title, but
because all wins are doubled during free play rounds.
Panda Mania is built around a generic panda and zoo theme.
Panda Mania is a good example of Novomatic’s best online slot
designs. It has a lot of replay value, not because of its
awesome animations or in-depth plot, but because it includes
three bonus rounds. One of them rewards a random number of free
spins (between one and fifteen), while the other two hand out
instant credit prizes and wager multipliers. The game’s
top prize is 6,000 credits, the value of which ranges from $60
to $12,000 depending on the player’s chosen credit size.
Golden Ark is a pretty obvious rip-off of the classic Indiana
Jones character, down to the bullwhip held by the game’s titular
character. The only difference is, in Novomatic’s version, the
hero is a gorgeous woman. Golden Ark (sort-of) tells the story
of a handsome adventurer chasing down a sacred golden object in
a big creepy jungle temple. The similarities are obvious. If you
can forgive them for producing a knock-off slot, Golden Ark is
actually one of the company’s more entertaining online slot
games. The game’s top prize is a 500x bet multiplier, which
could be worth as much as $250,000. We think that’s a big part
of the reason for the game’s popularity – it’s the biggest fixed
jackpot of all of Novomatic’s games.
Columbus is a five reel and nine pay line slot that’s a good
representative of the larger Novomatic game library. Columbus is
a bit odd in that it seems to reward max bets even more than
other games in Novomatic’s Web-based library. That’s because it
only offers a 5,000-credit max jackpot. Since the slot accepts
credit sizes between $0.20 and $100 each. It takes a wager of
$10-per-credit (which represents a per-spin bet of $100) to get
anywhere near a lucrative top prize, and even then it’s still
worth just $50,000, not much of a return for a $100-per-spin
investment. All that aside, this is an attractive game with all
the wild and scatter symbol trappings we’ve come to expect from
Novomatic, a bonus game, and the same boring animations that
you’ll find on every Novomatic Web-based or mobile slot game.
Cash Spin is a sneaky little three reel classic style slot.
That’s because it offers up to twenty-five pay lines, a
200-credit max bet, and bonus rounds that rival the best such
games available on other Novomatic titles. The classic style
display is hiding one of Novomatic’s more interesting games,
though it’s one that we wish had a better-developed theme. Cash
Spin is a knock-off of the classic game show Wheel of Fortune.
That wouldn’t be a problem if they’d spent any time or energy
replicating the experience of that classic game. The only
standout feature is the bonus Cash Spin game, in which you
actually spin a wheel, the screen changes, the animations pick
up, and it’s honestly a little bit exciting. Unfortunately, the
payouts available aren’t all that exciting. The biggest fixed
payout is worth just 250x your wager, which means a total max
wager payout of between $2.50 and $4,000 depending on credit
Secret Elixir deserves special mention here because it
includes a cool feature that we wish Novomatic would make a
little more use of. Secret Elixir is a nine pay line and five
reel game, though that fifth reel is not a traditional reel.
Instead of containing all the game’s symbols, it remains blank,
except for the occasional wild, scatter, or special multiplier
symbol. The idea is to give you more chances to win, more access
to bonus rounds, and more features, to keep you playing longer
and attract the attention of bonus-chasers at the same time.
Though the payback percentage is likely adjusted to account for
the possibility of more frequent payouts and features, it does
make for a game with more replay value than Novomatic’s other
traditional nine pay line slot titles.
The best thing that Novomatic has going for it is its
longevity in the industry. They’ve produced everything from
pinball amusement games to modern Web-based progressive slots.
Novomatic has been producing amusements for forty years, and
they have experience in a huge variety of markets.
Novomatic’s land-based slots fare better under review than
their lightly-features and slightly under-designed Web-based
games, though they’re all fun to play. That’s mostly because
Novomatic understands that slot players like features beyond
wild symbols – most of their online games include bonus rounds
and side games.
Novomatic should invest in producing more modern titles,
games with licensed themes and special effects, and titles with
more complex plot lines. It’s clear that they’ve only recently
entered the online gambling marketplace, but with a few more
acquisitions and a larger financial investment in research and
design, there’s no reason they can’t produce titles that compete
with Betsoft, NetEnt, and the other top-tier designers in the
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