There are dozens of companies in the iGaming industry that develop free slot machine games without downloading or registration, but only some of them can achieve the legendary status. IGT (International Game Technology) is one of these companies and has a global reputation. Its games are known and played all over the world. So what makes IGT a different company? What differs it from other providers? Below, we briefly take a look at IGT’s history and achievements to answer this question.
About IGT: A Short History
IGT was founded in 1975 in the USA under the name A-1 Supply. As its name suggests, its founding purpose was to supply equipment to US casinos. At that time, the company was not interested in developing games. This situation continued until 1978. The same year, the company changed its name to “Sircoma” and started manufacturing a video poker machine and selling it to casinos. This machine was so successful that in 1981, the company once again changed its name to “International Game Technologies” and started to produce casino games only.
But what really made IGT popular in casinos was the player tracking systems it developed. In the 80s, land-based casinos tracked players with physical camera systems and security guards, not using any software or computer systems. In other words, this was a manual job, and it was not that effective for the same reason. There was no company yet to think of adapting computer software to the casino industry, and computers weren’t that common anyway. IGT changed this forever by purchasing a company called “Electronic Data Technologies”. IGT adapted the database developed by the company it bought so that it can be used to track the players digitally. Every game that players play and every bet placed can now be tracked by a huge database and anomalies can be detected automatically.
More importantly, however, IGT has created the concept of the “player rewards program” with this new system. IGT was the first company to develop a loyalty program, which is still in use today. This revolutionary idea caused almost every casino to switch to the IGT system. In the early 90s, IGT systems were used in almost every casino in the USA. Moreover, the company developed another idea that would revolutionize the industry forever: video slot machines.
The Inventor of Video Slots
In the early 90s, the company held a show in front of the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel and introduced a video slot game played on a large screen CRT display. This was a revolutionary development at the time. Slot games were still things that worked electromechanically in those years, meaning they really had reels in them. Designing them like an arcade game and making them completely digital was a revolution made possible by IGT. This concept was originally developed by a company called Fortune Coin Co at the end of the 70s, but it could not get approval from the Nevada Gaming Commission because of not taking enough precautions against cheating. IGT bought this company and continued to develop the concept.
Ultimately, it created the video slot machines that we still play today: slot games with multiple paylines, high graphics quality, and an RNG software. This was a real revolution and changed the iGaming industry forever. However, this was not the only achievement of IGT. The company continued to achieve many firsts throughout its history.
Other Important Achievements Of IGT
- In the late 1980s, IGT developed the world’s first wide-area progressive slot machine system and placed the Megabucks game (that is based on this system) in major Las Vegas casinos. (Let’s also mention that Megabucks slots are still available to play, and they are one of the oldest progressive jackpot series in the world.) Until then, progressive slot systems were limited to local areas. For example, only the games in the same casino used the same pool, so there was a maximum limit that the jackpot prize could reach. IGT enabled the games in different casinos to access the same pool with this system. Working as a kind of local area network, this system connected hundreds of games and made the jackpot prize reach millions of dollars. After the internet became widespread, this concept expanded further and enabled thousands of games to use the same pool at the same time.
- In 1996, IGT released the slot version of the famous TV show called Wheel of Fortune. According to the conditions of that era, this was a very bold move, because Wheel of Fortune was considered a family program and most people could not accept its association with gambling. However, IGT continued to purchase the licenses of TV shows, regardless of the public reactions. Today, IGT is considered the company with the most TV show licenses and continues to develop slot versions of almost all famous programs. Thanks to IGT, you can find the slot versions of each of these legendary shows: Powerbucks, Wheel of Fortune, Sex and the City, MASH, and many more.
- In 2014, it was purchased by Italy-based GTech for 6.4 billion Euros and became one of the most expensive iGaming acquisitions. It is possible to say that IGT, which was established in 1975, ended technically and legally in 2015. After the GTech acquisition, both companies merged into a new company and called it IGT PLC. Not much has changed in practice: IGT is still developing games and casino equipment of the same quality. However, it now has a much larger budget and is more effective in Europe.
In short, there are many reasons that make IGT a special company. IGT is a true pioneer in the iGaming industry, and it always develops games that are above a certain level of quality. This is a company that is followed by millions of players around the world. And if you want to try its games, you can do this for free. All IGT slots have a demo version you can enjoy without spending a penny.