Most experienced online casino players will be well aware that there are now many different sub-categories of slot games. There are classic fruit slots, jackpot slots, cluster-pay games, and various other genres within the wider category. But arguably the most successful style of slot game in recent years falls under the Megaways category. For evidence, just look at the majority of casino platforms, which are sure to show a dedicated Megaways section on the homepage.
The first Megaways games came about in the mid-2010s. Created by Big Time Gaming (BTG), the Australian studio behind several big hits like Danger: High Voltage and Lil Devil, the first title in the format was Dragon Born Megaways. That, to be frank, was a modest hit, but the second release from the developer, Bonanza Megaways, was the game that truly caught the imagination. Bonanza is now widely considered one of the most popular casino games of the last decade, and it helped BTG launch a mini-revolution in the iGaming sector.
BTG made an unprecedented move
Why do we use the term revolution? Well, it was BTG’s actions after the success of Bonanza that prompted a significant influence on the sector. You see, BTG decided to license the technology to its rivals instead of solely producing Megaways games itself. This meant that some of the biggest names in the industry, including Inspired Gaming, NetEnt, and Blueprint, were able to create their own Megaways games. If you load any of them up, you will see a message that the game is “under license from Big Time Gaming”. The software developer side of the iGaming industry is hugely competitive, so this was an unprecedented move by BTG.
For those not aware, the Megaways format works as follows: Games have 6 reels, but unlike standard slots, the number of rows on each reel shifts with each spin. The games don’t have standard paylines, but they instead have a system where every possible left-to-right combination of symbols will pay. At its maximum, each reel can have 7 rows of symbols, making 117,649 ways to win. We should point out that some Megaways games, including the aptly titled 1 Million Megaways BC, have more than 117,649 ways to win, but that is the most common format by far.
Explosive action has attracted players
Regardless, you can see how BTG created something different. Multi-line slots used to mean that you would have 10, 20, 50, or maybe 100 paylines in a game; having (potentially) tens of thousands of winning lines literally changes the game. It creates the conditions for more explosive gameplay, although that also makes the games very volatile. As such, you should be aware that, yes, the games can pay many thousands of times your stake at a stroke, but they can also drain your balance. As with all casino games, responsible play and budgeting are advised.
Is it fair to say that Megaways is the most popular genre of slots now? There is stiff competition. For example, players seem to love “book” games, aka the myriad of titles like Book of Dead or Book of Oz that have an Expanding Symbol Free Spin Feature. But Megaways seems to have the largest scope and reach – 100s of the games are now widely available. And, as mentioned, it has the secret sauce of being backed by a multitude of developers and not just one.