Novomatic was founded more than 30 years ago, in 1980. The founder was an Austrian gentleman called Johann Graf, who had a vision of turning the company into one of the industry’s leaders.
The fact that Graf how has a net worth of over $7 billion, clearly proves that his vision was not only achievable, but he had what it took to turn his dreams into reality. That net worth makes him one of the richest men in the world by the way (208th on Forbes list in 2015).
Novomatic’s rise to the top was not necessarily easy, but today they are one of the, if not the largest corporation in the gambling industry. The reasons? For starters, they have a very diverse profile that includes software and hardware, as well as several casinos both from the live and the online varieties.
Developing such a huge presence in all areas of the business is obviously key. With a yearly revenue of consistently over $3 billion in the last couple of years, Novomatic is – without a doubt – one of the giants of the industry.
With representations over 40 countries (precisely 43) in the world, the company has a global reach that is virtually unprecedented in their field. The fact that their main markets are the Member States of the European Union does not diminish that accomplishment. Still, the vast majority of their revenue comes from the Central, Easter and South Eastern European markets and there is a good reason for that. The key to those territories was early market entry.
Novomatic started their expansion toward Germany, France, Netherlands and Switzerland merely a year after their launch. Through 1982 and 1983, that expansion towards new markets continued, putting down the financial foundation of a future gambling giant.
The secret of the company
The recurring theme in the company’s success is clearly progression. Graf’s vision came to fruition very early into the expansion process. After the foundation of the company, the first ten years brought amazing progress with two very important phases that turned out to be game changers.
The first one of these was the development of the MPU 01 in 1984. Why was this so significant? The reason is simple. With this invention, Novomatic basically created the hardware platform what turned out to be the basis for the slot machines we know and love today.
In 1988 the company continued its expansion now reaching another continent, establishing their presence in the Republic of South Africa. With the 1989 fall of the Iron Curtain, the company had the chance to start wide-reaching pioneering activities in the new EU Member States.
They opened several casinos all over Europe, including but not limited to Switzerland and the Czech Republic. Their presence in Europe was so significant that they did not have much competition back then. The other milestone was a legendary software/slot machine. In 1990, American Poker II launched, a game that would later go down as one of the most popular poker games of all-time.
Most popular Novomatic games
The company has created various legendary games both of the live slot and the online variety. The most notable ones are Sizzling Hot, Book of Ra, JollyFruits, Fruits’n Sevens, Katana and Lucky Lady’s Charm. Most of these are still available in their classic form, but of course they can also be found online at most online casinos that use Novomatic’s software solutions, and there quite a few of those around (Novomatic is one of the leading online casino software provider).
The major players of the online gambling market
The competition in extremely tough with a very crowded market. Aristocrat, IGT, Microgaming, Net Entertainment, Playtech, RTG and WMS are just some of the major players who fight for the market shares. Novomatic is still one of the leading companies mostly because of their history, experience and consistency.
Are they the best at creating new games?
Absolutely not. NetEnt and Playtech created a new standard with their AAA online slots that often look and feel like a movie or an animated cartoon. Novomatic, however, is virtually unbeatable when it comes to their offline presence. The have the advantage of simply being around for a very long time, resulting in a 30+ year run that still hasn’t ended.