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.
Novomatic ManagementHarald 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 University.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 throughout Austria.
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.
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.Sizzling Hot
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 multiplier system.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
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
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
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
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 size.Secret Elixir
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 business.