NextGen is short for Next Generation, and the company is big, old, and slightly complex. The NextGen Gaming casino software provider is one of the world’s biggest slot developers, with more than 200 titles to its name and a 21-year history that makes it a veteran in online video slots terms.
Who are NextGen?
NextGen is big, but it’s a smaller part of a bigger machine that comes in three levels, reaching all the way to Las Vegas, the world capital of gambling, and all the way back to 1917.
NextGen is a part of SG Digital.
SG Digital is a combination of NYX and SGI.
And SG Digital is part of Scientific Games.
That’s the step that takes us to Vegas.
This sort of set up is far from uncommon in the online video slots world, and, as the industry matures we are likely to see more such mega-corporations coming together and smaller, actually independent companies reducing in number.
Starting at the top of this particular pyramid:
Scientific Games is a huge company, with an HQ in Las Vegas, and offices on three continents for nearly 10,000 employees.
Scientific Games can trace its roots back to the earliest attempts to automate horse racing gambling in the United States, in 1917, but its deepest roots in the slots industry go back to the 1930s, when the Bally company, which Scientific Games acquired in 2013, started to develop pinball games.
They also had a game development arm called SG Interactive (now SGI).
In 2017, Scientific Games bought NYX Gaming Group, the company that owns the NextGen brand, and put it together with SGI in a company called SG Digital.
And so we have NextGen!
You may not feel this matters to you, as a happy-go-lucky slots player, but it’s useful to know that such companies exist.
The purpose of these acquisitions and mergers (NYX was itself a collection of smaller gaming developers) for the owners of the companies is obvious: it gives them complete control: they can supply the games, run the software that runs casino sites, and even run networks of casino sites themselves – no-one else to share the money with!
But what is the benefit for the player?
Top 3 List of the Best NextGen Casinos for UK Players
The Pluses of NextGen Casino Software – the Megacorp
There are certainly advantages to dealing with a huge company. Bigger companies are more stable and less likely to vanish.
Bigger companies have the money to invest in the best product testing and to attract the best staff, so their games should be reliable and crash-proof.
Big companies work well with other big companies, so their products are ubiquitous and easily understood. Plus there is a lot of product.
They also tend to be reliable and to follow industry standards (standards that they help define).
The Minuses of NextGen Casino Software – the Megacorp
Bigger companies can be less innovative and less nimble. Some reviewers have reported that games branded as “new” NextGen products in the past have really been games from acquired producers given a spruce up and new skin.
Bigger companies can stifle competition. How many cola brands do you see in your local store? The slots industry is doing what all industries under capitalism do and consolidating. Smaller companies are being eaten up by the giants and we can see, in the story of NYX, NextGen, and SGI, a perfect example of vertical integration, where a business attempts to own all parts of a supply chain.
It’s good to be aware of this sort of thing so that you know what you’re dealing with when you visit a casino site or play a new game.
With hundreds of NextGen slot games, we can’t give you a comprehensive guide to all of them here, but we would like to do our best to introduce the company’s products to you.
We’ll start by looking at the games that NextGen wants you to look at, those running as featured titles on its website.
Currently, they are:
Gorilla Go Wilder
This is a 5-by-3 game on floating reels featuring a returning character, Gary the Gorilla, who presides over a bonus-heavy game based around eight bonus islands packed with different features and which work as a trigger for the game’s free spins round. The narrative structure is designed to pull in players for the long haul and this is a beautiful looking and a complex slot that was among the most sophisticated of 2019.
This title, released in April 2018, is full of cash and full of a-typical features. The game has a very high RTP and is high variance (paying out bigger prizes less often on average) with a top prize of 50,000-times your stake. The Megaways set-up means more than 100,000 potential winning combinations and variable reel numbers (6 or 7), a top reel, and giant symbols add to the exiting features on this Ancient Greece-themed game.
The Foxin’ series of games from NextGen is massive. The upper-class red mammal (why designers so often decide to style foxes after the class most dedicated to slaughtering them for fun is a mystery!) is a huge hit at bingo sites. He’s also to be found wherever NextGen slots are played, and in this new title is joined by a sister, and high win potential if you stump up and activate the Super Bet levels that come with additional features.
Volcano Eruption Extreme
Volcanic eruptions are already pretty extreme events, but NextGen want to go a bit further than a “standard” fiery explosion and released this 5-by-3 title in March 2019. It is a medium variance game, with a slightly below-average RTP but it lives up to its extreme name in some fantastic visuals and well-designed extra features like expanding wilds and respins. It looks great, with animation being a particular strength, and delivering some super features in a fitting way.
King Kong Fury
King Kong is always in a temper, but he’s angry this time because the reels (five by four) he presides over here are giving out up to 100 free spins! Unusually for this sort of narrative, you actually win your way into the top prize game by handing over iconic damsel in distress, Ann Darrow, to Kong! That’s not very chivalrous! That’s a feature in one of four big bonus games, including Lightning Reels, Kong’s Call, King of Skull Island (bye bye Ann!), and Raging Respins, that add real interest to this classy looking slot.
Jackpot Jester 200,000
The Jackpot Jester must be doing something right because the game is now a series from NextGen, with this version, named (like its predecessor 50K) named for the top prize in the jackpot game, Super Game. Jackpot Jester games are super simple, with a 3 by 3 grid at their heart and modelled on an old two-screen game cabinet. Players obviously love them though, because this iteration of the series has been scoring well in casinos since its release in August 2018.
The Wild 3
The little TM at the end of this title tells you that there is something original and special about this game (and that it is likely to trigger sequels as well as big wins). With high variance and 10 pay lines delivering a very good RTP, Wild 3 has plenty of win potential, including extra opportunities that open up with the NextGen Superbet feature. That isn’t it for extras though, and this is a sophisticated and multi-layered game that also stands out for its excellent graphic design and imaginative concept – animals in a Wild West setting.
The Mask Slots
Here the TM signals that someone else has an idea that they want to protect, and this game is a movie tie-in with the Mask, one of the films that helped make Jim Carrey a ubiquitous comic genius (or a ubiquitous something else, as you prefer) back in 1994. Making the most of the bold and bright visuals of the movie, this slot from 2018, offers good value entry-level betting, and a good quality standard video slot.
NextGen’s Hit Slots
Now let’s look not at the games that NextGen wants us to see, but the ones that UK players are clicking on in casino sites.
These are the top 10 titles according to our favourite industry audit site, which measures the popularity of slots in a variety of ways.
This site rates NextGen as the 17th most popular provider of slot games to the UK casino industry.
And the top NextGen slots titles currently are:
Will the world ever get tired of Irish-themed games? Apparently not yet, though Irish Eyes, with its 2012 release date is old enough to be considered a vintage title. It looks it too, with very simple graphics and an old-style NextGen control panel. These games generally owe their longevity to big prizes (up to 10,000-times stake here), and simple reliable gameplay (the bonus is a free spins round). If an Irish title delivers those qualities it will probably succeed, as this one has so triumphantly!
The dapper Fox stars in his original title here, with the features that continue through the series already well in evidence: random bonus features, cute puppies, and big-win potential (up to 100,000 coins) courtesy of rewarding bonuses.
Pillars of Asgard
This more recent game hit the casino lobbies right at the end of 2019, and, as a result, is more sophisticated. It also delivers that big adrenaline hit and the potential of a life-changing win in the shape of a 25,000-times stake top prize. The 24-symbol playing space is set up as the gates to the afterlife for Viking warriors, and they are most likely to get there with a big pot of gold if they hit the top levels of a moving multiplier or a variable free spins with extra symbols and masses of pay lines.
Rise of the Mountain King
This recent release from March 2020 is super atmospheric and a beautifully designed homage to the work of Edvard Grieg (you didn’t know that you needed a classical music-inspired slot machine until now did you?). Using his music and some Nordic folklore as a jumping-off point NextGen seem to have a hit on their hands with this bonus-packed game that allows you to gamble your wins and buy some features.
This game dates back to 2015 and is wildlife-themed, jumping across the species to bring together a load of stampeding animals (elephants, bison, horses…). Rather thin theming aside this game has dated well because it still looks good and still delivers a good quality playing experience with its Megaways to win and a load of bonuses led by win gambles and free spins.
Foxin’ Wins Again
You could spend your whole life never seeing a Foxin’ game unless you use bingo sites, but these titles are worth seeking out, and this 2014 addition to the Foxin’ saga is nautically themed. It’s got a bright and breezy look and feel that’s great fun and very timeless. If you like to chance your arm you can bet as high as 2, 5000 coins on this 50-pay lines game on a 5 by 4 grid.
There’s already a sequel to this 2012 game (see our featured games list above), and perhaps it is the success of this that has brought this 5-by-3 game back into contention. It’s a good, reliable NextGen slot with all the virtues you expect – it’s pretty, it works well, and has rock-solid features and bonuses throughout the gaming experience.
A not-quite tie-in with the 300 movies, this game is another set in Ancient Greece and was released in 2014 when its 95.3% RTP was par for the course and a fair price for the high variance rating that meant you could hit a big win. Spartans and their abs are battling for truth and honour or something, and probably of more interest to you is the 300-times maximum multiplier that caps the pay-outs of this 5-by-3 25 pay line game.
Greta needn’t worry about oil extraction in the virtual world of slots, so you can play this boom-time themed hymn to capitalism with a clean(ish) conscience. Like the fuel of its title this game has stuck around and is still charting seven years after it was first tapped. It has everything you need for a good spin out, including expanding wilds that work in levels, and a nice little free spins round that retriggers like a gusher!
Doctor Love on Vacation
This 2013 title is themed on a sort of 60s sit-com cartoon aesthetic. It’s obviously got some appeal to retro-minded gamers because it’s still attracting spins nearly seven years after its 2013 release. It’s got timeless appeal and is very much in the family-style of NextGen at the time, though with that unmistakeably weird theming!
New Releases from Next Gen
NextGen keep ahead of the game with a regular supply of new titles. While the world is on lockdown the slots reels are spinning on for the moment though it’s not inconceivable that there will be delays or cancellations in these release schedules.
NextGen’s most recent releases were:
- Rise of the Mountain King – see above;
- Golden Nugget – a classic real-world casino-style game;
- Pillars of Asgard – see above;
- Merlin – see above;
- ’s Money Burst – a fantastically surreal and imaginative take on King Arthur’s magician with reel-sets all over the place, three bonuses, super bets, and a massive 37,500-times stake top prize;
- Foxin’ Twins – see above;
- 300 Shields Extreme – a sequel to the aforementioned Spartan battle game, with a nicely updated look and a 17,770-times stake potential top win.
NextGen Online Casinos
NextGen games are common around the UK market. NYX, the company’s parent organisation is fully licensed in the UK, and the merge into the giant Scientific Games organisation is only going to give NextGen games more visibility.
The audit that we use lists NextGen games at 618 casinos in 30 countries.
The top UK casinos for NextGen are:
All of these are good quality sites, and there are many more.
NextGen has some big titles in its catalogue so you may see some of them on the front pages and in lobbies of your favourite casino sites. However, if you don’t see the games your after look for sites that allow you to search for games by the title or by the provider.
You may see NextGen slots games in free spins welcome offers or other bonuses, and we have certainly seen NextGen specific promotions at a number of casino sites soon.
Playing NextGen Slots Safely
Always play only at licensed NextGen casino sites.
You can be sure that NextGen slots games themselves are legal and fair, and unlike some companies, NextGen releases games with a single theoretical return to player (correct at time of writing) rather than a range that casino site owners can set themselves.
If you’re not sure if you’re going to like a game then there’s no harm in playing it free in demo mode, and you can do that at a number of sites – as long as you can verify your age – including at NextGen’s own website.