Smaller online gaming companies can many times be left in the dust by their larger, more comprehensive competitors.
However, if a company can build a following with a niche game or two, then it can carve out a profitable business.
Such is the case of Rival Powered, which powers many smaller online casinos but has a loyal following amongst players. This is a more detailed history of the company and what it has to offer.
The genesis of Rival Powered games was in Canada. The country is responsible for many pieces of gaming software (Cryptologic, Chartwell, and PokerStars come to mind), and Rival was built in the mid-2000s to compete with other providers in the space.
However, the timing couldn鈥檛 have been worse. As a company that was solely focused on the U.S. market, the events of October 2006 (the passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) crippled most of their business, and for a small software supplier, it could have been deadly.
The company, when it launched, had planned only to allow standalone casinos to use their platform. They realized that this was very limiting from a business perspective, so they made the decision to allow their games to be added on to existing operators.
While this put them in casinos, it put more pressure on the company to come up with games that would stand out against many of the top developers.
They have several types of slots games available, including traditional 3-reel games, 5-reel digital games, and their best product, iSlots.
The iSlots are built with a storyline in mind; the games take a player along a journey and feature characters that advance along with the gameplay.
The theory behind building these games was simple: by creating a storyline that players could follow along, the games would be more interesting than a standard slot machine and therefore would keep players in the games longer.
Well, the answer seems to be a resounding yes! The iSlots are far and away the most popular titles in the Rival catalog and are the most requested by licensees and players alike.
Aside from the missteps the company took when it first launched in 2006, it seems as though trouble has been following Rival Powered for years. To generate revenue, the company loosened its requirements for licensees, and as a result, they have had many blacklisted groups on their roster.
In fact, if you look at certain online casino watchdog sites, you will find the majority of Rival Powered鈥檚 past clients on these lists.
While the issues varied, the majority of the bad-news clients they had brought on board were companies that refused to pay players their winnings. This put Rival in a tough position, as they needed clients to pay the bills but couldn鈥檛 take much more of a hit to their reputation.
The company did their best to rid themselves of rogue operators and repay players, but the damage was done online.
With iSlots as their primary deliverable, Rival continues to push through and offer their games to operators.
This strategy is the one with the least amount of risk involved, and will likely pay off in the end for the company, whether it continues to operate on its own or considers being acquired by one of its competitors.