History Of Megaways Slots – Weekly Slots News

Home » History Of Megaways Slots – Weekly Slots News

Megaways Slots are online games that employ the Megaways random reel modifier feature, which alters the number of symbols on the reels on each given play, providing considerably more ways to win than traditional online slots. Megaways slots were named after the Megaways™ mechanic established by Big Time Gaming. 

Megaways are a popular gameplay mechanic for slot games and have exploded in popularity. Popular casino Stake.com, for example, offers over 140 Megaways slots, which you can view here, showcasing many ways players can play this slot game format. Compared to traditional online slot games, Megaways slots allow the players to have higher paylines. To understand how Megaways slots revolutionized the online slot gaming market, we will trace the origins of slot machines.

Origin of slot machines

Sittman and Pitt of Brooklyn, New York, invented the first fruit machine in 1891. They created the first gambling machine, which served as the forefather of the modern slot machine and grandfather to the fruit machine. The original game was based on poker and consisted of five drums containing 50 playing cards. 

Charles August Fey invented the first slot machine in San Francisco in 1898. They had a rudimentary three-reel design and a few symbols. The Liberty Bell was one of the earliest logos utilized and is still popular among traditional slot fans. These machines offered a single pay line and were popular in United States bars. 

The great success of the Liberty Bell slot machine inspired other innovators. Herbert Mills, a Chicago manufacturer, created the Operator Bell in 1907. In reaction to the prohibition of cash-based slot machines, Mills’ system would dispense fruit-flavored gum and candies. Instead of playing card symbols, the dial featured fruits such as cherries and lemons.

It was also the first time the famous bar symbol appeared on a machine based on the company emblem. As a result, the phrase “fruit machine” was coined. The fruit symbols have been used throughout history when designing modern slot machines. Following the end of World War I, the US government was enticed by tax breaks to reintroduce money-based gambling, and coin slots reappeared. 

In 1964, Bally created the first electromechanical machine called “Money Honey.” This version had between three to five reels. It had a maximum payoff of 500 coins. Instead of mechanical reels, slot machines featured a graphic motif on the screen for the first time. With the development of software, game makers could add additional symbols, paylines, and reels to slot machines while maintaining more control over the rewards.

Fortune Coin, a Las Vegas-based firm, created the first genuine video slot machine in Kearney Mesa, California, in 1976. For the display, this slot machine used a modified 19″ Sony Trinitron color receiver and logic boards for all slot machine operations. Video slot machines became popular throughout the ’80s in bars, casinos, and virtually through the computer. 

The International Game Technology (IGT) company released the first progressive jackpot slot machine, ‘Megabucks,’ in 1986. These devices generated a pot by taking a small portion of each stake. When it was not won, the progressive jackpot grew to astronomical proportions. Slot machines in each casino were linked together, creating one grand jackpot. This feature became a staple feature in the future slot machines. 

The dawn of online casino games

Online casino games revolutionized the gambling world when they were first introduced in the early 1990s. Martin Moshal is credited for being the father of online casino games. With the partnership of Roger Raatgever, a banker at Discover Bank Limited, Moshal launched Microgaming in 1994. The Gaming Club became the first online casino game in the same year. It launched in South Africa under “casino.co.za.” 

WMS Industries created “Reel ‘Em In,” the first second-screen video slot game in 1996. This game introduced a second screen for the bonus round. The initial prizes were still low, but the idea of online slot games having a bonus round would become a game changer in 1998 in the form of “Cash Splash.” 

Cash splash is considered the first online slot machine that changed the dynamics of slot games. It was introduced to the world by Microgaming in 1998. The game developers showed the potential of winning big in a slot machine game. A massive prize pool would quickly accrue by tying a game’s jackpot across all online casinos that run the same game. The bonus round guaranteed a higher jackpot. 

Mobile slot machines

The late 1990s kicked the development of online slot machine games into high gear. The Internet became more widespread and accessible as computers and game consoles got slicker. In 1999, the first mobile phone with the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), which allowed the device to connect to the Internet, was introduced. 

The first mobile casino apps were developed on Nokia phones. In 2005, Pub Fruity was the first Java casino game for mobile phones. It had a bright display that looked like a vintage bar fruit machine. The game only had virtual rewards that could not be used in the real world. 

Despite the limitations, Pub fruity proved that online slot machines were not just limited to stationary computers and gaming consoles. When Apple rolled out the iPhone in 2007 and App Store in 2008, game developers saw the possibility of mobile gambling. Android smart devices were developed shortly after and joined the trend. 

In the 2010s, game developers began to create complex metagame features to support slots and keep players engaged for longer periods to improve gameplay experiences. Metagames features gave players various challenges, rewards, and gaming options. This increased the rate of user return for online slot gaming. 

The current marketplace for mobile slot games has become very competitive. As a result, developers are generating an even larger range of games with improved visuals and smooth gameplay to earn a favorable reputation. Gamblers may stay in bed, select from various games, and make money online without leaving the comfort of their homes. 

The birth of Megaways

Amidst the ground-breaking swooping change brought by metagame features, Nik Robinson developed Big Time Gaming at a development studio in Australia in 2011. Robison had his eyes set on online slot machines. The company was constantly searching for new mechanics to improve the gaming experience. 

After years of trial and testing, the Megaways™ brand was created in 2015. Megaways slots were launched in 2016 and became an instant game changer. The slots came equipped with six reels with up to 7 symbols, offering players 117,649 ways to win. The slots utilized Megaways random reel modifier to achieve this feat. 

The random reel modifier altered the number of symbols that landed on each reel and spin, resulting in thousands of distinct winning combinations. Megaways slot game players stood a chance to win more than 100,000 times their wager, with the multipliers changing with each round. These Megaways slot features retained the player’s attention

As mentioned earlier in the article, traditional online slot machines presented a player with a win through a determined way line. However, Megaways slots offer payouts as soon as you acquire the same symbol on adjacent reels, even if they are not aligned, giving you numerous additional possibilities to win big money in your favorite casino games.

Features of Megaways Slots

Megaways slots are most famous for the multiple options they offer their players to win big without necessarily having matching reels. The slot games that use the Megaways machine also offer features that keep players returning for more playtime. These features include: 

 

 

This feature causes the symbols that create a winning combination during a spin to vanish from the grid, making way for new ones to fall into their places. The consecutive chain of cascades creates an opportunity for players to have multiple wins from the same amount they initially invested. 

 

  • Progressive win multiplier

 

This feature amplifies the cascading reels features. Specifically, it causes winning combinations to multiply with each consecutive cascade. Once the feature is included in a game, the multiplier increases depending on the number of cascades within one spin. The win multiplier in the regular game generally resets to one time once the spin ends. However, during Free Spins, it may only reset and increase once you finish your bonus spins.

 

 

It will depend on the game being played on how many free spins a player can enjoy. Free spins are usually triggered by a combination of three or more Scatter symbols anywhere on the grid. The Scatter emblem in many games will be something relevant to the game. Free spins work hand in hand with the progress win multiplier to improve a player’s winning odds. 

 

 

Return to Player is the average number of returns a player may expect while playing a slot machine. RTP is calculated in percentages, with the entire session bet amount accounting for 100% of the total. Before a slot is awarded an RTP value, RTP is determined using averages from millions of simulated spins.

This might sound like a long shot on paper, but the greater the RTP of a game, the more winning possibilities a player will have. Megaways slots are famous for having more RTP than the average online slot games. 

 

 

Wild symbols do not have predetermined functions but can greatly benefit a player. They could replace any other symbol on the reels and hence complete winning paylines that would not otherwise result in a win. The sole exception to this rule is that the wild symbol cannot replace scatter symbols, free spin symbols, or other bonus symbols.

The multiple features offered in Megaways slots pique new players’ interests while retaining seasoned players. Generally, Megaways slots have attracted the interest of many game developers who use the machine as a building block for new casino games and hence solidifying their dominance in online slots since 2016.  

Demerits of Megaways Slots

Despite the many merits of the slots, there are a few drawbacks. Here are some demerits that players must always consider:

 

 

The slots offer multiple winning chances. However, there is no direct correlation between winning combinations and big prizes. You could make more than 1000 times more than your invested amount, but you will need to invest more to stand a chance at winning the jackpot.

 

 

The average beginner starting to play online slot games will likely get overwhelmed by the different reel heights in Megaways slots. Traditional slot machines had a fixed number of symbols and reels. However, the first roll in Megaways slots can have four reels with a set of symbol combinations and increase to 6 reels with a different set of combinations. 

 

  • Instances of reinventing the wheel

 

Many game developers tend to refurbish old beloved games to recreate their magic. This works for a few classic slot games that were developed before the invention of the Megaways engine. However, reinventing the wheel is only sometimes good. Certain beloved slot games were received better with their original system than Megaways slots. 

 

  • Limited to certain countries

 

Megaways slots license providers are currently limited to European-facing online casinos. The big wins in the game are accessible once you unlock potential winning opportunities that are limited to European-facing online casinos.

Final Thoughts

Megaways slot machines revolutionized the online casino world. Compared to its ancestors born in the late 19th Century, Megaways slots offer various winning opportunities and cash prizes. Traditionally, you had to walk into a bar or casino to enjoy the thrill of playing the slots. These days you have the thrill at the palm of your hands.

The features offered by the slot games that operate on the Megaways systems constantly attract new players. Furthermore, the Return to Player features help boost your ability to win big with every round played. 

The Megaways slots might have limitations, considering that it was only born in 2016. Developers will keep improving and updating the systems as the years go by until they iron out the drawbacks. Depending on your location, you may test free versions of Megaways slots to discover all the fuss, even if you cannot play for real money. 

 


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