Blueprint Gaming Casinos
If you have ever stopped at a service station in the UK and wandered past the slot machine area, chances are that a good number of them will have been created by Blueprint Gaming.
Although these days they are equally famous for their online slots, the company actually started life designing and manufacturing game terminals. Unlike many other companies who do the same, however, Blueprint are still relatively young, having only first started out in 2001.
A major acquisition in 2008 propelled them into the spotlight for online players, and they have been releasing hit online slots ever since then, although never abandoning their roots as a game terminal provider.
They have done this in part by acquiring and working with other game developers such as Reel Time Gaming, Games Warehouse, and Merkur (with whom they share the smiling sun logo, confusing many people), utilising a strategy of sister brands to get the best for the business as a whole.
A UK company, Blueprint Gaming create a mix of branded and original content with fair maths models and engaging gameplay, but they don’t work in the table or live game sectors, preferring to niche down into slots that capture the mood of the time.
Blueprint Gaming Casino Sites
Blueprint Gaming: What do They Do?
Blueprint Gaming are an omnichannel company creating games for the online and offline market, so any of their games that you can find offline will certainly be available on the internet too.
Their games don’t have a single defining feature like some other developers do, but one of their strategic characteristics is to find a brand or theme that is popular and then develop games around that, following the momentum of pop culture.
This gives their new releases a ready made audience hungry for new content, allowing their games to quickly garner fans and build a long term following where so many others burn bright for a month or two and then fade away.
They don’t waste time with releases that can’t keep pace, only maintaining the real winners, and this keeps their game library at manageable levels without ever letting it look underweight.
The company actually operates a few different brands so things can get a little confusing as the rabbit hole gets deeper, but for now it’s enough to know that their multi-brand approach creates a great deal of diversity in the games they provide.
Since their two main product categories are online slots and physical game terminals we can look at each one in turn.
Although not where the company started out, after releasing their first online slot in 2009 Blueprint have amassed an enviable number of hit online slots.
They are perhaps most easily recogniseable for their branded titles like Ted, The Goonies, and Rick and Morty Megaways, but some of their original games are equally famous. We will have a look at one or two in a moment.
A lot of Blueprint’s games are feature rich making them extremely engaging to play, while others could seem a little flat at first glance, but their maths models soon win players over. Eye of Horus is a good example of this; it’s a game with very basic features but is popular due to the way it plays and pays, and is often used with promotions at a lot of casinos.
This goes for a good number of Blueprint's games actually; they tend to be promotion fodder and thus end up pushed to the front of the queue on home screens, meaning they are played a lot.
Max payouts are maybe a little low compared to the huge potential promise from games made by other developers, with many capping out at 1,000x, but the hit rate usually compensates for this.
Some of their top games include:
There are a few versions of this game, including a Megaways and a Jackpot King variation, but the basics are similar through all of them - the variations are essentially the base game with additional integrated game mechanics.
The fish symbols come in different sizes and with different price tags, but they can create winning paylines in any combination of size and price. The rest of the symbols are regular so the base game can be a little flat.
What keeps you spinning is the hope of landing 3 scatters which triggers free games. The big money comes during free games when a fisherman symbol lands at the same time as fish symbols, because he will ‘catch’ the fish along with the prize money attached to them.
This one is a Megaways slot and has the added benefit of a wild and a freespins round with progressive multipliers, activated by landing 4 or more scatters.
More freespins can be won during the bonus round by landing more scatters, so this game is all about keeping freespins going for as long as possible to build the multiplier and amass winnings.
The base game also has a mystery symbol feature which will turn all barrel symbols into the same regular symbol, hopefully creating wins, but this is more of a gimmick than anything else.
Eye of Horus
A very simple game, but one that has been given the Jackpot King treatment, the Megaways treatment, and also has a ‘Gambler’ variation where the player can pick their own volatility during free games, plus a multi window variation.
All versions feature an expanding wild which also serves to upgrades symbols during free games, and scatters which trigger the freespins in the first place.
There’s not a lot to it on the outside, but the gameplay can be surprisingly engaging and the game has stood the test of time, helped no doubt by a popular theme.
Rick and Morty Megaways
A first mention of one of their branded slots, Rick and Morty Megaways is a great example of how Blueprint target something popular (and usually something a bit silly) and builds a game around it.
The base game has wilds and bonus symbols as well as the usual Megaways features so there is plenty going on, and the bonus symbols grant access to the free spins round.
There are actually 4 different freespins rounds to choose from, each with different qualities, offering progressive multipliers, expanding wilds, cash collection symbols and extra spins. The player picks the one they want and away they go.
Anyone who likes features will love The Goonies – it is one of the most feature rich games on the market, with 5 or 6 base game modifiers, randomly occurring features, and another 5 or 6 bonus rounds.
What’s more, players can gamble their bonus round for the chance to progress to a higher value bonus round, all the way up to playing for One Eyed Willys treasure, the most valuable of all of them.
What makes this game so fantastic is the fact that base spins are as much fun as the many bonus rounds and modifiers, and the features are well balanced enough that they trigger often as well.
Blueprint are also big fans of creating variations on their top performing games as you can see from those mentioned above. Some have 4 or 5 differenrt variations, but none of these hold the crown for 'most variations on a theme'.
Deal or No Deal has been a big winner for them, and there are no less than 9 different versions of the game, all offering something slightly different from the last but creating a family of games with the same theme. They have covered every single angle by doing this and ensured thier players are kept happy.
They have also re-released many of their most popular slots with the Megaways game engine, which they got a license for in 2018. Another shrewd move.
Scratch card versions of slots are another route they might take, and they also like to integrate their jackpot king feature where it makes sense, creating a killer combination of thoroughly entertaining games with a decent hit rate, as well as the chance to win life changing money.
Land Based Game Terminals
Blueprint have been producing game terminals for over 20 years, so they have got quite good at it by now.
You can find their machines in pubs, service stations, casinos, betting shops, and arcades all over the UK, Italy and Germany, with over 100,000 of them currently available to play.
Blueprint boast a crazy 75% market share in the digital pub market, so they have it pretty much wrapped up. It’s not just pubs their machines are designed for though; they offer 10 different cabinet types with their headliners being:
- Auroramax – 5’ screen, edge to edge graphics, video deck
- Alphamax – 27’ screen, edge to edge graphics, wireless phone charger
- Wave – Curved 43’ screen, HD quality, adjustable play height for sitting and standing
- Aurora Noir – The flagship cabinet, 27’ screen plus LED surround for game enhancement
All of their machines are specifically designed for different settings, and they can include various game packs to provide the player with a tailored experience. For example, a pub machine might include their King of Games Titan Menu, which includes pub and fruit style games such as The Chase, Luck of the Irish, and Dazzle.
A casino using their Wave cabinet would be more likely to use their Wave Menu game pack, which contains a better mix of premium games plus exclusive content from multiple different brands. The build is designed for longer term play too, as people are more likely to settle in at a casino than at a pub.
Some of the best games available on Blueprints machines include:
- Fishin Frenzy
- Eye of Horus
- King Kong Kash
- Luck o’the Irish
Anyone who knows their onions might have realised that the gaming terminals don’t offer anywhere near as many titles as Blueprint have available online. Land based players get access to around 30 of their most popular games across all machines, and the jackpot king is missing too.
This is a networked progressive jackpot, so the same jackpot will be attached to a number of different games at the same time. This means that you can play The Goonies for a while, then jump across to King Kong Cash, and be playing for the exact same jackpot despite experiencing a different game.
There are actually three jackpots of different sizes that can be won. As it is a progressive the amounts change all the time, but as an example they might look like this:
- Regal Pot - £1,982
- Royal Pot - £38,734
- Jackpot King - £2,765,898
The jackpot triggers randomly when 5 Jackpot King symbols line up across the middle row (they sometimes tease you with 4 symbols which is no fun…), at which point the game will switch to a midway point where you need 15 symbols to progress to the Wheel King which is where the big money is.
The wheel contains many big multipliers, from x25 up to x1000, all nice prizes to win, but what you really want is for the wheel to land on the Jackpot King symbol.
This will cash out one of the three jackpots mentioned above, at random, but obviously the chances are bigger that you win one of the smaller pots.
The interesting thing about Jackpot King is that the feature can be integrated into games for individual casinos or casino groups. This means you might see the same game with the Jackpot King integration at two different casinos at the same time, but showing different jackpot amounts.
In effect, you have two different Jackpot Kings running on two different netowrks, as Blueprint will have different deals with each business. It is still a networked jackpot, but a player at William Hill could win the main prize, and players at Ladbrokes could still be playing for theirs.
The Blueprint Gaming Business
Based in Newark, Nottinghamshire, Blueprint Gaming launched in 2001 as a gaming cabinet designer and manufacturer, serving the pub a casino industry with top notch slot games for their patrons to enjoy.
Business was going well but the igaming boom was happening all around them and it would have been silly for them not to get in on the action.
Around that time the Germany based Gauselmann Group came knocking with an offer to buy a majority stake in Blueprint and add the company to their business group. The deal went ahead in 2008 (Gauselmann took full ownership in 2012) and with the power of this 50 year old company behind them Blueprint were able to forge ahead and make huge progress online.
Blueprint’s fairly unique position as an online and offline provider gave them a double benefit, as it meant that online casino fans were more likely to play their real life machines when they saw them because they recognised the games from online. Betting shops, service stations and the like all wanted Blueprint’s machines because they knew players loved and trusted them.
Online, they struck deals with partners they would have struggled to gain access to before, and their games were put in front of thousands more players than would have otherwise been possible. This brought a lot more attention to Blueprint as well as a lot more money.
They even started buying up game studios for themselves, each one adding something a bit different to their portfolio, and many of the games they created have won industry awards; then in 2021 they launched their own studio in the form of Lucksome, a brand that exists specifically to explore new styles of games alongside slots.
The company structure can be mind boggling what with the acquisitions and Gauselmann technically owning everything, but Blueprint themselves are still not a huge company, directly employing fewer than 200 people. Despite this they are doing incredible things and are one of the most interesting software providers in the industry.
With an ethos for collaboration and positivity, Blueprint Gaming get things done and with a lot of positivity too – their shared logo of a smiling sun couldn’t be more appropriate.