With a history that dates back to 1974, and a creator of gambling machines since the 90s, WMS has made the move to the online casino market in 2001, and they’ve successfully been part of both major categories ever since. With over 130 slot machines released as of 2020, and with more than 600 casinos that host their content, it’s one of the success stories of this industry. At the same time, they’re a Scientific Games company since 2013, so it’s one of several big brands found under the same umbrella, along with Bally Technologies, Barcrest, NYX Gaming and others.
These days, the games that are offered by WMS will be available in instant play form, meaning that you can access them in your browser, without needing to install special software on your computer.
Though present online, and with a significant number of slot machines, WMS hasn’t reached the same level of success in this niche, as they did in the land-based casinos.
History of WMS
Depending on how you want to look at it, the history of this company could be traced back to 1994, when they launched their first slot machine, to 1974 when they released their first video game, or to 1943 when it was founded.
Most will say that their beginnings in the gambling market originate in the 70s when they started releasing video games, both clones and original titles. Among the latter, they released video games like Moon Patrol, Joust or Defender.
The start with slot machines came in 1996 when they launched their first title for casinos, called Reel Em In. In the years to come, they switched to the gambling niche, and then they launched their online efforts in 2001.
WMS has become known mostly for the work they’ve done in the land-based casino niche, but over 130 slots have also been designed for the online side.
In 2013, after a merger with Scientific Games, they became a subsidiary of that company and part of a giant group. They’re one of several developers that release games in that group, which cover both the land-based niche and the online one.
As of right now, about 70% of the company’s revenue is coming from US casinos, and they’re based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Various other offices and development centres are present in about a dozen different countries, with their online efforts being led from Belgium.
Games at WMS Casinos
WMS has had a lot of time to create their collection, as they’ve been part of the online niche for about two decades now. More than 130 games were released since then, and are still around today. The majority of the 138 titles I’ve seen listed are the video slots (136), while the other 2 are classic slots (Aftershock Frenzy and 2x Wild & Crazy).
If you’re wondering what are the best games available from them, then I’d suggest you give several a try. There are branded options that get quite a bit of attention, including slots like Epic Monopoly II (along with the rest of the Monopoly titles they offer), Elvis The King, Friends or Cluedo Spinning Detectives. And then, there are also more regular slots, including titles like Spartacus Gladiator of Rome, Raging Rhino, or The Wizard of Oz Ruby Slippers.
Jackpots & RTP
If you’re looking for games that have big top jackpots and at least average RTP, then you’ve come to the right place. Rewards of over 10,000x the round’s stake can be paid out in each of its Megaways releases, but there will also be games with low or medium volatility and smaller jackpots.
What matters, is that when you pick a game, you get a good RTP to go with whatever gameplay style you prefer. I appreciate the presence of an RTP that typically hovers somewhere around 96% in most of the slots I’ve seen from them.
Themes & Graphics
The theme is not always a strong point in the company’s favour, but they have their share of interesting ideas. I think that many appreciate their branded titles, based on older topics mostly, evident in slots like Friends or Bruce Lee. Plenty of others are less original, and Raging Rhino or Montezuma are clear examples like that, but it hasn’t stopped them from being two of their most popular titles.
As it always seems to be the case with developers that have a land-based presence which is stronger, the graphics of their online slots seem to borrow quite a bit from that. It’s unfortunate since this usually means that they don’t look as good as their modern online competitors.
Though it might not seem like it, based on the graphics they have, WMS slots will often innovate and use systems that you will not find anywhere else. I would mention the Colossal Reels here, which allow you to play with two separate game areas, one of which offers reels that are 12 symbols high.
You still get all the other major features that developers tend to use, such as wilds, free spins or bonus games, but you get the WMS version, and I like that it sets them apart.
In recent years, they’ve also adopted the Megaways system, and they have released their take on this popular game engine. So far, you can try this system out in slots like Montezuma Megaways and Raging Rhino Megaways.