Too Many Megaways Slots?
Enough – Are there too many Megaways slots?
Since Big Time Gaming released their first Megaways Dragon Born back in 2015 (see the video below) the MW license has been farmed out to over 20 developers. The idea didn’t really take off until the release of Bonanza back in 2016 with the classic 1x increasing multiplier bonus round. Now, this week we reached 350 MW titles so is that too many Megaways?
Samey, samey, samey.
The 350 number above doesn’t include all variants of reskinned games like Iron Dog’s Branded Megaways which is basically a template generic MW slot that the operator overlays with their own casino logo and symbols. Recently here I posted a list of the most-cloned slot mechanic, Book of Ra and 164 titles which is actually nearer 200 in reality. Yet we have over 200 of the 350 MW games with the same Bonanza-style increasing multiplier format including the first-ever non-BTG release, Blueprint Gaming’s original Diamond Mine slot. Fair enough, as with Book of Ra, if something is popular and relatively successful then it’s going to be copied or used by multiple developers – after all, when sliced loaves were created, it wasn’t just one baker that offered sliced bread, right? Alas, the novelty has worn off now and many players are fed up and indeed consider there to be too many Megaways by far.
Old Themes on Megaways
Of course any developer will want to use a known and established game theme when they use the MW licence from Big Time Gaming. We have had Break da Bank Again Megaways, Piggy Riches, Gonzo’s Quest, various Deal or no Deal MW games, Raging Rhino and recently the IGT classic Cleopatra got the MW treatment. That’s just a few – check out my Megaways slots page here and see for yourself just how many familiar themes you recognize in the list of image thumbnails!
Issues with too many Megaways
There are technical issues to overcome and often these change the very essence of the original slot title before its MW conversion. When making a MW game from what was say originally a 20 or 10-line slot, due to the vast increase in the potential winning lines via the large number of ways and stacked symbols, the symbol pays will be substantially lower to compensate. This is often overcome by having multiplying wilds for example, or random features. The trouble for the player using the MW version is that the essence of the original game is now unrecognisable. The maths and volatility becomes very skewed after the conversion.
Successes of Megaways
One thing the MW does well is provide huge win potential although it’s seldom realized. Raging Rhino for example had a maximum win on the 4046-way original of around 5800x stake. Theoretically looking at the mechanic, ways and pays you can work out the MW version could pay many tens-of-thousands times bet. That may be true for the old Rhino, but we then get a contradiction from some developers. Look at many Pragmatic Play MW games for example and understand the pays and bonus mechanic which tell you it could yield colossal returns times-stake. The read the rules which cap the maximum win to a relatively paltry (but still welcome!) 5,000x bet. This makes you wonder what the point of the maths and design is.
There seems to be no slow down in the number of MW slots being released but 95% of them simply tack together 2 or 3 of say 5 of the generic features like increasing multiplier free games, a gamble wheel or a selector wheel of spins and starting multiplier/minimum ways. So yes, I do think there are too many Megaways games and the very design limits what features can be included in a MW slot. The sliced bread has now gone a bit stale…