The sudden outburst of e-commerce and the expansion of gambling industry to cyber space market did not come without a price. Many casino operators and gaming platform developers fell victims of the insatiable demands of the new generation and could not keep up with the persistent and technologically advanced trends; some have managed to survive the growing pains of the modern era, but they are yet to fight the upcoming laws in favour of online gambling or the fierce online competition. In the world where only the fittest survive, a few of the land based casinos and game providers conformed with the new rules and bravely continued their success story – Australian based Aristocrat being one of them.
The story of Aristocrat goes way back to 1953, when the company first saw the light of day and started building the cornerstone of their future achievements. Revolutionizing the industry is not a bad place to start, and only three years after Aristocrat was officially launched, the company released The Clubmaster, the first known technologically advanced, self-lubricating, multiple payline slot machine, with Free-play lock system and scattered payouts. Only two years later, at the very dawn of legalising poker machines in clubs, Aristocrat introduced the first poker machine with the integrated scorecard and lit-up reels, thus gradually beginning to dominate the Australian market.
The Land Down Under was no longer big enough to sustain the growth of Aristocrat and by the 60s, the company started its expansion to Europe, still keeping an eye to the gambling Mecca – Las Vegas, where the majority of slot machines were headed to. Their new and innovative designs implemented in The Aristocrat Nevada, The Grosvenor and Moon Money have marked the company’s golden era and paved way for another challenging and successful decade – the 70s.
The onset of the digital era did not catch Aristocrat by surprise and the developer further revolutionized the industry by launching the never before seen video slot machine and the electronically operated credit meter. The decade ended as spectacularly as it began with the launch of Wild West in 79’.
For the next two decades, Aristocrat was far from slowing down. After developing a casino management system and launching their Microstar machines which employ the same type of technology used today, Aristocrat changed the face of gambling industry for good by implementing electronically operated gaming systems which frequented the appearance rate of certain symbols. This resulted in a significantly increased revenue, beating the slot machine profit generated in USA until that moment.
Due to the importance that this event had for both Aristocrat and the gambling industry itself, it is often compared to the revolution brought about by the invention of the wheel and the impact the even had on the industrial history of the world. After that moment, it is safe to say that a lot of new doors opened to the overall potential of modern gambling and nothing seemed impossible anymore.
Although the company has never really slowed down, the 90s have written several new pages in the Aristocrat’s history book. After introducing MK Gaming system in 1995, followed by Hyperlink in 1997, the developer continued with conquering new markets until being officially proclaimed a public company and recognized as a high value intellectual property. The international expansion continues with offices being opened across the world – South Africa and South America – and the production of the new slot machines developed specifically to meet the demands of the new demographics.
The beginning of new millennium marked another success and won a new battle for Aristocrat. In 2000, the company manages to gain Nevada licence and forms a partnership with Sammy Corporation, a renowned software developer and pachinko system retailer in Japan. Not longer after this venture, Aristocrat acquired ownership over Sammy Corp and headed out to conquering Chinese market in 2005.
From 2006 to 2009, things did not run smoothly for Aristocrat. The company suffered a blow of global crisis and had to tighten the belt in order to overcome a drop in revenue. The striving times were ended by the reconstruction of the management team, which led the company out of the woods with their appropriately named Play to Win strategy.
In 2012, Aristocrat re-grouped and shifted their focus to the US market, starting a new-talent recruiting operation that would put the company back on the map by developing top notch, mobile compatible slots. The company’s most successful land based slot releases started to be re-designed for online players after Aristocrat aligned with Product Madness and 2013 was the birth year of the Heart of Vegas, a game that became an instant success with the online gambling community.
After that, the awards continue to pile up – Product of the Year for Walking Dead, Best Standalone slot for 5 Dragons Legends, Top Sale for Buffalo Stampede… The most popular releases were reinvented for iOS and Android users, along with the slot versions of the iconic TV shows such as Game of Thrones, Sons of Anarchy and Big Bang Theory, some of which made it to the top ten list of the Goldman Sachs survey.
The rise to the top continues with the acquisition of Plarium Global and Big Fish game – or, perhaps it is more accurate to say that Aristocrat has already climbed to the very top and is currently looking for new mountains to conquer.
The only certain thing about Aristocrat is that it does not plan on stopping anytime soon. At the moment of writing this, the company has three new online sites under construction, in addition to their Australian and USA websites – India, Asia and EMEA.
The amazing journey that has lasted more than 6 decades is clearly nowhere near its end. The constant search for innovation and pursue of new challenges has turned Aristocrat into so much more than a mere gaming company – it is an inspirational story of persistence, creativity, hard work and an everlasting struggle to keep pushing forward and always Play to Win, no matter what.