In what is perhaps one of the biggest developments of the year for slots players, it was recently announced that NetEnt of Sweden has signed a strategic cross-license agreement with IGT. This is the first step for Net Entertainment to be able to enter the North American market as it grants them access to the entire IP portfolio of IGT which is absolutely massive and contains hundreds of slots patents.
While the exact terms of the deal have remained secret, it’s likely that this partnership would allow NetEnt to both offer their portfolio to online casino derivatives of land-based casinos as well as provide their games in physical machines on casino floors. This is a very smart move by NetEnt as it allows them to leverage the strength of IGT’s relationships, technology and expertise with land based operators.
On the flip side, IGT also stands to benefit from the deal in an area where they have lacked which is developing new and innovative online slots. While IGT’s machines are hugely popular in land based casinos, NetEnt has a proven and highly profitable following online and is sure to bring in new players.
Commenting on the deal, the managing director for NetEnt in North America said, “IGT is a key partner for NetEnt in its expansion into North America, and we are really pleased that we’ll have access to all of IGT’s game feature patents for our North American multichannel games offering.”
The Global Product director from IGT also weighed in on the licensing agreement saying, “We are very pleased to reach an agreement to provide NetEnt with IGT’s best-in-class portfolio of game feature patents. Working in partnership with NetEnt enables us to further validate our significant IP portfolio.”
Overall, it will be very interesting to see how both these companies manage the deal moving forward. This is just another stepping stone in the monumental success of NetEnt in its 20 year history which has seen revenues soar to over $630M SEK (approx. $74M USD) in fiscal 2013. If the company is successful at entering the US market in a land based capacity, it’s likely this revenue could easily double or triple.