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Geco Gaming

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About the Company

Playtech subsidiary, GECO Gaming (Game Engine Co-Operative) was founded in 2014 with the merger of Wagermill and The Gaming Lab. Wagermill was a developer focused on social and real money gambling games built mainly for mobile apps. The company's c-suite included Electracade founder, Mark Paling and former CEO Martin Batten who co-founded Wagermill in Woking, Surrey, the UK in 2010.

The Gaming Lab was based in Sydney, Australia and was co-founded in 2007 by Daniel Burns and Neill-Stevens who already had more than 30 years combined experience in the industry at the time. The company developed land-based and online games. In 2014, GECO announced the launch of their Game Engine Co-Operative (GECO) RGS (Remote Game Server) or GECO RGS after securing a license from the Alderney Gambling Control Commission. GECO games in Flash and the then-new HTML5 were available upon launch while the company invited other developers to distribute their content over the platform. The product was seen as a way for struggling independent developers to get their games to market amid intense competition and other obstacles. Some of the company's progress that was reported in the news or made available via press releases includes a January 2015 CORE Gaming content distribution deal with GECO. By April, they had secured a license from the UKGC. By June, the company was seen to launch Betdigital slots at William Hill through their RGS. GECO was nominated to receive an award as Rising Star of 2015 at the EGR B2B Awards that year. Today, GECO slots can be found at CasinoLuck among many other online gaming sites. In March 2016, it was announced that Playtech had acquired the game and platform developer and, as many Playtech acquired companies do, they pretty much went dark in announcing any new developments. Historically, Playtech has kept a tight wrap on news about most of their acquisitions. Sometimes it is difficult to know if Teddy Sagi simply creates companies to sell to himself via Playtech or if they were true acquisitions. In this case, we think it is safe to say that Playtech truly acquired star material, whether we're privy to what the GECO team is doing today or not.

GECO Games

It is difficult to sort games created since their acquisition by Playtech from games created as GECO from the games on offer by The Gaming Lab and Wagermill before the merger. Playtech is no help, as once consumed by the company, acquired developers basically disappear into the larger body.

Meerkat Mayhem, Sunshine Reef, and Nautilus slots were almost certainly Wagermill games while the Light Racers slot is thought to have been a Gaming Labs creation. It is anybody's guess if 88 Coins, Mystic Gems, Scatter Brains, Time Gamble, Treasure Pond, and Treasure Compass will continue to bear the GECO brand or not. The game graphics are rather flat and two-dimensional on many of the games but the soundtracks are engaging and fun. Many of the mechanics are unremarkable with the rote three scatters triggering free spins, but the occasional floating wild and wandering substitutes can spice up a bonus round. In Scatter Brains, when certain characters are eaten by a wandering wild zombie, they turn into additional zombies and a new wandering zombie appears on the fifth reel for the next free spin. The 50 pay line Time Gamble has more realistic looking artwork and the soundtrack helps to create a foreboding intrigue. Animations on the symbols in winning combinations draw a player into the narrative, the scatters inspire adrenaline-fueled anticipation and the wild multiplier wormholes keep the game alive.

Final Analysis

While names like OpenBet, Electracade, Wagermill, and The Gaming Lab may not ring a bell for most players today, each played a crucial role in the development of the online gaming industry into what it is today. From the first game packages that could be "plugged into" a casino in the days when single software operators dominated the market to GECO's passion for excellence and belief in a co-operative platform RGS, these developers have made their mark. We can only hope that Playtech actualizes the potential they have acquired in GECO.

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