There’s something for both Grinch and Super Mario fans this month as Egamingmonitor’s Kevin Dale takes a look at the pre-Christmas charts and the role of game music in casino gaming.

Yay, Christmas has come early! Or maybe not so great, depending on what you think: “These trees are up weeks earlier than they used to be, and the music has been going on since Halloween, etc.”

It’s easy to blame Americans for their early turkey eating, and while the event hasn’t yet reached European shores, their Black Friday export is here to stay. It’s been pushed by Amazon and Walmart for a decade and now marks the start of the Christmas festivities. On the other hand, we didn’t need as much encouragement with e-gaming either.

Although some despair at the fact that the Christmas season is starting earlier every year, it is commercial pressures that are driving it. For example, twice as many Christmas slots were introduced this October as last year. It seems we’re all interested in getting another week of spins out of a casino game or grabbing a bigger share of the Christmas bonus.

While the Christmas slots that launched in October and November managed to attract some Black Friday shoppers, no Christmas slots made it quite into our top 20 in November – probably because most operators are just releasing their Christmas collections release in December. At least not this year.

Top 20 games by distribution

November’s lull then means the charts are boring, playing positions have limited movement and no new releases are breaking through. A good reason, then, to turn to something cheerfully musical that has been in the news this week….

With great fanfare, Play’n GO announced that it would publish the music of its game titles and remix it with well-known artists. Check out the mesmerizing Pilgrim of the Dead soundtrack on Spotify (another Swedish export) or the 80s electro-pop of their Gargantoonz release.

As with film soundtracks, releasing game music has long been a “thing” in the video or social gaming sector, and crossover projects between the areas of music, gaming (and film) are widespread. Minecraft, Super Mario and Halo soundtracks are seeing massive streaming numbers. Meanwhile, an avatar of collaboration pro Eminem recently took the stage “live” in the game Fortnite, with virtual players lowering their weapons to join in on air guitar, while wearing their Eminem “skins,” of course.

While Play’n GO’s musical foray isn’t on the level of Minecraft or Fortnite, it’s still ambitious. Music revenue may be marginal, but the project speaks to the quality of a studio’s production. It was designed to create a the following for your blockbuster games or game families. Even if it doesn’t recoup the cost of game production, promoting the music of classic titles like the Of Dead family promotes longevity, if not immortality.

The role music plays in the dark arts of game design is poorly understood, but we all somehow understand that audio tracks and sound effects are important to achieve an immersive, memorable and replayable experience. If Koji Kondo’s legendary titles can be remastered, why not our most powerful casino games?

On the deal front, EveryMatrix continues to hold a comfortable lead as the busiest aggregator, also joining Popok Gaming this month.

Largest Aggregator Dealmakers

Meanwhile, Bulgarian startup Pateplay tops our studio dealmaker rankings after working with the likes of BetConstruct and Digitain in recent months.

Biggest studio deal makers

*Please note that these are live charts and are updated every month. Therefore, please ensure that the month of November 2023, which corresponds to the analysis, is selected in the drop-down lists.

**The interactive games table above excludes live games and table games. Game rankings are determined by the number of game appearances on the casino homepages of more than 2,500 casino sites. To access many other charts including game rankings, live and table games, sub-site positions, or to filter game performance by game theme, game feature, market or operator, please contact our partner Egamingmonitor covers 56,000 games, 1,600 providers and over 3,000 operators.

***Deals per month data was collected from April 2020 and the rolling chart reflects current dealmaking performance, i.e. how many deals were signed in the last six months. Please note that we only compile deals that have been reported to us either a) on company websites, or b) in the gaming press, or c) by studios and aggregators. Deals between studios and aggregators (and aggregators and operators) of all time are available via