Is parody the only compliant future for casino artwork? Kevin Dale takes a look at the most important December charts, the Christmas Champions and some current advertising decisions.
It’s time for our review of the most popular casino games at the end of 2023 and of course our highly sought-after top Christmas title.
This year the tree is decorated with 11 Pragmatic Play balls – last year at this time there were “only” 9: four lucky fish, three sweet treats, two wolves or dogs and the best goals on Olympus. Games Global is giving them a celebratory bang for their Rudolf as the 9 pots are joined by two Gold Blitz games in the top 20.
Top 20 games by distribution
More on the big movers and shakers who made it last year in our big 2023 casino review, to be published in a few weeks. Stay tuned as it will also cover game production, studio performance, market share changes and the latest trends in gaming features.
Now let’s unpack these Christmas bangers before we silently complain about the status of some new compliance decisions…
The Christmas card 2023
Here are the 20 best new Christmas-themed casino games, limited like last year (and in our Halloween/Easter charts) to the top title per studio. Games are ranked by distribution across all sites from 3,000 operators worldwide.
In total, we considered 523 Christmas titles, 141 of which were released this year. Another record compared to the 111 releases in 2022 and 98 the year before. For Pragmatic Play, it’s their chart-topping Big Bass Christmas 2021 and Invading Vegas, released this year by Play’n GO. But it’s not just the usual suspects, as Booming Games, Relax Gaming and Endorphina are also there.
A third of our Christmas artists were new releases, so like last year, the old catalogs made up the majority. Our second diagram below deals solely with that new Christmas themed games that add a few fresh gifts to the 6 above.
It’s encouraging to see some new names like SpinPlay Games and Max Win Gaming alongside old favorites like Greentube and Inspired Entertainment.
The most prolific Christmas slots developer is still Spinomenal. Their product pipelines are well-aligned with the calendar, launching both new seasonal titles and variations on existing games. Games Global is also well represented, while Wazdan doubled down on its Christmas Editions strategy to secure third place.
The Christmas theme itself features a wide variety, from rock stars to aliens. This year’s special mention goes to Nolimit City, which offers us a twisted take on traditions through its restaurants Jingle Balls. For this studio, it’s an unusually optimistic, yet irreverent title that doesn’t stray too far from its dark side.
A cigar-toting Grinch and a stoned elf watch as perverted Santa’s Jingle Balls are at the mercy of Granny Witch’s sharp fingernails. To be on the safe side, there is of course a border made of Gulag barbed wire.
It certainly won’t lead to anything bizarre Judgments against images that “could appeal to minors”.‘, which, if applied strictly to all Christmas games and promotions, would leave our games and deals pages pretty empty. There is no need to rant about this issue because it is the season of goodwill and perhaps a picture is worth a thousand words.
Before Christmas, business was extremely quiet as many companies kept their powder dry for ICE in February 2024. Pateplay remains the busiest studio and EveryMatrix is the busiest aggregator.
I wish you a belated Happy New Year and don’t forget to look out for the 2023 casino review.
Largest Aggregator Dealmakers
Biggest studio deal makers
*Please note that these are live charts and are updated every month. Therefore, please ensure that the month of December 2023 is selected in the drop-down lists to match the analysis.
**The interactive games table above excludes live games and table games. The game rankings are determined by the number of game appearances on the casino homepages of more than 3,000 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.com. Egamingmonitor covers 59,000 games, 1,600 providers and over 3,000 operators.
***Deals per month data was collected from April 2020 and is reflected in the rolling chart current Dealmaking performance, i.e. how many deals were signed in the last 6 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 egamingmonitor.com.