History of innovation
Although Williams Interactive started life designing and manufacturing pinball machines, rather than the WMS slots that the firm is famous for today, WMS always had an eye for innovating, with Henry Williams using his personal engineering knowledge to develop the first ‘tilt’ system for pinball machines.
In the late 1980s, WMS moved its gaze to the world of gambling, creating a variety of video lottery terminals before moving into video poker machines and then into slot machine manufacturing in the early 1990s.
Reeling ‘em in
When WMS first entered the slot machine universe, gaming options were much more limited than they are today. With themes containing horseshoes, bells, fruits, playing cards, black bars and stars, there wasn’t much choice for slot players in the 1990s. That is, until WMS slots came into the picture.
In 1996, just two short years after entering the slot machine marketplace, WMS made huge waves with its multi-coin, multi-line slot machine, “Reel ‘Em In”. This game included fresh new symbols, multiple paylines expanding the winning capacity and even a secondary bonus option.
This game incorporated the classic three reel set up most players were familiar with, but offered up to seven progressive jackpots which were linked throughout different casinos. This new style of gameplay quickly caught on, with similar games such as “Boom & Filthy Rich” and “Jackpot Party” following the WMS slots footprint over the next few years.
Expanding the brand
In 2001, WMS acquired the rights to the Monopoly theme and released the incredibly successful range of Monopoly ‘participation’ slots, which were leased to casinos rather than being offered for sale. Featuring expanding wilds, free spins and full use of Monopoly board game symbols, this machine took slots gaming to a whole new level, unlocking a huge area of potential for WMS to explore.
Following success with the Monopoly brand, WMS reached out to other brand names to gain licencing rights to franchises such as “Men in Black”, “The Wizard of Oz”, “Star Trek”, “Lord of the Rings”, “Top Gun” and many others. This move to big named brands put WMS slots firmly on the map for cinematic gaming experiences.
How it started
With WMS now a key player in the physical slot machine world, the firm didn’t bring its games online until 2010, but this doesn’t mean that it wasn’t able to create innovative machines even before online gaming became popular.
By creating a luxurious seat with Bose speakers embedded into the game, WMS slots were some of the first to give a 3D effect when hitting bonuses. The “Lord of the Rings” game took these technologies to a new level by incorporating a vibrating chair to further build suspense. This feature was also utilised in the “Wizard of Oz” game - when Glinda the Good Witch appears, the chair rumbles, the reels blur and the sound travels across the machine to fully immerse you in the magic of the character and branded game.
A virtual world
In 2010, WMS slots were released for online play for the first time, and the firm then made its games available for mobile and tablet play in 2012.
Although a latecomer to the online world, WMS wasted no time demonstrating its innovative and creative talents with a huge range of video slots, offering entertainment, interaction and huge potential payouts.
With top names available including “Rainbow Riches”, “Bruce Lee: Fire of the Dragon”, “Raging Rhino”, “Zeus III” “KISS: Shout it out loud” and a range of “Monopoly” and “Wizard of Oz” themed slots, WMS slots cater for all sorts of players: from the younger gamers who look for a more cinematic and exciting experience to older players who prefer a more classic approach to slots games, there’s something for everyone in the WMS slots catalogue.
Although WMS slots tend to focus on big brands and video themes, they also feature a great range of 3D slots and even offer a variety of History Slots, such as “Montezuma”, “Kronos” and “Zeus”, among other massive themes. With new games released monthly, WMS slots show no sign of slowing down and maintain a huge hold in the online gaming industry.
Alongside the move into the mobile slots market, WMS also created a virtual game for social media giant, Facebook, in 2012, called “Lucky Cruise”. In this game, players collect ‘lucky charms’ with friends. As it’s a completely free game, there’s no cash payout, but it’s still a great game for people who don’t want to risk their cash on a slot machine.
Free play slots
Although many of their titles are only available in land-based casinos, you can play free demo slots for a range of WMS slots titles right here at Online Slots NZ, with no need to deposit any of your own cash or provide personal information.
All of our games are available on desktop, mobile or tablet and can be streamed directly from your web browser, so there’s no need to download any software to your device.
Despite WMS slots building popularity in land-based casinos, there’s no denying the increasing popularity of online slot machines, something WMS hasn’t hesitated to capitalise on.
With their well-established reputation for innovation, WMS slots offer amazing and unique features, such as community and adaptive gaming, transmissive reels, gamefields and sensory immersion gaming, creating games which never disappoint. This has led WMS to earn a huge number of awards for its ingenious advances in the slots world.
Among the prestigious honours WMS slots have earned include awards for the Top 20 Most Innovative Gaming Technology Products in 2008 and then again in 2010. The firm also won nominations for Slot Operator of the Year Online and Slot Manufacturer Provider Online in the 2013 International Gaming Awards, as well as a High Achiever Award at the 2014 Manufacturing Leadership Summit.
Regardless of your personal opinion of the brand, there’s no denying that with such an impressive list of awards, WMS slots are here to stay.