Virtue Fusion are without doubt one of the biggest bingo networks in the industry right now. They’re a name that many people recognise and what’s unusual – and also a huge endorsement for the company – is that many players seek out this network in favour of bingo brands, highlighting not only how good their package is, but also the fact that they’ve marketed themselves in a more mainstream way than most.
The company have been about since 1999 and whilst it didn’t take them too long to get a stable foothold within the industry, it’s fair to say that they weren’t initially considered to be one of the biggest.
It wasn’t until 2010 when a £29 million acquisition of Virtue Fusion by gaming giants, PlayTech, allowed them to really start tapping into the potential of what they had built so far.
PlayTech and Virtue Fusion
Before we jump too far ahead into what Virtue Fusion are offering, we wanted to outline how both PlayTech and Virtue Fusion operate these days.
PlayTech, as you may or may not know, is a huge games developer. They work in pretty much all sectors within the gambling industry, but we would say that they are probably best known for their work within the online casino sector.
They’re a company that has been keen to make acquisitions to keep themselves growing at pace, and they’ve developed a lot of their own products over the years as well. Virtue Fusion was seen as a perfect company to help their online bingo sector expand and they’ve been able to transform them into arguably the biggest bingo network in the industry.
The partnerships that occur with PlayTech are pretty simple. Whilst Playtech own Virtue Fusion, for the most part they allow the company to run as they always did, creating the high-quality games that led to so much success prior to the purchase. This is why Playtech are keen for their acquisitions to continue using their original brand names, and in fact, unless you were setting out to do some heavy research on Virtue Fusion then you might not realise that they had any ties with PlayTech at all.
PlayTech are able to assist companies like Virtue Fusion massively in terms of growth. They will increase budgets and man power where needed, which means that they can take products to market quicker, push tech to the next level, and also really push boundaries for new products as well.
It also allows Virtue Fusion to pick the best parts of the PlayTech portfolio that will help them to grow. For example, the network is now able to offer a wide range of side games, with the vast majority being from the PlayTech casino brand. They have also been able to secure some very lucrative branded game deals as well, of which we talk more later on in this article.
Whilst Virtue Fusion aren’t best known for their White Label offerings, they do supply this service to a few brands, including Aztec Bingo and Club 3000 Bingo. There’s actually not a huge amount of information available regarding what is included in these white label packages or their pricing, so it’s tough to compare them to other brands.
What’s interesting about the two sites that we’ve listed as white labels is that they both look very different. Often you find that these white label sites look very similar apart from the colours and of course, the branding; but the two couldn’t be more different, and if you didn’t already know then you would have next to no chance of realising that they were white label sites at all.
The big difference between the two sites could be down to the fact that Virtue Fusion offer a little more diversity than most of the other white labels out there. However, if they are offering a more bespoke layout and design, then this is likely going to be reflected in the cost.
Whilst we can’t say for sure, we would expect that Virtue Fusion are at the higher end of the bracket when it comes to white labelling costs. We base this on the fact that they are probably the biggest and best in the industry, but only a couple of brands have used them and the layouts of each are very difference. Cheap white labels all look the same.
We’ve stated a few times already that we think Virtue Fusion are one of, if not the biggest and best network in the industry right now, and this is because that they power some of the biggest sites in the world, including Mecca Bingo, Gala, Buzz Bingo, The Sun Bingo, Coral, Bet365, Paddy Power, and Betfair, to name just a few
Each of these are widely considered to be in the ‘premier league’ of bingo sites and have been for a very long time, and most have been powered by Virtue Fusion throughout.
The company are now able to boast being live on over 100 skins across the bingo network, more than any other. They serve over 100,000 players on a daily basis and 20,000 daily concurrent players as well.
What’s really unique about the whole set up is that they are able to offer an omni-channel gaming experience for their players. What this means is that bingo sites that take advantage of Virtue Fusion and the games that they offer also get access to other bingo related acquisitions that PlayTech make, plus the features that they are able to bring to the table. It’s a unique situation to be in, but it makes for an exciting process that few online bingo networks are able to rival.
The backbone of any good bingo network has to be the games that are on offer. If they have a poor selection, then companies won’t want to use them. But, given that you already know that Virtue Fusion are one of the biggest networks around, you’re likely going to have guessed that they’ve a killer range of games on offer.
What’s probably most noticeable about Virtue Fusion is that they are constantly changing, even their existing games are adapted to make them better for their users. They are able to adapt to current trends, make changes based on customer demands, and are not afraid of totally scrapping a game in favour of making an even better version, which happens more often than you might think.
For example, they recently changed some of their 1980’s bingo games from the 90-ball to the 75-ball variant to see how that went down with the customers. Given that they have a huge amount of data on who is playing what types of games, they are pretty good at deciding what will work and the changes tend to stick.
Another area of their game development has come off the back of the switch from Flash to HTML 5. The HTML 5 platform, for those that don’t know, basically allows for a much more fluid gaming experience and across more platforms too. This makes games a lot more friendly for mobile devices, and as the industry is moving increasingly towards this area it has been an important step for Virtue Fusion to make.
We’ve already touched on the fact that PlayTech are as well known for casino games as any other gambling product, so it shouldn’t be too surprising to hear that they offer a huge range of side games within their bingo sector. In fact, they have over 600 side games to choose from – one of the biggest in the industry.
Slots make up the vast amount of these games, but you’ve also got things like scratch cards, jackpots, lotto, and even table games like blackjack and roulette. What’s great about them is that they have all be designed to integrate into the same lobby as your bingo game which means you don’t have to leave one to play the other.
It works by offering the mobile layout on your computer, which sits nicely in the bottom right hand corner and allows you to make use of the dead time in between bingo games if you choose to.
There are few that offer more or do a better of job of branded bingo games than Virtue Fusion. They’ve been able not only secure branded deals for their own platform, but they also make games that are bespoke for their clients as well.
For example, they created both the Coronation Street and Emmerdale games exclusively for Gala bingo who were able to secure the rights for both of them. They’ve also done this for other sites as well, and whilst the fee will likely be high for this, they are one of few that are willing to put the work in for individual customers.
You’ll find that with most bingo sites, the branded games are based around current TV shows and game shows. Virtue Fusion is no different. Here’s a look at some of their most popular branded games:
Deal or No Deal
There have been few day time TV shows that are as iconic as Deal or No Deal, and the bingo version is just as successful for any bingo site that utilises it. The game submerges you into your own version of Deal or No Deal, where you can win some massive prizes.
It starts off just like your standard 90-ball bingo game where you are paid for 1 line, 2 lines or a full house. Games average around 128 players and with this an average payout of £170 is won.
The jackpot will be triggered if you are able to get a full house in fewer than 31 calls, but even if that doesn’t happen, the winner of the full house for each game will start to play against the banker. For this, they are taken into a special room where there are a number of boxes in front of them. They then pick the boxes off one by one and after each round the banker will give them an offer to end the game.
They can either choose to take the money from the banker or keep going in the hope they get a better offer later. When the game comes down to the last 4 boxes, the deal on the table can be voted for by other players in the game who have been watching your progress. They can say if they think it’s a good deal and you should take the money, or if they think it’s a poor deal and you should play on. The player then ultimately decides what they want to do.
The game can be played for some of the higher end ticket prices that start from 10p through to 50p. It’s a really interactive game and this is probably the main reason why it’s been so popular for Virtue Fusion and the bingo sites that use it.
The Emmerdale game is exclusive to Gala, but it has been developed in-house by Virtue Fusion, so we wanted to include it. Plus, it’s easily one of the best games in the industry if you ask us.
It’s a 90-ball game that most players will be familiar with. The game is open from 8am until midnight everyday, which may seem like an odd thing to state, but it’s worth pointing out that not all games can be accessed around the clock with bingo as they need to be managed.
The ticket price will range from 5p to 20p, which makes it a low to mid in terms of price range, and the average payout is around £48, which is quite high.
After each game there is a 4×4 that appears on screen. It will move a certain number of steps on the board, with this number being represented as the number of balls that are needed to get a full house. If the car lands on one of the 5 jackpots, then the jackpot will be paid to the house winner of the regular game. It’s also worth players sticking around in this game even if they have lost, as there are some community prizes where all players can win.
Another game that is exclusive to Gala, but again, another industry favourite made by Virtue Fusion. Coronation Street is one of the networks biggest games and pays out over £10,000 of non-jackpot money every day. It’s a 90-ball game with 550+ winners per day, paying on average of £48 per game.
What’s good about this game is that it’s open 24 hours, 7 days per week, meaning that games can be played around the clock. Each game gets given its own name, usually a reference or nod to the TV show, and the cards are even designed as a cobble street, which pays homage to the famous cobbles of Coronation Street.
A really nice feature here is that you are able to watch over 100 clips of the show from years gone by between games. They include some of the classic characters and are a great trip down memory lane for the fanatics.
The game is really all about the progressive jackpot though. This is triggered by people who win the House prize in 31 dabs or less. Jackpots are usually in their tens of thousands so they are well worth winning.
The Chase is another classic that has been created by Virtue Fusion. Of course, the game is based on the popular TV show of the same name that’s hosted by Bradley Walsh, and the bingo game gives you a taste of the real thing.
This is your standard 90-ball bingo offering, open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. It’s manned throughout that time, so there is always someone offering encouragement in the chat box.
Whilst the game is pretty standard in that you need to get 1 line, 2 lines, or a house to win, the player grabbing the house is the one that is going to really take advantage of the features that are on offer. You see, after house has been awarded, the winner then goes on and plays The Chase game. They are offered 3 different prizes (high, middle, low) and then they need to answer a series of questions to get the bonus prize. Answer them all before the Chaser catches you and you win that prize.
The game includes all of the Chasers from the TV show, including The Sinnerman, The Vixen, The Beast, The Dark Destroyer and The Governess; with the latter also being the voice of the calls for the numbers. The game starts from just 5p a ticket and there are over 1,000 winners each day.
On top of all that, The Chase is another game from Virtue Fusion that has a jackpot for houses called with 31 or fewer dabs.