10 Years and Counting: The Success of the NetEnt Starburst Slot

Wednesday, August 10th, 2022 by LuckyMobileSlots

This week marks the 10-year anniversary of the launch of the iconic Starburst slot by NetEntertainment. We take a look at its lasting popularity and what comes next.

Starburst Slot Reaches 10 Years Old
Starburst Slot Reaches 10 Years Old
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This week NetEnt celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the launch of the Starburst online slot in style. There was live music, Starburst-themed photo booths, a 3D Mapped birthday cake shooting fireworks, and out-of-this-world astronaut performers.

And while it might feel like the industry has moved on from the iconic slot (remember when you couldn’t sign up to any online casino without getting Starburst free spins? Or the countless Starburst copies?), players have not.

In the last two and a half years alone, the slot has seen an incredible 18 billion spins by players worldwide.

Why, after a decade, is this slot game still so popular? And can any new version ever compete with the original?

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The lasting influence of the Starburst slot

There’s a reason why casino software game studios bring out 4+ new video slots every month.

Casino players are fickle creatures. We love new, shiny, bright reels filled with potential for new, shinier, brighter wins. For a video slot to have lasting popularity of over a decade, there’s got to be a special about the game.

Todd Haushalter, Chief Product Officer at Evolution, stated: “A decade-long run for a single slot game is an incredible achievement, and it’s been a top favourite with players ever since it was first launched. From the looks of things, that’s going to keep going, and going, and going.”

Nothing last forever, it seems, except those bright sparkling Starburst gems.

Original NetEnt Starburst Slot Machine
Original NetEnt Starburst Slot Machine

The right place at the right time?

It can’t be denied that the Starburst slot has aged well. Even after 10 years, when you open up the slot, you are dazzled by a visual display of brilliant gems and arcade-like sound effects that bring you back to childhood.

Or, more than likely, to mobile video games. It’s no coincidence that 2012 was when the smartphone had become an established part of our everyday lives, and simple gem-bursting games were everywhere for the casual mobile gamer.

It made sense to use a theme that people were enjoying casually and bring it into the world of online casinos.

What makes Starburst slot popular?

Using the casual gaming theme, NetEntertainment studios was also smart enough to use casual gaming mechanics.

Starburst is a low volatility 5 reel 10 payline slot with simple mechanics. The paylines pay left to right and right to left, with the wild expanding to give you a free re-spin of the reels. Get multiple re-spins and wild symbols, and you’ll get the top win of 500x your bet.

Add a decent RTP of 96.1% and a wide betting range of 0.10 to 100 a spin, and this casino slot really is very inclusive of all players from all walks of life.

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Charming, simple, and easy to play

Even players who have never taken a gamble at a casino could pick up, play, and understand the mechanics.

It’s part of why it’s still so popular: as a beginner slot, it’s a great low-risk game to get gamblers into the genre. It’s probably the game we would recommend total newbies to try before they jump into the many more complicated types, whether that’s grid slots or Megaways video slots.

“Starburst™ is the full package – an exciting, classic game that entertains you right from the start. I can’t wait to see what the next decade brings.” Continued Todd Haushalter, Chief Product Officer at Evolution

And, don’t forget, 500x your bet is a decent amount for low volatility slots. It may not hit the astronomical heights of its successor, but it’s pretty graphics and thrilling animations keep punters coming back for more.

What does the future hold for the Starburst slot franchise?

There are a few natural sequels to the iconic gem dazzling game, and no, we are not talking about Copies of Starburst slots, of which there are plenty, and we’ve written about in length.

The only people who can create and make any Starburst games are NetEnt themselves because they have the right to the math, the model, and the visuals.

And it took until July 2021 for this to become a reality.

Moving on to a high-variance affair

There’s no hiding the fact that gamblers have become more sophisticated over the years. Sites like LuckyMobileSlots.com and SlotSumo.com have been educating players about the difference between the slots, the mechanics, and what kind of video slots you should be playing.

The rise of the high volatility slot with huge wins of over 5,000x your bet has made the Starburst slot pale in comparison.

We would recommend Starburst to newbies, but anyone else? Probably not. We want actual astronomical wins. The kind of wins that sees you jump into the stratosphere with joy.

Starburst XXXtreme slot has a top win of 200,000x your bet

You wanted big wins? You get big wins.

NetEnt Starburst XXXtreme Slot Game
NetEnt Starburst XXXtreme Slot Game

Released in July 2021, the Starburst XXXtreme slot is a 5 reel 9 payline game with the same spectacles and gaming experience, only with more big win potential.

You keep the re-spins and the expanded wilds, only now they can come with multipliers ranging from x2 to x150. These can be added together to give you a total of 450x multiplier on the paytable wins.

And then there’s the introduction of the XXXtreme Spins button, which, for an extra cost, you can guarantee a Starburst Wild to always be active on the reels.

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Can any one video slot ever be as popular as Starburst in its heyday?

The two slots are so different it’s almost impossible to say which is better: Starburst or Starburst XXXtreme.

The problem is that in the last 10 years since the launch of Starburst, the online gambling industry has changed. There are no longer only 5 or 8 top studios making the best games; there are now hundreds flooding the market with lots of interesting gems.

No video slot has a chance to gain the popularity of Starburst, because no video slots stay at the top of the casino table for long.

Even Starburst XXXtreme hasn’t seen the popularity of its older sibling, mostly because so many people don’t actually know about it.

More choice, more noise, but more diversity

Yes, it’s harder than ever to find the right kind of slot game for you. It’s why we created our advanced slot filter to help players filter through the noise and find games similar to what they like to play.

Whether you want to find a low variance slot with 10 paylines or a high variance slot with expanded wilds, our advanced slot search gives you 15 different criteria to find your perfect game.

And all with our trusted reviews star rating, you can quickly pick the best of the bunch.

Because the next 10 years will be filled with interesting online and mobile slots, and we are here to cut through the noise and help you pick the next big Starburst slot machine of the future.

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