Online Games – Can We Make Money Playing Them?

When we refer to online games we are normally referring to video type games that we play on a computer via the internet. Some video games are played over the internet using mobile phones and video consoles, but generally speaking online games means computer games that need an internet connection to be played. Simple text-based multiplayer games were the first of these types of games as internet connections were slow and expensive when these games were first introduced in the 1980s. Gradually these games became popular in the 1990s, with today’s online games featuring virtual communities, realistic graphics and multiplayer games where people can even play one to one or in knock out tournaments for cash prizes. We all know that the internet is the fastest growing market place in the history of the world but did you know that there is an online games sector that is growing 4 times faster than the internet overall! Yes! and it’s the “Online Skill Games” market.

There are many styles of Online Games

Some of the different types of online games that exist:

1. Real time strategy games: This type of game is all about strategy where, for your army to fight successfully against the other internet players you need to develop a game plan by building lots of resources

2. First person shooter: Here the players compete with each other one to one. In most first-person type games, the online game allows the death match or arena style of play. In this style of game play the view you see is the one seen from your character’s eyes.

3. Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG): In this type of game each person has to keep trying to reach the next highest level until he has reached the top one written for that game and these online games can have, simultaneously, thousands of players from every part of the globe, playing in a giant virtual world interacting against or with each other. Gamers can keep playing these types of games for months or even years!

4. Browser type games: These are pastime games that are quick, simple and small that are played in your browser. The popular Java and Shockwave technologies are used to develop these games.

5. Online skill games: An online skill based game is a web game played in tournament format or one to one. Each player pays a cash entry fee to play with a cash or merchandise prize going to the winner or winners. The outcome of each competition is based on the player’s ability and performance not luck.

How Do Online Game Companies Make Money

All games today, are playable online. How do we make money? This is the question that companies making the online games have to ask themselves. The majority of companies make single-player games that are played at home and in this the player has to beat the artificial intelligence of the enemy. Today these games normally include an online multiplayer version which can be played against or with other Internet players. By selling their game DVD/CDs is how these companies earn their profit e.g. Warcraft 3 and Counter Strike. Advertising and promotions is how browser game companies make their money. MMORPG companies generally charge their players a monthly fee and continue to add content by programming new scenarios etc in their games e.g. Everquest 2 and World of Warcraft. Some don’t, but survive because their DVD/CD sales are high e.g. Guild Wars.

What is the future of online games?

Soon there will be a new entry into the online skill games market. According to their Free Online Games Market Report they will be the first company with their new online skill games platform, to launch a business that encapsulates three of the newest phenomena on the internet today. Online Games Entertainment, Social Networking using web 2.0 and a new way of marketing which has been described as Social Marketing 2.0. One of the core differences with this new platform over the conventional models is that we the players can if we want share in the profits while we play our games. With the market today (2007) worth approximately $5.2 billion USD and predicted to rise in the next 3 years to over $13 billion USD that’s $412 per second and with social networking sites already reaching 45% of web users and the 4 major Instant Messengers having more than 400 million users between them this potentially could be a whole lot of money.

Online Games – Entertainment at Its Best

Man cannot live without entertainment. It’s a way of amusing himself in his leisure time. Entertainment can be passive such as watching a movie or opera, or active such as recreation or sports. Games are an active form of entertainment that provides relaxation and diversion. With the development of computer technologies and internet, online games have become the most popular way of entertainment among people including kids.

Online games are played using computer network. They are mostly free and enable the players to enjoy their time without any cost. These stuff range from simple text based games to those that include graphics. There are single player and multi-player online games. Single player online games are played by a single person for his own entertainment whereas a multi-player application is played by a lot of people creating an online community. This serves as a platform for social interaction.

Online games are sorted according to classifications based on their platform, publisher, date, character of franchise, feature, region, genre, technology, license, reception and so on. The most popular types of online games come under the classification based on genre. They are:

Action games which include fighting, shooting and platform games that emphasizes on physical challenges such as good hand-eye co-ordination and high reaction speed. There are action-adventure games in which elements of action are included in adventure games. They are more popular than pure action games as it includes both reflex as well as problem-solving.
Casual games which include puzzle, hidden object, word & trivia, card & board game and so on. This can be played online either in a personal computer or in a mobile phone using a one-button mouse or cellphone keypad. These are extremely simple and do not require any special skills. Final stage is reached quickly and so people can play such games during their work break.
Role-playing games which include online text-based role-playing games and massively multi-player online role-playing games. In online text-based role-playing games, there are many players who require some type of text based interface and an internet connection.
Simulation games which include business, city building, space flight simulator, war games and so on. Various activities in real life are replicated in this type of game. There is no special goal in this game; it involves just running around playing as the character.
Sports games which include playing online a variety of sports such as cricket, soccer, volley ball, formula one race, and so on. The player needs to understand the real sport in order to play online sports game. The games allow testing of precision and accuracy of the player. Online sports games are popular and competitive like real world sports. The names and characteristics of real teams and players are featured in most of the online sports games that makes it interesting and demanding like the real world sports.
Strategy games mainly include board puzzles that require the skill of thinking, planning and making decision to win the puzzle. This type of things takes time to play and complete. There are some action, puzzle and simulation games that require strategic thinking but they are different from strategy games. Strategy games do not involve physical challenge, but it involves conflict between the players to out-think their opponent.
Arcade games are played in coin-operated machines placed in public places where people are likely to have free time. Now it can be played online competing with other people to gain a high score. This game is more unrealistic and mainly focuses on experience in playing the game quick.

Everything You Need to Know About Online Games

Games have always been popular among children and adults at par. With the introduction of high tech instruments and technologies, many technical games have come into existence. These games, popularly known as online games, are different from the traditional games which required a board or pitch and single or multiple players.

Online games – An introduction

These games are defined as a technology or a mechanism which connects players available in the computer network or on the Internet. These games are generally played by a single player. It needs a form of computer network like the Internet or an equivalent technology. These games can vary from easy text based to intricate graphics and virtual worlds. Many such games are associated with online communities, which make online games a type of social activity.

The rise of Flash and Java has led to an Internet uprising where websites provided their own on-demand activity in form of videos, audios and other. Today, there are separate sites that offer games online. The popular online games include World of Warcraft, Lineage II and Final Fantasy XI. To play these games one needs to pay some monthly fee and subscribe to their services. However, games like Guild Wars can be played by paying no such monthly fee. Some of these online sites that offer games get on-site sponsors. Some games like RuneScape, which is made by Artix Entertainment and Mabinogi, allow people to play for free.

The dot-com bubble burst which occurred in 2001 resulted in decreasing success of online gaming websites as they solely depended upon advertising revenue, which faced extreme adversity. However, some sites have been able to survive during the fluctuating market by counterbalancing the advertising income loss. They used the substance as a cross-promotion tool which shifted the web visitors to other websites owned by the company.

Online game types

There are many variations of computer games which are played online. These include first-person shooter games and real-time strategy games. These multiplayer games are played over a modem or any local network. Some good examples of these internet based games include Age of Empires and Microsoft Ants. As the online gameplay is getting bigger, many people are getting interested in them and therefore, their popularity is also increasing.

Some popular online games crowd the open source networks like Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, Xbox and Nintendo GameCube. While games like Phantasy Star Online can be played in private servers, other games like PC, Macintosh, Dreamcast and GameCube players share one server. Games like Quake III, 4×4 Evolution and Need for Speed: Underground can be played using the same server.

Besides, there are browser games which uses web browser as a client. Gradually, with the development of graphics technologies like Flash and Java, more complex games got introduced. They became increasingly popular as “Flash games” or “Java games”. Some games like Frogger and Pac-Man were released in the 1980s. Another variety of online games is MMOG or Massively multiplayer online games.

The Benefits of Playing Online Games

In recent years, there has been a lot of hype about how bad it is for kids to be constantly playing online games. It has been said that kids today who play online games are withdrawing from social contact with the rest of their peers. It has also been said that playing games online takes away from their physical activity. Another point that has been brought up suggests that kids are learning less by participating in playing games online.

Although there is some element of truth to all of those things, there are also benefits kids can achieve by participating in online games. Although kids may not be face-to-face with other kids their own age, they are interacting through the electronic chats that accompany most games. Also they are being exposed to all different types of kids, as well as kids from different cultures that they may not have a chance to interact with in their present environment. Kids playing these internet games are learning to get along with different sorts of people and learn about different cultures, within a fun environment. They are also learning to give and take, as in sharing, when they play the games, because often when playing with others, they have to wait their turn to fight an enemy or rely on another player to help them destroy their foe.

The next point about physical activity may be truer. It is true that kids may spend more time sitting in front of their computer than in playing street hockey, as children in the past used to do. But there are games out there that are now taking this into consideration, like the physically active games of the WII system. You should also consider though, that playing internet games increases your child’s hand-eye coordination, so playing the online games is actually teaching them a skill that is akin to playing basketball or hockey, in a more real world where hand-eye coordination may come in handy as a job seeking skill.

The last point suggested was that children are learning less by sitting in front of their computer playing games, that they are using up their reading and learning time in just playing games. When you consider that as a very young child, the best way to teach them new things is to make the learning fun. Thus the internet games creates a fun environment for a child to learn. Not all the games are fights and killing. As mentioned, the kids learn a lot about hand-eye coordination. They also learn to share and take turns, in other words patience in dealing with others.

The internet is a great learning tool and a tool that will take children into their future. A child that plays online games must learn how to use the internet, which is a necessary skill to perfect in today’s high-tech job world. Also, a certain amount of research is necessary for some of the games. And some of the games, war games for instance, teach a bit of history and military strategy. These all add to a child’s cognitive learning abilities.

Playing online games also teaches a child to use his imagination. They must visualize the world that they play in, remember passageways, figure out how to defeat an enemy, and use their mind in other ways.

So there are benefits to children playing online games. You may not realize that they are learning, interacting and gaining skills which are important in their future world.

It is always up to a parent how much time they allow their children to spend playing online games. It is good to balance their game time with other activities, but playing online games does have its benefits too.