The Rise in Online Gaming
Any game coded by programmers for today’s technology, will need an option to play online or it will never make it into production. Game creators have been consistently finding ways to monetize their online section of their games by adding value and options to the online arena. Everything from buying imaginary pets for online alter egos, through to extended, online only maps for playing against opponents from the other side of the world. The online games industry is worth more than the movie business and the production costs of the games often cost more than a Hollywood blockbuster.
There are different types of online gaming and you can bet there is a genre that will appeal to you. Kids are downloading free games from their Android tablet PCs and playing within seconds. You would even be surprised at the number of adults who are addicted to their virtual farm that needs tending everyday on Facebook. So how do game manufacturers make money online if they are giving their games away from free? The answer is attention. Keeping the attention of players and introducing a game in to part of a daily routine is what keeps people coming back.
The Progress Factor
Game makers have found that people enjoy success. This means that as long as there is a set route to success, players are almost guaranteed to return. Zynga games, one of the largest online gaming providers in the world, was at one time reportedly valued at around $9bn. Most of Zynga’s customers are playing games on Facebook and this means they come back every day. The way Zynga makes money is by allowing people to cheat. You can play all day and night and not spend a penny, but if you want to get ahead quicker, you can get a little boost by spending real money. Virtual goods, for real money is like a license to print bank notes from thin air. In 2011, the company passed the billion dollars mark for total revenue generated. All this achieved without a box or instruction manual to provide to the customer.
The Secret of Success
The success of online gaming on Facebook has a lot to do with sharing with your friends. Sending gifts or receiving a gift, gives people a reason to log on and spend time playing. The more you play, the more you can send or the more your friends play, the more you can too. The power of sharing and competing with your friends has driven the boom in online gaming. It doesn’t matter if you enjoy a game of Poker with a group of friends from the other side of the world, or visit another friend’s virtual farm to tend to their carrots.
Social networking has played a big part in the success of Zynga, but other games have a big fan base for different reasons. Call of Duty from Activision has had a huge following on game consoles for years. I have never met a teenager who has not played this series of first person shooters despite the fact that the game carries a rated 18 certificate. Unlike some games that are spin-offs from movies or major sports, this series of games has built success using a different method. It encourages the players to engage in team play and compete with their friends who are playing online with them from anywhere else in the world. The ability to talk with your teammates or friends and a variety of games within games has taken what young people used to do outdoors and transported it to their own homes. Neither, bad weather or distance are a problem for teenagers who want to socialize with their friends and this has enabled Activision to ask for above average prices for these games. When games released in the past, they came complete and any subsequent improvements would appear in the sequel. With Call of Duty, the game sells for around £45.00 then another £35 is needed for of add-ons that include maps. This amounts to almost twice as much as other games cost. Activision has found a formula and they are capitalizing while the formula remains popular.
As online gaming has become a more common part of our lives, celebrities have made it known that they play certain games. The FIFA series of football games produced by Electronic Arts have a huge following because of the celebrity footballers and the teams included in the game. Many footballers have confessed to playing FIFA football, and whether or not they okay for vanity, the fact that they play them makes them more acceptable. Making something that the average person can enjoy but also has appeal to celebrities is one of the best marketing ploys ever. People feel that it connects them in some way to the celebrities.
There are poker games on television every night where celebrity poker players compete with celebrities of all kinds. Many people learn how to play poker for free with the hope of one day playing with the celebrities one day.