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Online Games: What Is The Future Of Games Online?
Online games are now played for more than 60 minutes a day by more than half a billion people around the world, according to Jane McGonigal.
In the United States alone, that number is 183 million.
Ninety-nine percent of boys under 18 and 94% of girls under 18 report playing online games regularly.
On average, young people will accumulate 10,000 hours of play when they reach the age of 21.
That’s about the same amount of time they’ll spend in their classrooms.
More than 5 million Americans now spend more than 40 hours per week playing online games, which is equivalent to the time spent in a full-time job.
The NPD Group, a financial analyst firm that tracks video game sales, says the US gaming industry sold $6.71 billion worth of new games in 2012.
The 10 best-selling games of 2012 were:
- Call of Duty: Black Ops II (360, PS3, PC, Wii U)
- Madden NFL 13 (360, PS3, Wii, PSV, Wii U)
- Halo 4 (360)
- Assassin’s Creed III (360, PS3, PC, Wii U)
- Just Dance 4 (Wii, 360, Wii U, PS3)
- NBA 2K13 (360, PS3, Wii, PSP, Wii U, PC)
- Borderlands 2 (360, PS3, PC)
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (360, PS3, Wii, PC)
- Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (Wii, 360, NDS, PS3, 3DS, PSV, PC)
- FIFA Soccer 13 (360, PS3, Wii, PSV, 3DS, Wii U, PSP)
FarmVille is a very popular farming simulation social network game developed by Zynga in 2009.
FarmVille 2 was released in September 2012.
World of Warcraft holds the Guinness World Record for most popular MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game), with over 8 million subscribers as of March 2013 (Wikipedia).
Another popular game is Clash of Clans which is a combat strategy game.
Free-to-play games, often referred to as freemium (free + premium) games, are a business model where the game is offered for free, but the customer has the option of spending money on various game enhancements.
This model has become popular on smartphones and iPads.
Free games are much easier to download than paid games.
The freemium model seems to be the trend of the future as many are reluctant to pay for a game before using it.
Once a customer uses a game, they will usually be willing to spend money on that game if they find it fun and engaging.
As an example of how the freemium model works, consider the free game Clash of Clans.
The objective of this game is to create a clan, build a village for the clan, and then train your warriors to protect your village from invaders.
You can download the game for free on your smartphone. Then, once you find this game fun and engaging, all sorts of upgrades are available.
Of course, you can keep playing for free as long as you want and gradually earn virtual “gems” to help fund your clan project. Or you can make a purchase on your smartphone to speed up the pace of acquiring gems.
With the tap of a finger, players can purchase a “Gem Stack” for $4.99, a “Gem Bag” for $9.99, or a “Gem Box” for $49.99.
And if you’re feeling really ambitious, and want to get a few extra swords and slingshots to fight off the barbarian invaders, just tap your smartphone screen and buy a “Gem Chest” for just $99.99.
The company that makes Clash of Clans (Supercell) raises over a million dollars…a day!
All by people who have downloaded a free Clash of Clans game on their smartphone.
Apple gets about 30% of that, or $300,000 a day.
When the ability to buy things is facilitated through the use of technology, wealth is created faster and more abundantly than ever before.
Also consider that when people play Clash of Clans, they are encouraged to simply press a button to invite all of their Facebook friends to join, which brings in even more money for Supercell.
Of course, Clash of Clans is just one example among many.
Users, fans and players of Clash of Clans (and other freemium online games) generate millions of dollars for companies like Supercell and Apple.
Meanwhile, users get zilch…a big goose egg.
Does that seem fair to you?
Shouldn’t users be rewarded?
We believe that rewarding users of online games is an idea whose time has come.
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