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 GamesSome 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 resources2. 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 MoneyAll 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.
So, you love to play games and you are looking for the best way to play them. There is a lot of internal debate when trying to decide between a personal computer or a game console. You first have to decide what type of games you want to play and which technology is better suited.The PC is better for upgrades. You can buy a regular PC and super charge it in many ways with after market accessories. You can add a bigger screen, more storage, better sound, and different devices on which to play games. Some of these devices help play the games better or more realistically. For example, a driving game isn’t as fun when you have to push the arrow keys to steer the car when you can have an actual steering wheel that attaches to the PC.A PC is great for playing online games, most computers are already hooked up to the internet to logging on is easy. And when using the computer for games, you can still do other things, for example, listen to downloaded music or chat with friends with instant messengers. Most games can be downloaded from the internet saving time from shopping in stores. There are even sample games you can play to see if you like them before buying.The console is better for ease of use. The console usually comes with the necessary game pads for the types of games that can be played on them. You can hook it to any television and sit in any position that is comfortable. There are wireless game pads and joy sticks that allow even more freedom. Some consoles will allow you to connect with the internet the games you have online, but the games usually run as fast as your internet connection.The down side of the PC is portability. The average PC is big and bulky; this does not allow you to take into other rooms or to someone else house. Often for internal upgrades, unless you are a computer nerd, must be done by professionals. This can get quite expensive and while your PC is being worked on you are out in the cold and have to wait to quench your game playing thirst. The average PC is at a computer desk and is not a very comfortable place to sit for long periods of game playing adventure.The down side of the console is the limited games and technology changes. Technology in games change almost daily and the standard console cannot be updated. You just have to buy a new one. And as the consoles become more advanced so do the games and the new games won’t work on your old console.