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.
There are many reasons that a person may choose to play an online game. Most of these people are looking for a way to escape reality. Games provide people with the chance to relax and get lost and an alternative universe. There are games of every type and style for every person that wants to play.If a person is into combat style games there are many different choices to pick from. The younger demographic is more likely to be into the combat style of game. This is changing however over the last several years as young adult males are getting into the idea of playing this style of game.Sports fans are also very involved in the online gaming world. Many sports fans find nothing better than being able to compete with each other over the Internet in their favorite sport. There are even areas where people keep track of statistics and other vital information. This is a hobby that is growing into a bit of a worldwide phenomenon.There are games that are targeted toward the music audience. Sometimes people link up music related games and see who can play the best virtual guitar. This is becoming extremely popular with the musical audience, and new songs are able to be downloaded almost on a monthly basis for these games.Younger children also have the opportunity to play games on the Internet. There are age-appropriate games that can be played with young people depending upon their interests. Various television networks offer games that are family-friendly so that younger children do not feel left out of the playing process.. These games can be amazing educational fun for the entire family to play together. This is something that is happening in many homes around the world.One of the most popular types of games is the role-playing game. People enjoy the opportunity to solve puzzles and move on to different levels. This is a hobby that has grown into a worldwide enjoyable activity. People of all ages play these types of games. Many players will play for hours at a time without any interruptions.Sometimes if a person does not have a video gaming system they can play flash games against their friends. A flash game is a opportunity for people to play a game that requires no extra investment. This is helpful for individuals that do not have a lot of money to invest in gaming systems. Flash games became popular in the last decade when the activity of computer programming was easier for people to get involved with.Almost every person will have some type of online game that they enjoy. People now live in a very technology-based society, and are constantly looking for something to entertain themselves. Video games provide hours of mental stimulation as well as an escape from the troubles of the real world that sometimes people do not want to deal with. It seems that every generation is getting more involved in the video gaming hobby.