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.
When people think of board games, they naturally think of a somewhat large box with some form of board folded up inside. Usually the game will have tokens representing the players along with dice, cards, or some other form which will generally indicate movement for the players.However, not all board games have to use tokens to indicate the players or even necessarily use a hard-backed board to indicate the area of game play. Many different types of games primarily use decks of cards to indicate every aspect of the game, often presenting a challenge matches and often goes well beyond the challenge that a typical board game might present.These card games will often follow a very specific format, for when players lay different cards down in different positions, they can all mean one of many specific things. One card laid in one relative position might end up as an attack pattern while that same card placed somewhere else might end up as a defense. To help players learn the difference and never be confused, many of these games come with a large, foldout sheet which all of the cards can be placed on, indicating which area means what specifically. This sheet often serves as the board which the card game takes place on.One of the most popular collectible card games functions much like a board game. This game turns each of the players into a wizard, faced off in an epic battle against the other player. Each of the cards represent some of the many spells, creatures, or items which are available to each wizard in their battle. There are intricate sets of rules which go along with the game in all of its incarnations, making it a very detailed experience.The cards themselves have come to be collectible, with many cards being rather rare and prized not only for their power within the context of the game, but for their aesthetic artwork. Players, upon becoming qualified enough, are able to enter tournaments and potentially win prizes upwards of $40,000. A few select individuals have actually become professional players of the game, making their way around the different circuits, playing the game as their living.Another game helps players understand the format of play by teaching players with the help of a mat that is like a board. This game takes images and events from famous space action movies and turns them into playable cards, pitting two players against each other for victory. By using characters, weapons, and events from the universe, however, they not only will play a competitive game to win, but they will shape their own story using some of the most familiar images from the popular space war movies.This game is unique because it came out with expansion packs, each of which details a specific location from one of the movies, allowing players to build their own personal decks to form the strengths and characters that they want. It allows players a great deal of control in not only shaping their own game, but their destiny within the game.