Featured Post

Game Analytics - Big Data And Business Intelligence(BI)

Games generate more data then an average application because of the game state machine . Terabytes  of data can be accumulated in a short pe...

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Emergence And Convergence Of Monetized Online Gaming (MG)

The world of online gaming is certainly changing at a rapid rate making it hard to figure out what category an online game falls into. Back in the day when times were simpler your could identify a game as a casual game, gambling game, MMOG, free to play, skill game, etc. With the advent of mass adoption of game platform virtual currency, Facebook universal virtual currency, virtual goods and the convergence of online games into an Online Gaming Ecosystem distinctions are hard to detect. To make things even more interesting traditional E-commerce businesses are now adding game mechanics(example:virtual currency) to their applications causing consumers to question if they are playing a game or buying something.

The underlying intentional or unintentional goal of the blurring of gaming categories is to drive more traffic and to increase the amount of money generated by players/consumers. Essentially, different games are using the same fundamental underlying monetization and mechanics to draw people in and to get them to spend money based on game elevation "levels".

This phenomena has homogenized many online games into a single category I call Monetized Games or MG's. This overriding classification makes more sense and easier for consumers, regulators, payment processors and businesses to identify the true purpose of an online game; which is to provide entertainment and to generate revenue from a player's participation in a game.

The quickly evolving nature of MG's is currently creating real challenges for regulators, payment processors, government policy makers, portals and advertisers. For example, how do you distinguish between a game site that let's a 12 year old buy virtual currency, to play in a game that awards more virtual currency for the purpose of buying virtual goods from the site from a poker site that let's you buy poker chips(virtual currency) to play in a game to win more virtual currency which in turn you cash out into dollars or pounds. In point of fact nothing is different about them.

Ohh and how about the airlines. you can earn virtual currency by playing the flying game and you can even buy more virtual currency to supplement your flying habit combining traditional virtual currency(dollars, pounds) transactions with online gaming business virtual currency. You can also trade this currency between other businesses to purchase goods and services form those businesses.

Essentially, the rapid rate of online gaming innovation is outpacing the ability of payment processors, search engines, regulators and lawmakers ability to adjust their polices to the brave new world of MG's. Taking a survey of some of these institutions indicates that these institutions have conflicting online gaming polices creating confusion within their organizations and frustration amongst online gaming businesses and players.

I suspect this institutional state of confusion is going to persist as the online gaming/e-commerce world continues to evolve and merge. From a consumer/player perspective it is an exciting time with new gaming entertainment models emerging. Online businesses are going to benefit with the ability of online gaming businesses to monetize players in ways unimagined several years ago. E-commerce will become a fun and engaging activity(finally!) encouraging players/consumers to spend more time and energy engaged in the buying experience.

1 comment:

Poker site said...

Thanks a lot for this article. Great blog !