From pushing quarters into old arcade machines to dropping $799.99 on an HTC Vive, it’s seldom been a free process to enjoy a little bit of gaming. But in those instances, we’re talking purely about paying to play . More and more frequently, however, we’re seeing money tied to video games in other ways. Now, people pay to compete or gamble, and they play games to earn free perks where they might otherwise need to pay.
Paying To Compete
It’s undeniable that gaming has become more competitive over the years. Where we once associated the term “multiplayer” with local options—playing on a couch alongside friends or family members—we’re now used to gigantic multiplayer environments online. But in a lot of games that host this sort of multiplayer action, particularly on mobile platforms, staying competitive means spending money along the way. Consider this: at one point, the top-ranked player on the hit mobile game Clash Royale spent $12,000 on the game. And that was in March of this year, meaning it’s a virtual guarantee that he or someone else has spent more in the time since! It’s the nature of modern gaming that spending money can help you to get ahead, and the environments are competitive enough that plenty of people are willing to do it. Those who don’t are almost playing on a different, lower tier.
Gambling & Gaming Are Blurring Together
This is not always the case in the U.S., where real money gaming is only legal in a handful of states. But in much of the world, the lines between gaming and gambling are blurring, if not disappearing altogether. We know that the the online poker industry is thriving, and games like digital roulette, blackjack, and even slot machines remain popular, too. But we’re also starting to see additional gaming options attached to the same platforms offering these popular games. You can even find tips for winning a lottery, as well as opportunities to try your hand at doing so, at a site that hosts some other, fairly traditional casino gaming opportunities. It doesn’t change the nature of lottery gaming so much as its availability, right alongside some real money arcade options.
Participating Can Eliminate Expenses
There are also now plenty of opportunities to avoid spending money on games simply by engaging with them more. This doesn’t involve the actual exchange of money, but it does speak to the financial motivations involved with modern gaming. Just a few months ago we posted a list of free games available to PlayStation Plus subscribers, who are able to enjoy numerous perks simply by dedicating themselves to PlayStation enough to subscribe to the service. Additionally, there are countless console and mobile games in which regular activity and consistent achievements can actually offset a reluctance to spend money. Sometimes achieving a certain goal, or even watching a string of advertisements (also financially motivated, of course) can earn a gamer the same rewards that a small purchase would have otherwise unlocked.
All in all this makes for a somewhat tangled picture of elements of the modern gaming industry that may seem detached from one another. However, the one thing made clear by it all is that most everything game developers and players do these days is done with some financial consideration. Where we once paid just to play, we now pay to excel, pay to take chances, or, on the other hand, spend extra time playing to avoid the need to dig in financially.