"Pay-per-kill" the new skill games direction?


RIP Brian
Feb 22, 2001

A new but volatile "skill gaming" pastime - could 'Hitman' have a new direction?

Mainly UK websites offering "pay per kill" shoot 'em up video games are the subject of an interesting article today (Thursday) in the British newspaper The Guardian.

Author Alistair Harper writes that over the past 12 months a series of over-18s servers have launched which pay a player for every kill made, while putting a price on every virtual death.

"The prospect of making money from playing videogames makes online poker seem as old-fashioned as its physical equivalent and, as game developers search for new ways of making money, could potentially be huge," opines Harper.

Although attracting gamers from around the world, the servers are all mainly based in the UK where they are exempt from the regulations of the 2005 Gambling Act - being categorised as skill-based as opposed to chance.

Although free from regulation, this has also given the companies taking the first steps a problem with trust. Instinctively, hardcore PC gamers do not trust each other. One semi-professional gamer who played Tournament.com for several months stated this as the reason that he stopped playing on their servers: he suspected other players had installed third party programs.

"It would take more than a month before they actually caught a cheater who ended up raking thousands of dollars from other gamblers," he claimed.

Perhaps illustrating the volatility of this sector, the staff of Valve-licensed and Norwich-based Tournament.com recently learned that they were all being made redundant. The elite players had switched on their guns' safety and wandered off to pastures new.

London based Kwari.com, has taken a different approach and developed its own first person shooter. Having developed the software means the company is in a better position to prevent cheating, but says it's not interested in dealing with pro gamers.

Instead it seeks casual players who normally use online poker sites. It wants people to play the game for no more than an hour two times a week and will put a cap on the amount a user can spend a month unless they have been vetted as suitable for their high-stakes tournament.

No one knows who they are playing against and games are randomly generated to prevent elite teams having an advantage. Community manager Sam Bennett was keen to stress that this meant anyone could win a lot of money, whatever their skill.

Harper concludes with the observation that it seems likely that big gaming companies will be watching closely to see if Kwari succeeds or goes the way of Tournament.com. "As soon as gaming for money becomes acceptable and wholesome you can be sure that EA and the big boys will swoop in, start doing the same thing with a bigger budget and change the shape of online gaming entirely," he writes.


Banned User - repetitive violations of <a href="ht
Jan 18, 2007
There are some sick people out there. No doubt.

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