In-game purchases can be expensive…and can be traded or used on third party sites to place wagers on eSports competitions
Skins, usually add-on weapons purchased in-game which can give an advantage in eSports competitions, have reportedly morphed into additional uses that include payment 'currency' in wagering on third party websites, usually on eSport competitions.
Given the youth of many players and eSports fans, and the lack of regulation in the sector, the wagering reports are of particular concern.
Recent publicity surrounding this alternative use of skins has focused on the first person shooter game frequently featured in eSports tournaments, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, where a large range of warlike skins can be deployed, most of them from Valve, the company which developed the game and reportedly makes around 15 percent on skin sales.
That can amount to big money – one report puts sales in 2015 at $2.3 billion to millions of CS:Go fans.
The eSports phenomenon – and the money involved – is set to follow an upward growth path according to several independent research organisations; one of them – Superdata – recently assessed the value of the global vertical this year as around $612 million.
The streaming service Twitch is an indicator of the sheer volume of fans watching typical tournaments sponsored by big-name firms…it claims to attract 100 million monthly viewers who devote an average 106 minutes a day to watching eSports events.
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