It’s Not a Game Anymore!

This article was first published on Agrello - Medium

What if Transferwise (or pick any other bank or financial institution of your choosing) announced that 170M of their user accounts have been stolen? Would you still trust them with your hard earned money? Makes you think twice, doesn’t it…

But if I tell you that a company with turnover five times bigger than Transferwise witnessed the security breach of this enormous just last year and yes, a lot of people still trust them with their dollars, euros, yen’s, how would you feel?

I’m talking about Zynga’s security breach last September, when 173 million usernames and passwords were stolen. While the company and general public may want to downplay it — it’s just a game after all — the consequences for the gamers may be dire. Lots of gamers use the same credentials in multiple games and platforms. While they may not have a lot in stake in Farmville, they may have accounts worth tens or hundreds of dollars in Fortnite.

Since the era of free-to-play games and in-game transactions, the value of personal gamer accounts have increased significantly.

Game developers employ a multitude of different strategies to monetize the so-called free games and store the value in user accounts.

For example, Overwatch has a progression bar system for loot boxes, which means users anticipate the next drop. Each loot box contains something called “weapon skin.” The game then allows you to sell your weapon skin for the in-game currency. The in-game currency gives you access to the more premium loot boxes (Superior and Enhanced Battlepacks) which have a higher chance of containing premium weapon skins. You’re taught to keep trying to get the premium loot boxes, eventually making you take out your credit card.

Another popular title Candy Crush makes people buy extra moves. Once you run out of moves, you’ve technically lost, but there’s ...

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