|Playing word games, logic puzzles or trivia for cash online has become so popular that even software giant Microsoft has joined in. The Microsoft owned MSN has signed up SkillJam to provide pay-for-cash games to its Zone.com site.|
Zone.com already offers a popular range of card, board and word games but the new addition gives regular punters the chance to test their skills against other players. Brad Greenspan, eUniverse's chief executive and chairman explains the attraction: 'When people think they are better than other players they are willing to put their money where their mouth is.'
The major draw of play-for-cash game sites is that newcomers usually get the chance to initially play games for free. Once their skills are honed however they can start playing to win the chance of a variety of prizes or cash. For as little as 50 cents a game players can put their money where their mouth is and truly test their game playing talent. Although traditional gambling games, found in online casinos, are considered illegal in the US these games manage to twist around the law because they are based on the player’s skill.
eUniverse, owners of SkillJam, must be very pleased with themselves. The experience of running online tournaments with simple play-for-cash games is going to give them an invaluable edge when they chummy enough with Microsoft to enter the online computer game arena. Games such as Unreal Tournament and Half-Life already draw huge numbers of players ready to prove their worth and earn huge cash prizes.
Microsoft’s Xbox already has 350,000 users ready for play online. If eUniverse play their cards right they should be seeing themselves organising official play-for-cash tournaments for the highly sophisticated Xbox computer games market.