At any given time of the day there are close to three million people simultaneously playing Fortnite. Only this video game had a total of 350 million registered accounts in 2020, as also announced by its developer company, Epic Games.
Open chests, get skins (weapons or powers), getting crowns or eliminating players are some of the ways to level up. Playing a lot is another way to gain experience points and score wins. Buying elements offered by the game itself is another formula, but not always the most satisfactory, at least for the player.
The video game world moves about 150,000 million euros a year, according to the American consultancy Newzoo, a figure that exceeds the film and music businesses together and that, for the moment, does not seem to have found a limit. The business is not only profitable for large developers. Beyond the official panels of each competition, there is an outdoor market where costumes, bows, knives, screws, powers, virtues, keys and trunks are offered. And also bills.
Javier Collado (Castellón, 26 years old) has entered this business in which practically everything is virtual, except money. And not always, because there are operations that are carried out with cryptocurrencies. He has been playing video games his whole life. He talks about his friends, players from other parts of the world, whom he doesn’t know. It was one of them who told her that there was the possibility of making the fun of it profitable: create accounts, play, play and play and raise levels to later sell them and she was attracted by the fact of being able to make a profit. Currently, he has already sold more than a thousand. In his case, he does not understand it as a business, since he dedicates the profits to paying for his aviation studies and completing the flight hours he needs to be a commercial pilot. But thanks to his fans he already earns a salary that oscillates “between 1,200 and 1,500 euros a month”, he comments.
It started with one account. She spent all day playing “from morning to night” and, a week later, she had it ready for sale. She did the same thing about 20 more times. The one that brought him the most money reached 300 euros and, in the best of his months, after Christmas, which is one of the times when there is more movement, he entered 3,000 euros and that the platforms through which it is done the purchase and sale remain between 15% and 20% for the procedures. Collado has a tax advisor, he makes his statement and pays his taxes, despite the fact that no expense can be deducted, since his account providers do not invoice him.
After his first foray into this business he saw that it took up a lot of his time. He already had a reputation among players and became, in most cases, an intermediary: he buys accounts in bulk and then resells them using his reputation and the valuation of his previous buyers. That reputation is worth it to acquire records at a price of between 1 and 3 euros and to sell them for about 20 after checking them and, in some cases, even playing with them to raise the level. “I try that nothing can cause problems for people who buy, I take on my share of responsibility and I want the experience to be fruitful for everyone,” he says, because, as he explains, there are hackers who are dedicated to stealing and selling.
The motivation is clear: “Games are competitive systems, you go up and down levels, there are people who want to avoid the time that has to be invested in the first levels or others who, with years of competitive experience, get stuck at one level and want to go up. in another way,” he explains. He knows that among the players it is not well seen to progress in this way, but the fact is that there are several pages online that serve as a platform for sellers and buyers with guarantee systems. In fact, some of them even block the payment money for several weeks until the buyer verifies that everything is in order and that the purchase corresponds to the offer.
Collado is convinced that the owners of the games know that these pages exist that circumvent the conditions of use that they demand. Basically, what these movements produce is more desire to play, more motivation for those who access with a new account thinking that they can improve, more incentives. In other cases, players flee from incorrect or unsportsmanlike attitudes that expel them from the game and resist starting from scratch.
Anyone can enter the business, Javier Collado knows this, but he is not afraid of losing market share because users are very competitive and usually go to people who offer them guarantees or who, as in his case, are specialized in certain games.
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