Breaking down the different ways you can pay to play games online

By William Davis


Apr 3, 2022

Reading time: 2 min

As online gaming has gotten bigger and bigger, it only makes sense that there would be more paid opportunities for players willing to spend. And those opportunities have gone in very different directions.

But what are these different directions, and what opportunities have they presented to players? This breakdown should provide some context.

Free-to-play games with paid options

One popular trend in the gaming industry is to create a game that is free to play, but also has paid options for players who want to financially invest into the title.

There are many games that utilize this method. Fortnite is perhaps the biggest and most popular example, as anyone can play Fortnite for free. But if players want to get more involved in the game and receive special cosmetic bonuses, they have to pay to participate in special events and to acquire the game’s battle pass, which itself offers numerous benefits and rewards.

Genshin Impact leads the free-to-play charge

A newer example of this is Genshin Impact, a popular open-world game that manages to apply monetization opportunities in different ways. You can play the game without spending any money and see plenty of fun and interesting spectacles.

Paying into the game leads to greater rewards and new opportunities, however. Many of the game’s best and most interesting characters and strongest weapons are gated behind payment. What’s more, these characters and weapons can’t be directly purchased. Instead, players gamble for them, hoping to get the right result.

It’s a delicate balance that publishers and developers must manage. Genshin Impact still stands as a viable game without any paid elements. The open-world role-playing game bears many similarities to the popular Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, both in terms of gameplay and visuals. And it’s important that players feel as though they can properly experience the game without paying into it.

But there’s no doubt that experiencing the best of what Genshin Impact has to offer requires spending real money. This is how you roll for the game’s best weapons and characters. And these rewards feed into each other. If you get a great character, you’re going to want an equally strong weapon for it, and that might require further spending. It’s easy to see how players can be swayed to spending a lot of money on this free-to-play game.

Traditional online casino experiences

This draws direct and obvious inspiration from more traditional gambling games, and those have also come to be popularized online.

Online casinos are now popular and versatile in every part of the world. This includes in Australia, where you can find the best online casino Australia offering a variety of opportunities for playing. Or in Canada, where you might find a $1 deposit casino.

Having a barrier of entry as low as $1 shows a very similar approach to the free-to-play games like Fortnite and Genshim Impact that have become so popular. Players are allowed to enter the game and begin to play with minimal investment. Whether it’s a game developer or a casino operator, the business creating this opportunity is doing so in the hope that it can convince the player to further invest.

These different methods all show how the approach to monetized games has changed over the years. Future years will likely see even more development in this regard.


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