At any time of the day, nearly three million people play Fortnite at the same time. According to its developer, Epic Games, the video game boasts a total of 350 million registered accounts in 2020.
Users can level up by opening chests, receiving skins, weapons or forces, scoring crowns or eliminating other players. Frequent players earn experience points and can also earn by buying items offered in the game itself.
The world of video games generates about 150 billion euros in revenue annually, according to the American consulting firm Newzoo. The figure exceeds that of the film and music industries combined and continues to grow. The business is profitable not only for the big developers: foreign markets hawk costumes, bows, knives, screws, forces, virtues, keys and suitcases – and bills.
Javier Collado, 26, has entered a business where everything is virtual except money (although some operations use cryptocurrency). He has played video games all his life. His friends are players from other parts of the world he has never met in person. One of them told him that there he could make his profit profitable: create accounts, play and rise through the levels, and then sell them to other players. He was attracted by the idea of profit. He has now sold more than a thousand accounts. He doesn’t think of it as a business, as he dedicates the profits to paying for his aviation training and completing the flights he needs to be a commercial pilot. But thanks to his hobby, he now earns a salary that ranges “between 1,200 and 1,500 euros a month,” he said.
It started with an account. He played the morning-to-night game for a week and it was ready for sale. He repeated the maneuver about 20 more times. The account that brought him the most money made 300 euros. In his best months, after Christmas, which is one of the times when his services are most popular, he made 3,000 euros. (Platforms that make buying and selling easier save between 15% and 20% of revenue.) Collado has a tax advisor, makes his declarations and pays taxes.
After his first foray into business, he saw that it took a long time. He had gained a reputation among players and became primarily an intermediary: he bought accounts in bulk and then resold them, using his reputation and the appreciation of his previous customers. This reputation allows him to acquire accounts for one to three euros and sell them for about 20 euros after checking them and in some cases playing to raise the level. “I try to make sure that nothing can cause problems for the people who buy. I take my share of responsibility and I want the experience to be beneficial for everyone, “he said, explaining that there are hackers who steal and sell accounts.
The motivation is clear: “Games are racing systems. You go up and down the levels. “There are people who want to miss the time that needs to be invested in the first levels, or others who, after years of experience, get stuck on one level and want to get on another way,” he explains. Progress in this way is unfortunate, but several online sites serve as platforms for sellers and buyers, even to manage warranty systems. Some of them even withhold payment for several weeks until the buyer makes sure that everything is in order and that the purchase corresponds to the offer.
Collado is convinced that game owners know about these pages. The account market generates more interest in the game, more motivation for those who start a new account, thinking that they can improve more incentives.
Everyone can go into business, Javier Collado knows. But he is not afraid of losing market share: consumers are very competitive and usually look for account merchants who offer them guarantees or who, like him, specialize in certain games.