A California man has spent more than $1 million playing Game of War


A 45 year-old Californian man has found himself in trouble over taking $4.8 million from his employer, but the truly astounding story is that he spent $1 million of that haul on the mobile game Game of War. The man pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday to the theft.

The embezzlement plea states that from May 2008 to March 2015, nearly $5 million was embezzled from his controller job at a company called Holt California. Holt says he spent about $1 million on Game of War, got plastic surgery, and bought season tickets for the San Francisco 49ers and the Sacramento Kings.

It’s not surprising to hear about whales in the mobile gaming industry, but I don’t think we’ve ever seen a report of one person spending so much on a single game. It also brings into question the validity of these games as forms of entertainment and not the gambling addiction skinner boxes that they actually are.

Game of War itself is massively successful thanks to people like this. It currently generates more than $1 million dollars in revenue each day, thanks to players obsessed with building up their empire and tearing down others. One reason this is so ridiculous is because the units and troops you buy in the game with cash can be instantly wiped out by other players with no recourse to get them back should you lose a battle.

Cracked shared some details about how the game works and why it’s such a money sink to those who are in the grips of addiction.

You’re spending money on troops and other expendables that can be lost in combat. I was casually browsing the map at work recently and came across a guy who must have spent at least 7,000 Euros. He wasn’t around to defend himself, so we attacked. We wiped out about 2,500 Euros. Two-and-a-half grand, gone in five minutes. It’s like gambling, but with no possibility of winning.

The man in the story used stolen funds to pilfer his way to glory in Game of War, but plenty of whales in the mobile gaming industry are spending their own hard-earned dollars on virtual currency that can be snatched away at any moment in time. How long before the same gambling regulations that oversee slot machines and other skinner boxes apply to mobile games that use predatory tactics to encourage their players to spend, spend, spend?
Writer, gamer, and classical music whistler. I have an undying love of indie games and unique apps.

    Gboard FINALLY comes to Android and replaces Google Keyboard

    Previous article

    Project Fi now has a referral program allowing you to earn up to $200

    Next article

    You may also like


    Leave a reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    More in Games