The goal of the series is to learn new ways to build and manage digital businesses. You will learn how other people structure their online empires and how you can do it as well. Instead of lurking around and waiting for a magic money making guide, we shall take measures into our own hands. If you missed episode 03, click here. Disclaimer: All research, content, facts and figures are obtained without the intention of causing any harm to any business whatsoever. All information is obtained through legal and public ways using services such as Google and/or other websites. --------- A few days ago I stumbled across a Reddit post about making money from reverse engineering software. And then one person said he is/was making good money from a bot/tool he has made and is selling. He even claimed that one of his competitors was making $90k per month, which is not unrealistic as I will explain. In this episode we will explore the underground business-world of games (bots in particular). This is the Reddit discussion I am referring to: https://www.reddit.com/r/ReverseEngineering/comments/12ajwc/how_to_start_out_in_reverse_engineering/ Screenshot: He refers to the game Tibia, which looks something like this: So this person claims that he has about 1500 monthly members who pay for his bot. (notice this post is from 4 years ago: 2012-2013). I quickly googled how many players the game "Tibia" had. It's not a popular game so it's not that easy to find trustworthy information, but this is what I did find: https://www.reddit.com/r/TibiaMMO/comments/355cag/decrease_of_online_players_in_tibia/ It appears to be an official post from Tibia's management, they claim having +20k online players at that time. Notice that these are daily players, thus the total player base could be 40k, 60k or even 80k. Let us assume there are 40k players (50% of which are online every day). This means our business kid had a 1500/40000 = 3.75% market share, which definitely is realistic. I went ahead to find out which bot he created exactly, how much it cost, etc. I couldn't trace his name/username to any that I found. There appear to be two popular bots for this game: A so-called XenoBot ( $7.95/mo. ) And WindBot ( $6.95/mo. ) Since both bots are in the same price category we can safely assume one of these belonged to our Reddit kid. Let us continue with the latter (WindBot) which costs $6.95/mo. Having 1500 subscribers means he was making $10,425.00 per month. His competitor, who he claimed to make $90k would then have (90000/6.95) roughly 13k subscribers. Knowing that the game has 40k players, this means that at least ( (1.5k + 13k)/40k = ) 37.5% of all the players are using a bot. But that's also what he said explicitly: "the game is literally unplayable without bots". This definitely appears to be a very lucrative niche. ------ Can we find and tap into similar niches, to bank good money? Yes, if you have some reverse engineering and coding skills it's not that hard. The hardest part is finding a game that: Does not really care about bots, Is not complex (simple games) which are easy to reverse engineer and code a bot for. The gaming industry has many lucrative niches. For instance, selling in-game content (weapons, gold,...) for real money can be quite lucrative but risky as well: When I was much much younger I used to play "Silkroad Online". This game was literally filled with bots, but the company didn't care. All these botted accounts were contributing to their revenue so they did very little effort of preventing/banning them. The game itself was also super hard to level/grow in, without a bot you may spend many many months doing the same stuff over and over again. In a sense it was so hard that botting was the default option. Even though Silkroad is still a popular game today, it's not that easy to reverse engineer and make a bot for. I went searching for smaller/easier games which already have some bots (competitors). This means two things: 1. If there is competition it only means people are buying (there is money). 2. The games are simple/easy to reverse engineer, and if there are enough players around you can still tap into these and make a nice profit. I quickly looked for a few simple games related to Tibia, and then found a few bots. Below is a list of games with one of website selling a bot for the game: * Wartune/Legend: https://sites.google.com/site/sbotavc/upgrade * Realm of the mad God: http://www.realmbot.xyz/home * Tree of Savior: http://toskore.com/ Here's a special one actually. There are websites/forums which sell a bunch of bots for various games. http://roonvar.com/en/legendary-buddy This one sells 6 bots for different games for €199 (per year). There's definitely a lot of money to be made, but whether you will do it is up to you. Just play it safe and don't get sued. ------- I have not played any of the games above, unless explicitly mentioned. But it would be great if some of you have and could share your experience regarding this botting industry.