Virtual worlds become a billion dollar industry

Posted by Mark Raby

London (England) - Games like World of Warcraft and Second Life have pushed the market for online gaming to a billion dollar a year industry, according to an independent study conducted by Screen Digest.  

The figure, which does not account for digital money conversions, mainly includes the price of subscriptions for online multiplayer PC games.

However, there are some notable purchases for digital content that helped to push the sales to over $1 billion.  For example, real estate is huge, with virtual malls alone accounting for $179,688.  Also, back in 2005, a virtual space station went for almost $100,000.

The addition of user-generated for-sale content on games like Second Life has also created real-life virtual jobs, and turned the online game landscape into an even more realistic interpretation of the world.

By 2011, revenues from massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) are expected to topple $1.5 billion.