From Megs to Riches: A general review of virtual property and real dollars paid for it. “Estimates of the size of the nascent market in virtual property range widely, from about $200 million to $1 billion worldwide, but most industry observers agree that it is increasing at a breakneck pace, possibly 100% year over year.”
Yield of Dreams: Brock Pierce, founder of IGE. “IGE allows players to sell game assets they accumulate in their imaginary worlds from currency to characters for cash or, alternatively, to buy virtual assets they would otherwise have to spend dozens of hours earning in a game. Pierce, 25, estimates that IGE accounts for about 50% of this “secondary market” in the U.S., which he says has about $500 million in annual volume.”
I have been interested in virtual worlds for a long time. I saw Timothy Leary and Eric Gullichsen, founder of Sense8, in 1988 in San Francisco. They were mainly showing a Air Force Black Hawk simulation that would look like old Sega game today, but was pretty damn impressive back then. ( I bought the second issue of Mondo 2000 from R.U Sirius before going into the conference.)
I played my first multi-player online game dialing into a friends computer (before the internet was an option) to watch his Doom character run down the hall in front of me and fire into a room. I almost fell out of my chair. The image was about the size of a postage stamp.
So, yeah, we’ve come a long way. I get the feeling its still real early too.