Thursday, April 07, 2005

Virtual Currency, Real Profits

Terra Nova reports that Korean MMO Cyworld is now selling its virtual currency, the dotori, in offline retail stores. Right now, Cyworld is selling $200,000 worth of virtual currency every day. Just to make the math easy for you, that's $73 million per year.

Statistics like this really ram home two points. First, virtual worlds are big business. Second, we are rapidly approaching the point where the real world will have no more legitimacy than its online equivalents.

Many are already making a living online, and spending most of their earnings there as well. The fact that they have to still eat, pay rent and (infrequently) bathe in the real world is mere annoyance that some enterprising business will one day do away with.

Will hardcore MMO players be the first people to go entirely electronic?

4 comments:

Ben Casnocha said...

You're gonna have to teach me some day about this whole "virtual" world of gamers, currency, and life. Clearly you think it's a big deal - so I want to learn.

Chris said...

I will. Would you believe that I don't even play any videogames? But I can recognize one of the most important trends of the 21st century when I see it.

Justin K said...

Just found out that Flickr actually started out as "side project" of a Massively Multiplayer game...

http://www.fastcompany.com/fast50_05/profile/?stewart_butterfield718

Chris said...

Regarding Flickr--it's amazing what you can discover when you expose a product to market.

Another company I know, UltimateArena, was going to provide a venue for gamers to get together. They discovered that the overwhelming reason people came to their site was to download their gaming-specific IM client. Now that's their main business.