The size of virtual worlds like Second Life and World of Warcraft (Wow) are making them more and more the target of entrepreneurs and investors. The stats are hard to calculate, but each world has about 4 million “inhabitants” and growing1. Here is a quick round up of some of the business going down in these new markets.
- Making Money in Virtual Worlds: From Forbes.com. Lists 7 viable careers you could take up in an MMORPG. Be sure to checkout the “in pictures” segment at the bottom of the article.
- Making a Living in Second Life at Wired.com : Discusses one woman’s move from her job as a dispatcher to full time employment in Second Life.
- Is WoW the New Golf? : Hold your business meetings while raiding the Horde.
- Aviators, Moguls, Fashionistas and Barons: Economics and Ownership in Second Life : Via Gamasutra (requires free subscription), a game developers take on enterprise in Second Life. Written in 2004, this article estimated the virtual world market at $75 million.
I wonder if any of our readers have thought about making business in these “developing nations”. Using Snow Crash (a great book by Neal Stephenson that revolves around an advanced virtual world) as a basis, what needs do these virtual world inhabitants have that we can provide for at a profit? Assuming the population of these worlds continues to grow at 50% per year (completely arbitrary number I just made up), what businesses will become viable?
As InvestorGeeks, these are exactly the type of opportunities that we could get a jump on over the typical “suits” we compete against in the investing world.
 Census data for Second Life and World of Warcraft.