Recently, an online game got just a little bit out of control as a
young Russian man confused the virtual world with the real world.
Athough most online game teams or guilds consist of members scattered
around the world, in this case, they all lived in or near the same
city and after a game, two rivals “warrior groups” agreed to meet
in real life.
One thing led to another, words were flung around, insults abound,
and then one man, Albert, took a beating that cost his life.
“I think they have confused the game and reality. And
after we buried him on December 31, they continued to
threaten us,” Albert’s sister Albina says.
In a related case, a 20 year-old gamers came from Ukraine to meet
his rival in Moscow. The Moscow man was beaten to death.
And a few weeks ago, a 20 year-old boy from Petrosavodsk killed
his grandmother because she disturbed his game when dinner was
ready to eat.
According to recently published data by PricewaterhouseCoopers, gaming
is spreading faster than a herd of wild, sex-craved bunnie rabbits. They
are predicting a growth rate for gaming to be 10% which will easily top
other entertainment industries like music and movies with a total take in
2012 to hit $68 billion.
Just think, if you stack one dollar bills on top of each other until you
have one billion in the stack, the stack would be 68 miles high and
that’s just ONE billion dollars! Sixy-eight billion one-dollar bills
stacked up would be about 4,600 miles high. That’s alot of dough!
Reportedly, console games will be the big leader rising from 25 billion
in 2007 to $35 billion in 2012. A one-third increase!
Online games will not be far behind, actually doubling from $7 billion in 2007
to $14 billion in 2012.
What’s powering all this growth? Of course there is the never-ending desire
of gamers for more and more games, but also there are billions of dollars
being made from in-game advertising. In fact, in-game advertising are expected
to more than double from $1 billion last year to $2.5 billion in 2012.
When ever a new online trend becomes extremely popular, therein lies a
business opportunity. This is the case with World of Warcraft, (WoW),
and many other online games.
As an example, Hubert Thieblot, a 19 year old in France started a site
called Curse for the purpose of offering just a forum for WoW players
to “hang out”.
Soon Curse became a popular site for getting help, advice, and assistance
with WoW from other players. Next, Thieblot, (and his brother), starting
offering an Update Section on the site, then came News, social netowrking
profiles, and even a wiki.
In just two years, the site traffic grew to an average of four million
unique visitors every month, who view over 100 million pages every month.
Obvioulsy, there are tons of games advertisers that wouold love to get
their products and service in front of those 4 million gamers. If the
owners get only 1 cent per unique visitor, that would add up to about
$40,000 per month. Not bad just for putting up a forum for the fun of it.
If you think it’s too late for you, remember when myspace dominated? Who
could ever compete with them? Easy…FACEBOOK!