Saturday, October 10, 2009

An important emerging technology market:

Financial analyst Piper Jaffray estimates that US citizens will spend $621 million in 2009 in virtual worlds; estimates of the Asian market are even larger. Research firm Plus Eight Star puts spending at $5 billion in the last year.

Over in Second Life, trade remains robust. The value of transactions between residents in the second quarter of this year was $144 million, a year-on-year increase of 94 per cent. With its users swapping virtual goods and services worth around $600 million per year, Second Life has the largest economy of any virtual world

and a new problem:

Just as the digital revolution has facilitated piracy and copyright theft in other spheres, those who make a living running businesses in Second Life have seen their profits eroded by users who have found ways to copy their intellectual property (IP).

The easier it is to implement and replicate somebody-else's idea, the important IP protection becomes. Also, production processes for virtual goods in Second Life are still primitive, therefore it is difficult to have trade secrets.

tags: niche construction, 4q diagram, problem, greatest, virtual, economy, market, growth,

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