Did you know that people spend US$1.5 billion a year on virtual goods? Online pets, avatars and virtual decos are among those things people spend their very real cash on. It’s big business! I should probably start one web service selling virtual stuff… now if only I can get a killer business idea on what to sell, how to sell it, and to whom. Here’s an interesting excerpt from the linked TechCrunch post:
Each day, thousands of transactions take place via markets such as eBay for virtual swords, currency, or clothing across a multitude of virtual world environments. For people who purchase virtual items such as swords or armor, buying these items increases the overall satisfaction she receives from spending time in this virtual world / online community / online game. For example, struggling along as a level 20 character might give her 20 units of personal satisfaction per hour, whereas progressing as a level 20 character with a very powerful sword could confer 50 units per hour. In this case, she would be willing to pay the equivalent of whatever amount generates an incremental 30 units of personal satisfaction for the sword.