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Virtual World Revenue may Actually be Real

As blogging, and the ability to comment online, are in essence popularizing and decentralizing the traditional news industry, so too are virtual worlds changing the gaming, meeting, and 3D graphic design industries, according to the latest market study by In-Stat.

Virtual worlds -- especially the 3D kinds -- are classified under the Web 3.0 category because of their profound ability to integrate multiple types of content, information sources, and feeds into one highly engaging and interactive format.

Virtual worlds are online, computer-generated simulations of life-like or fantasy environments where users guide their avatar, or digital representation of their physical selves, to accomplish various goals.

"Evidence supports the conclusion that the application that is critical to virtual worlds -- and, by extension, to Web 3.0 -- is, in fact, already here and it is none other than social networking," says Vahid Dejwakh, In-Stat analyst.

The In-Stat research covers the worldwide market for virtual worlds. It provides analysis of this new form of gaming and social networking including profiles of 17 virtual worlds. It includes forecasts of worldwide registered users and revenue for virtual worlds through 2012. User demographics and market shares of virtual worlds are also provided.

In-Stat's market study found the following:

- Total registered users of virtual worlds are expected to exceed 1 billion and total revenue is expected to exceed $3 billion by 2012.

- 70 percent of the more than 300 million registered users of virtual worlds are younger than 18.

- Virtual world companies earn close to 90 percent of their revenue from the sale of virtual items, currency, land, and fees associated with these items.

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