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The Social Media Bible: Tactics, Tools, and Strategies for Business Success, Second Edition by Lon Safko

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Chapter 17. Gaming the System: Virtual Gaming

What's in It for You?

Online gaming is another one of those Internet phenomena that just keeps gaining popularity. The trusted networks of the MMORPG—or Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game—communities are in many cases, in the millions. In fact, Blizzard Entertainment, creators of World of Warcraft (WoW, www.blizzard.com/us/press/081028.html), announced recently that the MMORPG game World of Warcraft "as of October, 2008 is played by more than 11 million gamers around the world. World of Warcraft has also achieved new regional subscriber milestones, with more than 2 million players in North America, more than 1.5 million players in Europe, and more than 3.5 million players in China." The developer of Ultima Online (the company that created a great deal of MMORPGs), Richard Garriott, first coined the term MMORPG in 1997.

As of January 2009, Xbox LIVE had more than 17 million subscribers: www.latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2009/01/microsoft-xbox.html, and even Barack Obama purchased advertising in the online racing game Burnout Paradise during his campaign: www.gamepolitics.com/2008/10/09/report-obama-ads-burnout-paradise.

Many people tend to view online video games as an activity with no business value—a waste of time in which only teenagers participate. However, any time you have 50,000 to 8 million people in the same place with the same interests in a trusted network, a business opportunity exists. In fact, only 25 percent ...

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