Virtual Economies: Gaming In The Cloud Is Big Business

Virtual Economies: Gaming In The Cloud Is Big Business

Virtual Economies: Gaming In the Cloud Is Big Business

A little while back, I did an article on how to make money as a professional, playing different types of cloud video games. The industry behind this phenomenon is growing at a geometric rate, with new events and tournaments popping up every year.

Fortunately for those of us who do not have the time or skills to game professionally, that is not the only aspect of cloud gaming that has real-world benefits and rewards. The economies inside the games themselves many times mirror what you would find out in the real world. And given that a whole slew of in-game items have value out in the real world, virtual economies are increasingly becoming attractive for entrepreneurs.

Eve Online
eyjolfurWhen it comes to providing an example of a cloud game that has developed in intricate and thriving virtual economy, Eve Online is sure to be the first to pop into most industry professional’s mind. In fact, Eve Online’s economy, in terms of sheer size, actually dwarfs the real-world economy of Iceland, the company from which it is based.

Size is not the only factor that makes Eve Online’s economy such an interesting thing to examine. The mechanics and operation of the economy are so intricate that they require an economist to oversee. Eyjólfur Guðmundsson, the economist responsible for Eve Online’s oversight, is quoted as saying “For all intents and purposes, this is an economy that has activity equal to a small country in real life. There’s nothing ‘virtual’ about this world.”

Second Life

The vibrancy and importance of the virtual economy goes a step further when it comes to the game Second Life. In fact, Second Life’s in-game operations and economy are so well developed, it has been designated as a virtual world instead of a game by many people.

A perfect example of the similarities between Second Life’s virtual economy and that of the real world can be seen with the scare that occurred in 2006 with CopyBot. CopyBot allowed any item in Second Life to be copied, bypassing the need to buy them with the in-game currency, Linden Dollars. This prompted the game’s creators, Linden Lab, to explore the option of filing a complaint under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This, in essence, gave real-world value to the virtual items inside the game.

Diablo 3

Blizzard, the creator of the highly-popular cloud game, Diablo 3, actually took things a bit further when they established a real money auction house (RMAH), which allowed players to auction off in-game items for real-world cash. The idea behind the RMAH was to steer players away from third-party markets held outside of the Blizzard umbrella.

Unfortunately, the result was a whole slew of new botters (gamers who use automated scripts solely to accrue virtual items), which in turn tanked the gold value in Diablo 3. This had pretty much the same effect that it would have had on a real-world economy: hyperinflation.

Virtual economies are growing in size and complexity with each cloud game that makes its mark with the public. Have you had any experience buying and selling in a virtual environment? Let us know in the Comments section below!

By Joe Pellicone

Follow

Joe Pellicone

In 2011, Joe launched his writing career, dealing primarily with the tech topics he is so familiar with (Tech & Gaming). Today, Joe uses his experience and talent to create quality and enjoyable pieces on everything from gaming hardware and software, to individual games and gaming companies.
Follow
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+Share

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Join Our Newsletter

Receive updates each week on news, tips, events, comics and much more...

Popular

Top Viral Impact

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Fast Facts

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Fast Facts

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Fast Facts It’s no secret that Cloud Computing is more than just a buzz term as that ship has sailed off a long time ago. More and more companies are adopting the uses and benefits of cloud computing while aggressively factoring cloud services spending into their budget. Included is an excellent

Cloud Infographic – The Internet Of Things In 2020

Cloud Infographic – The Internet Of Things In 2020

Cloud Infographic –  The Internet Of Things In 2020 The growing interest in the Internet of Things is amongst us and there is much discussion. Attached is an archived but still relevant infographic by Intel which has produced a memorizing snapshot at how the number of connected devices have exploded since the birth of the

Cloud Infographic – Monetizing Internet Of Things

Cloud Infographic – Monetizing Internet Of Things

Cloud Infographic – Monetizing Internet Of Things There are many interesting ways in which companies are looking to connect devices to the cloud. From the vehicles to kitchen appliances the internet of things is already a $1.9 trillion dollar market based on research estimates from IDC. Included is a fascinating infographic provided by AriaSystems which shows us some

Can I Contribute To CloudTweaks?

Yes, much of our focus in 2015 will be on working with other influencers in a collaborative manner. If you're a technology influencer looking to collaborate long term with CloudTweaks – a globally recognized leader in cloud computing information – drop us an email with “tech influencer” in the subject line.

Please review the guidelines before applying.

Whitepapers

Top Research Assets

HP OpenStack® Technology Breaking the Enterprise Barrier

HP OpenStack® Technology Breaking the Enterprise Barrier

Explore how cloud computing is a solution to the problems facing data centers today and highlights the cutting-edge technology (including OpenStack cloud computing) that HP is bringing to the current stage. If you are a CTO, data center administrator, systems architect, or an IT professional looking for an enterprise-grade, hybrid delivery cloud computing solution that’s open,

Public Cloud Flexibility, Private Cloud Security

Public Cloud Flexibility, Private Cloud Security

Public Cloud Flexibility, Private Cloud Security Cloud applications are a priority for every business – the technology is flexible, easy-to-use, and offers compelling economic benefits to the enterprise. The challenge is that cloud applications increase the potential for corporate data to leak, raising compliance and security concerns for IT. A primary security concern facing organizations moving

Hewlett-Packard Company On-Demand Webinar

Hewlett-Packard Company On-Demand Webinar

Shifting Workloads and the Server Evolution Learn more about the latest industry trends and the challenges customers are talking about. Every ten to fifteen years, the types of workloads servers host swiftly shift. This happened with the first single-mission mainframes and today, as disruptive technologies appear in the form of big data, cloud, mobility and