Check out this article from the University of Texas newspaper, The Daily Texan. It is entitled "World of Warcraft and the Quest for Virtual Gold".
While the idea of buying virtual currency with real money may seem strange to non-gamers, businessmen who sell virtual gold forecast their total sales might one day be more than the amount of money gaming companies make, which would be quite a lot given current estimates. In 2005, computer-gaming industry analysts calculated that subscription fees alone - about $15 per month - for such games totalled to roughly $500 million. In 2006, users will probably spend $600 million on massively multiplayer online role-playing games, more commonly known as MMORPGs, said Alexis Madrigal, a research expert with the gaming analysis company DFC Intelligence. 2005 was the year of WoW, and it's highly unlikely that another game as lucrative as WoW will be released this year, he said.
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