It’s been awhile since my last post on this subject, so seeing the $1.8 billion figure quoted was interesting, given that around this time last year when I wrote, it was projected thatÂ there would be a $5 billionÂ market for non-subscription revenueÂ (i.e. virtual goods trading) by 2011. That’s still 4 years away, looks like we’re well on track, of course, if gold farming offends your sensibilities, you could always start up a player community centric website to support an MMOG, then sell it for over $1 million. That’s what WoWHead did, and now they’re part of the same conglomerate which owns the 2 other major World of Warcraft community sites, Thottbot (my personal favorite) and Allakhazam.
So what you ask? Well, Affinity Media – the conglomerate which now owns 3 of the most trafficed player sites for World of Warcraft used to own IGE, which is/was one of these gold dealing companies. They now claim that they have sold that company and based on that, it appears that the people over at WoWHead are now comfortable selling their online property on to Affinity. So, a well designed site, rich with publically avalible information, embracing a niche community is worth some good (real world) coin. Who said community content would never make anyone any money?