This is a brilliant startup idea for a fast growing and high demand market. I use to be hooked on “Lineage” a World of Warcraft type MMOG where I found myself addicted and actually paying real world money for virtual clothing, bow and arrows etc. Effectively supporting a frowned upon gaming practice known as “gold-farming” (virtual money, exchanged for real money). I was forced to navigate sketchy websites carefully because some websites never deliver the digital goods after you purchase. Furthermore, game publishers frown on the practice and do not condone such activity.
The demand was clear but not the solution where game developers granted consent of third-party wares or trophy wares from the game, a legitimate marketplace is needed. Enter
Live Gamer with a trademark statement of “A legitimate market for virtual trading.” The company officially launched yesterday armed with $24 million in funding from Charles River, Kodiak and Pequot Ventures. The gamer has a real opportunity to make money with only 10% of the sales price being split between Live Gamer and the publisher with the remaining 90% of the sale price going to the gamer. The startups mission statement on the home page is the following:
Live Gamer enables a complete marketplace solution for the player-to-player trading of virtual items. Through our partnerships with leading publishers and developers worldwide, players now have a convenient, secure, and reliable outlet to buy and sell virtual goods and objects. Only Live Gamer provides virtual trading the way it should be: Safe. Simple. In Game.
The all encompassing ebay for MMOG approach should pay off big and ultimately spur a flurry of good virtual startups (think facebook apps) in a marketplace that will return real money or nice bartering opportunities.