For two decades, selling hard and soft copies of games proved to be a very lucrative business. However, this model is ultimately flawed because the revenue potential per player is capped. In 1998, a game studio by the name of Iron Realms Entertainment became the first to sell virtual goods in their games. A decade later everyone is building virtual economies into their games. Zynga, which recently went public and has a market value of around $10 billion, makes the majority of their revenue by selling items like virtual strawberries.
Virtual goods are purchased with virtual currency, a digital medium of exchange similar to dollars and cents… Virtual currency will be a very unique platform—one with a built-in incentive mechanism and a large captive user base.