One of the most traumatic events for the fledgling field of IT Law was the bursting of the dot-com bubble in 2001, when the artificially inflated electronic commerce market suffered a re-adjustment and a crash to weed out all of the pretenders and irrelevant market dwellers, producing some of the landscape that we see today.
The BBC reports on the potential for another bubble forming in the MMORPG market, with large media corporations moving in to copy the success of World of Warcraft, and other similar games (City of Heroes pictured). According to the report, several games are offering their own brand of MMORPG without really understanding the marketplace. According to one of those interviewed, there’s a lot of silly money sloshing around in the online games environment.
I see this as a potentially similar event to the dot-com bubble. I believe that the amount of press awarded to WoW and Second Life is disproportionate to their real importance. Yes, many people are playing, and many people have signed up to Second Life. But let’s be honest, SL is a glorified chat room, and its economic importance has been inflated. Similarly, the MMORPG market is limited, as it is geared towards the serious gamer for its long-term survival, and the supply of geeks is limited.
Now, where did I put my City of Heroes activation code?