Why Should You Attend The Virtual Goods Summit + Social Games Summit in London This Week?

I’ve been attending a bunch of social games and virtual goods conferences lately, and have been struck by the level of insight that’s on display at these events. I thought I’d talk a bit about why I’m excited about this week’s Social Games Summit + Virtual Goods Summit in London.

I’d say my main reasoning here is that at our last Virtual Goods Summit in San Francisco, several of the speakers had more to say than just “what’s working and why”. The industry has matured enough such that there are several experts who’ve ensconced themselves in the emerging virtual goods market and are looking to predict the future.

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By examining the Asian virtual goods market, which is a good 4 to 5 years more mature than the Western market, these experts like Benjamin Joffe are explaining that if the Western market were just to catch up, we’d possibly be looking at a nearly $30 Billion market. Of course, nobody is saying that’s inevitable or certain to happen, as the state of the economy, nature of the games and the emergence of alternative entertainment sources will radically affect the market.

There is however, little debate over whether the market will continue to grow. Trip Hawkins, founder of EA and now owner of Digital Chocolate, keynoted the last Virtual Goods Summit and asserted that the virtual goods business will hit $10 billion within this decade. Those are big numbers from a respected console gaming legend, and has got people rethinking just how aggressively they should be pouring money into this market.

So why does this mean you should attend the Summits? It’s because of examples like the ones I presented above. These numbers are presented with deep analysis, historical trending and entertaining examples. The room is always abuzz at these events, because people are eager to see this new market develop. If you have any interest in the social games or virtual goods space, this is the place you have to be.

And I haven’t even touched on the business connections you’ll make here. I’ve seen great relationships form at conferences like these: payment providers and game makers, big brands and advertising networks, game publishers and one-man game developers. This is one of the biggest events dedicated to social gaming, so if you’re interested in the business, come on out.