[bbc] Virtual goods such as weapons or digital bottles of champagne traded in the US could be worth up to $5bn in the next five years, experts predict.
In Asia, sales are already around the $5bn mark and rapidly growing.
For many, virtual goods are one of the hottest trends in technology and are fuelling huge growth in the social gaming sector.
"This is just an exploding part of the gaming business right now, said venture capitalist Jeremy Liew.
"It is the most exciting area in gaming," he said.
Mr Liew, whose firm Lightspeed Venture Partners has invested $10m in virtual goods companies, said the rapid growth of the sector was unprecedented.
"We have seen companies go from nothing in the last 18-24 months to tens and hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue."
The US virtual economy is set to make billions