Research: More than $1 billion invested in virtual world companies in past year

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San Jose, Calif.—More than $1 billion has been invested in virtual world companies in the past year, according to a study by Virtual Worlds Management, a media company that tracks investments in virtual worlds.

According to the study, venture capital, technology and media companies invested more than $1 billion in 35 virtual world companies since last October.

The bulk of the investments came from two acquisitions: Walt Disney Co.’s $700 million acquisition of Club Penguin, a virtual world aimed at kids, and Intel Corp.’s $110 million acquisition of Havok, a virtual worlds graphics technology company.

The remaining $196.8 million was invested in 33 companies, including Doppelganger, Double Fusion, Emergent, Gaia and Network Game Interaction.

Major investors in the virtual world space include Redpoint Ventures, Charles River Ventures, Intel and Rustic Canyon Partners.

—Kate Maddox

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