China launches "Virtual Property Insurance"
People's Republic launches the world's first ever "Virtual Property Insurance" company.
Recently in Beijing, a Chinese insurance company unveiled itself to be the world's first insurance company specializing in "virtual property". The insurance company is being launched as part of a joint venture by local companies Sunshine Insurance Group Corporation and game manufacturer/operator Gamebar.
The focus of the insurance company will be on online gamers and their "property". Both companies saw a large number of disputes between online game operators and their customers. Disputes include loss and/or theft of their virtual property like land or currency (like World of Warcraft gold). With over 300 million online gamers in China, there's a market to be made.
A spokesman for Sunshine Insurance stated that the insurance will help reduce operating risks for gaming companies by covering the compensation to customers in cases of lost/stolen property.
Now while I doubt this kind of insurance set up will ever exist in the states, I have to admit that it could be possible. I'm sort of doubtful but open to it being possible, given the circumstances of gaming here in the west were to change (and they slowly are). In countries like China and Korea , people use real money to purchase virtual goods and property for their games more often than us here in the west. In the states, if you paid $25 for 500,000 gold in World of Warcraft, you are shunned by the community. However if you did that in a similar game in China, it would be normal. So as you can see, over there in China, they are more attached to their virtual property. So it would be logical they would treat it like real tangible property thus leading to the need of a virtual property insurance company.
Though while there are games here in the Western hemisphere that are going freemium or running free and being supported by microtransactions (like Team Fortress 2), I doubt there will be a need for insurance for my vintage Noble Assessment of Hats for my Pyro on TF2.