Virgin Backs Virtual World IPO


German virtual world and digital distribution developer plans a public stock offering.

Game Domain International (GDI), a German game developer that created an online Second Life-like virtual world that also allows users to download other games and demos, has filed to go public on the London and Frankfurt stock exchanges for a value of approximately $1.4 billion during the first quarter of 2008. The company’s main product, A World of My Own (AWOMO), is the next step in digital distribution, offering subscribers a virtual store to peruse and download over 100 games from 18 publishers.

Virgin Games, a subsidiary of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, owns 20 percent of GDI and will be rolling out a full-scale commercial launch of AWOMO by the end of 2007. Simon Burridge, the Chief Executive of Virgin Games, commented, “We believe that AWOMO will do for PC games what iTunes has done for music.”

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