Reserach firm Strategy Analytics has reported that if current trends continue, a billion people will have registered for virtual worlds in the next 10 years. That includes MMORPGs like World of Warcraft and Maple Story, as well as virtual community portals like Second Life.
Those billion users works out to 22 percent of all internet users taking advantage of broadband connections, which doesn't sound all that far-fetched when you consider that 14 percent of them are already registered in virual worlds. Add that to the 10 million already playing World of Warcraft, and that high water mark seems within reach. One word of advice; watch what you say and do while you're signed in to these metaverses. You never know who's within voicechat earshot.
Eurogamer: A Billion Virtual World Users In 10 Years