Weeks after rumors surfaced
about Richard Branson's Virgin Group returning to the game space it once occupied with the publisher Virgin Games, the company has announced its plans: a partnership with game tournament facilitator WorldGaming, which will be rebranded Virgin Gaming.
Officially described as "a convergence of video games, social networking and competitive online gaming," the service allows gamers to bet and challenge each other in various multiplayer console games to win real-world money, of which Virgin takes a 14 percent cut.
Since video games are broadly considered games of skill, betting on match outcomes is legal in most states -- but apparently the activity is still close enough to gambling to outlaw it in 11 states.
Currently, the service only targets Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games. Supported titles include Halo 3
, Fight Night round 4
, and ModNation Racers
WorldGaming was founded last year by William Levy and Zack Zeldin. Terms of the Virgin deal were not disclosed, but the company said it will make available $1 million in prize money this year.