Virgin Gaming launches at E3 with cash prizes for gamers

Space flights and submarine trips possible prizes

Those hours of playing FIFA 2010 could finally come in handy

Virgin has announced its return to the gaming industry as it officially unveils Virgin Gaming at the E3 expo in Los Angeles.

Adamant not to return to games publishing, Virgin will instead attempt to fill a space in the gaming marking as Virgin Gaming opens a new competitive online multiplayer game format in which victorious gamers are rewarded with cash prizes.

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Working alongside the Xbox 360 and the Sony PS3, although not allowing cross-platform competition, Virgin Gaming, which launched yesterday, will monitor the play of head-to-head online tournaments and leagues offering overall winners a share of an initial $1million prize pot.

Looking to compliment current online gaming, the Virgin Gaming service, built around the World Gaming system acquired by Virgin, will be free to use but require users to create a unique account to play and claim any prizes they win.

Talking at Virgin Gaming’s E3 unveiling last night, Richard Branson said: “Gamers want something new, something interactive and something fun. Virgin gaming is just that – access to the best games in super competitive tournaments with anyone in the world and win the biggest prizes. Giving away $1million in prizes this year is proof.”

As well as the opening $1million rewards incentive, Branson has suggested that he hasn’t ruled out giving away Virgin Galactic space flights or submarine rides as money-can’t-buy prizes. Based on the fitness levels of the compulsive and competitive gamers like to win such prizes, though, Branson might want to give this a second thought.