Can Online Porn Withstand the Recession?

Virtually Jenna's Brad Abram may have the most resilient model of all, though. He reports that membership sales on his erotic simulation games are "humming along." Last year "was the first year the sale of gaming software exceeded the DVD and Blu-ray sales," he says. "That's a giant freight train, and we just have to go along with it." Even the young consumers who won't pay for porn are used to paying for games. It should come as no surprise, then, that studios have started approaching Abram to team up in adapting to new technologies. Since the budget for video games is so high, they probably won't make their own games, Abram predicts ($250,000 makes for a very large budget in porno, whereas video games regularly reach into the millions), but they may personalize existing games to their brands. The next step: "Offering exclusive content within our world," says Abram. "Our game becomes a wrapper. You can view things on monitors in-world. We can do more for privacy and security than these other methods can."

There is one thing that all of these adult entertainers agree on: The recession is biting into their industry, and not in a good way. "Consumers are becoming more savvy… It's going to weed out a lot of the small studios and the inferior products," says Stein. "It's a cleansing. A lot of people who were marginal players will disappear." Still, consumers need not fear this economic trial-by-fire will knock out potentially innovative porn makers, according to Abram. "The recession is promoting survival of the swiftest and smartest," he says. The push to new technologies is sparking new ideas that make businesses more competitive. And what could be more pleasurable than that?

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