Thursday, May 31, 2007

Virtual World Gold Rush?, a site where children care for virtual pets and play
online games. Webkinz had seen its share of Web traffic rise by 1462%
in the past year, according to Hitwise. The virtual world, owned by
closely held toy and accessories manufacturer Ganz, now commands a greater share of Web traffic than Second Life and the World of Warcraft
online community combined. Ditto for Club Penguin, whose traffic share
jumped by more than sevenfold in the past 12 months. Its share is also
higher than Second Life's and World of Warcraft's combined.

Teens spend about $112 billion a year of their own funds, according to Mediamark.

Some faster-growing sites are also easier to learn and use than Second
Life or Linden's version of Second Life for teens, analysts say. "The
whole experience of Second Life is less user-friendly," says Piers
Harding-Rolls, an analyst with Screen Digest. "It's an undertaking to
download the game, and there's no tutorial. It's not as mainstream as
Club Penguin. The potential user base is not as big."

In a new version, due to be released in June, virtual world
will offer users new cool features, such as the ability to control a
game using movements registered on a Webcam.,
which has built virtual worlds for musicians such as David Bowie, holds
a patent, issued in 2001, on some 3-D technology, and is currently in
the process of assessing whether rivals are infringing on it, says Thom
Kidrin, the company's CEO. "I am constantly getting phone calls from
people interested in where we are going," he says. "We are not
interested in a sale right now, but everything has the right price."

Peter Levinsohn, the new chief of News Corp.'s Fox Interactive
division, has publicly stated that he'll look for acquisitions that
improve user experience on sites like A 3-D virtual world
could be incorporated into MySpace, allowing users to create avatars
and virtual houses instead of standard profiles

Article Link

No comments: