Friday, April 18, 2008

Big Media Going 'Virtual' for Kids

A host of big media
companies and entrepreneurs are flocking to the kids space to create
new virtual worlds aimed at the 18-and-under crowd.

That’s according to a new report issued by the
industry trade organization Virtual Worlds Management, which says that
there are more than 100 virtual worlds targeted at kids and or teens
which are either live or in development. Within that group, the
majority of new worlds worlds are aimed at 'tweens (kids in the 8-12
year old range) - as 65 such worlds are have either launched or are in
the works.

While the adult-aimed Second Life has garnered the
majority of hype in the still nascent virtual world arena, developers
are likely seeing the fast growing audience numbers for kids worlds, as
well as the high price tags being commanded by successful startups. For
example, last summer, Disney acquired the kids-targeted Club Penguin
for an estimated $700 million. And since that time, the company has
launched a virtual world centered around Pirates of the Caribbean and
plans to roll out the girl-skewing world Fairies later this year.

Virtual Worlds Management recently hosted the second
annual Virtual Worlds Conference in New York which according to the
organization attracted 1,200 attendees. The group also publishes a
weekly online newsletter and blog, both of which provide news on the
fast growing segment.

Article Link

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