Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Virtual Worlds Projected to Mushroom to Nearly One Billion Users

Boston, MA - 29 May 2008 - Strategy
Analytics today released its forecast of virtual world adoption, which
shows that over the next ten years some 22 percent of global broadband
users will have registered for one or more virtual worlds resulting in
a market approaching one billion registrants and an eight billion
dollar services opportunity. The study, "Market Forecasts for Virtual
World Experiences," projects a diversified global market with services
targeted at children, teens and adults across a wide range of

Currently, fewer than 10 percent of virtual
world registrants actually become active users; however this figure is
projected to increase to 27 percent of users by 2017. Virtual worlds,
such as Sulake's Habbo Hotel, have registered nearly 100 million
registrants, and it has 10 million unique monthly visitors, while
Linden Lab's Second Life has a similar pattern, with 12 million
registrants and about one million active users. The research indicates
that virtual worlds represent a massive activity that is growing in
Asia, the Americas and Europe, which so far emphasizes interests that
appeal to Children and Teens. Adult virtual worlds are beginning to
emerge with more social and educational applications.

"Despite a
multitude of challenges, virtual worlds present a unique marketing
opportunity to target a highly sought demographic, and virtual worlds
should be part of a company's marketing portfolio," according to Harvey
Cohen, President of Strategy Analytics.

Barry Gilbert, Vice
President and Research Director, notes, "Numerous activities and forces
are at work to help validate virtual worlds' value proposition and to
overcome the many barriers to mass participation."

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