Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Doing buisness in a virtual world

In the beginning Phil created a virtual world it was without form, and void; And Phil said let there be an architecture and there was the linden grid. And Phil saw the grid and saw that it was good. And so Phil saw rich teens creating avatars in Paris Hiltons image and thought ...
"hey I could really make a few bucks here".

Well thats how it all started. Making virtual money is more complicated nowerdays, Linden Lab founded 99 by Philip Rosedale now has a GDP above $500,000,000 and all the paraphernalia that goes with it, but the virtual economy is not just Secondlifes domain, no no, other virtual worlds such as Club Penguin and Habbo are milking real money out of the pre-teen demographic, and the big boys Disney, Sony and Warner are all about to wade in.

Techniques such ad pegging USD to game tokens, selling virtual relestate, charging for premium content and advertising into the virtual world either during user media consumption or in a specialised area are all helping to loosen our purses. Interestingly a major revenue stream is advertising, consumption is often rewarded i.e. you cant get the cute white Paris H. sunglasses until your avatar has eaten a virtual Mackie D.

We can expect to see new profit leveraging techniques soon such as exclusive content, brand splitting and targeting different consumer demographics such as mothers and the over 40's. I can only wish that the apocalypse happens before I find myself looking forward to taking a virtual bus tour to Snowdonia just so that I can get a virtual zimmer frame.

1 comment:

Steve Nimmons said...

When do you think we’ll see the first legal actions for money laundering on virtual worlds? It must be a concern for revenue and security authorities in terms of policing and detecting online financial malpractice, which so riddles ‘the physical world’. Where real cash changes hands, criminality will not be far away.

Elliott - a little more

London, United Kingdom
I am an architect with shed loads of familiarity in providing high profile consumer media, products and services. I conceive ideas, design and lead projects to create new consumer products. I love brainstorming ideas with marketing counterparts and creating future facing and innovative solutions. I have been responsible for high volume mass consumer market features where scale, reliability and the ability to quickly respond are of crucial importance.