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31 Oct

VW’s by sector – Radar updated

Virtual Research

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The Radar chart showing live and in-dev VW’s by sector has been updated for Q4. Like the Universe chart, the Radar now has a permanent home here.

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Here’s the segment showing chat, casual gaming and misc virtual worlds.

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31 Oct

Mycosm beta screenshots

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Here’s some screenshots from Mycosm for anyone who didn’t see the demo’s in LA and London recently.

Continue reading →

28 Oct

October marketing news

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Published a little early but I’mtravelingfor the next two weeks.

Introducing the Myrl Index:Since entering open beta about a month ago, Myrl is going from strength to strength, now with 19 different virtual worlds integrated.Part of the product roadmap here is to include registration APIs for all worlds within the Myrl framework. In the meantime, visitors to Myrl wanting to join new virtual worlds can click through directly to the respective registration pages….

Twinity on the Beeb:A nice overview video plus some excellent coverage of Twinity, from the BBC News Technology site…

Growing Virtual Worlds. The race is on and heres the track:Over the last few months the focus has been primarily on the volume of new virtual worlds being launched into the marketplace. Of course, this is great for competition and provides choices for the consumers/users, but it makes the challenge of acquiring sign-ups just that ?¢‚ǨÀúlittle bit harder…

Myrl featured by the BBC:Awareness of K Zero client Myrl continues to grow. The BBC caught up with CEO Francesco DOrazio at the VWF Unconference yesterday to get an insight into the social gateway for avatars. …

Recent/current project round-up:?¢‚ǨÀúAh K Zero, the people that do they graphs is how were usually greeted when we meet people around the virtual worlds space. Sure, we do graphs and interesting stuff like that, but I thought it would be useful to go into a little detail on some of the projects weve been working on lately to demonstrate the breadth of our services….

Establishing metrics – key performance measurement for virtual worlds and MMOs:The establishing metrics workshop is ideal for marketers considering entrance in the virtual worlds space as well as those building and operating VW. The session will lay out the current VW universe from a demographic and target market perspective to provide a framework for discussion….

Presentation from Virtual Worlds London:Fresh from the stage, heres the presentation Ive just delivered in the Numbers and Growth panel from Virtual Worlds London. Ill be expanding on all of these points (for age-segmented growth areas and market issues) in posts this week….

Avatart:Sticking with the Italian theme, the Museum of Natural History at the University of Florence is running a Festival of Creativity from Oct 21 – Jan 7…

Cross-world gaming explained:K Zero client Myrl has a plan – to create a cross-world gaming platform enabling multiple VWs, avatars, mobile devices and even brands to come together to create the next phase of metaverse entertainment….

Forbes says: A ?¢‚ǨÀúVirtual Escape From Economic Pain:The Dow plummeted below 9,000 points to a five-year low Thursday. Worldwide, economies are slowing and consumers are worried sick about their future. Despite all the doom and gloom, one tiny sector is offering a glimmer of hope: virtual worlds?¢‚ǨÀú, says Forbes in a recent article….

The FT says: Virtual goods networks could rival ads:Nice little article from the FT about how virtual goods revenues could offset online advertising. My view is that it isnt about offsetting revenues in turbulent times – virtual goods will in time be a dominant income stream for brands and companies regardless of the economic situation. A view shared Im sure by Viximo, referenced in the article….

Growth areas in 2009 for virtual worlds: 5 to 15:Following the Virtual Worlds London Expo earlier this week, as promised Im going into greater detail in terms of offering my thoughts on growth areas….

Growth areas in 2009 for virtual worlds: 15 to 25:The 15 to 25 year old segment is nowhere near as hectic as the 5 to 15 space in terms of virtual worlds but nevertheless contains companies with impressive user numbers – IMVU and Gaia being great examples…

Growth areas in 2009 for virtual worlds: 25+:Rounding off this series of expanding on the points from the VW London presentation, heres the potential growth areas in the 25+ age group. ….

Virtual worlds logos:After a long week of presenting, discussing and predicting, on a much lighter note, here are the logos for a range of virtual worlds….

Flashback – the Second Life brand map:Remember the days when brands were rushing into Second Life? Seems like a very long time ago.and of course, we tracked it…

Augmented reality video round-up:Frosties with added calcium and adverts….

Mobile devices: the red herring or the diamond in the rough?:Using mobile devices to access virtual worlds pops up every now and again on the radar. For example companies like Vollee and Sun have developed applications allowing Second Life on a phone. Thats all well and good but.

27 Oct

Flashback – the Second Life brand map

Virtual Research

Remember the days when brands were rushing into Second Life? Seems like a very long time ago…….and of course, we tracked it.

27 Oct

Augmented reality video round-up

Frosties with added calcium and adverts

The hair is inside the hat Continue reading →

27 Oct

Mobile devices: the red herring or the diamond in the rough?

Augmented Reality

Using mobile devices to access virtual worlds pops up every now and again on the radar. For example companies like Vollee and Sun have developed applications allowing Second Life on a phone. That’s all well and good but….

I’m just not sold on this idea and just because you can doesn’t always mean you should. On a very simple basis the screen size of a mobile phone is too small to effectively serve up a virtual world. Then you have the issue of control and UI – standard device keys are unable to offer equivalent controls. Thirdly bandwidth – there’s not enough. So, combine these three factors and I don’t think it works.

Continue reading →

27 Oct

Growth areas in 2009 for virtual worlds: 25+

Rounding off this series of expanding on the points from the VW London presentation, here’s the potential growth areas in the 25+ age group.

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Mirror worlds as time machines

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There is in my opinion a catch 22 with mirror worlds – the more realistic they become (visually) the less impact they have. So, mirror world operators always need to place creativity and purpose top of their list when considering the user experience.

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One area which I think mirror worlds would have great impact is as time machines. By this, I mean recreating real places from the past – historical buildings, towns/cities and even specific events from history. This provides the compelling reason to visit.

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Sure, visiting a virtual London or New York is interesting to a point but residents of these cities can step outside of their doors and experience them. However, being able to visit a mirror world London from the 1800’s is a different proposition entirely. Interestingly, Second Life has been used already for this purpose – Paris in the 1900’s being a great example.

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Government / tourism

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We saw early moves from govts and tourism boards last year in Second Life. These included the Second House of Sweden, Maldives Embassy and others.

In terms of more ambitious efforts in 2009, one area I believe could work well is from local governments using VWs to serve their real-world residents for issues such as urban planning and virtual town-hall meeting. Continue reading →

24 Oct

Growth areas in 2009 for virtual worlds: 15 to 25

The 15 to 25 year old segment is nowhere near as hectic as the 5 to 15 space in terms of virtual worlds but nevertheless contains companies with impressive user numbers – IMVU and Gaia being great examples. This segment also has some high value characteristics, such as:

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  • Higher and more direct access to monetisation (wallets/purses)
  • Prevalence/usage of existing social networking apps
  • Larger and more cosmopolitan social networks
  • Higher mobile device penetration

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So where are the growth areas in this space?

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Fashion / Lifestyle

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Avatar customisatiom appears to be popular across all age segments of virtual worlds. View one: just as in the real world, people want to express their personalities via their appearance. View two: if a virtual world gives users the facility to change their apperance then they will. Either way, it’s popular.

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Brands in the fashion, clothing and accessory sectors have major opportunties in virtual worlds. We’ve seen this already in Second Life, Stardoll and There. And there’s two angles here:

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a. Using VW’s on an integrated basis to promote real world clothing lines

b. Creation of metabrands to leverage brand equity

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Expect more companies in this category to move in. Here’s a post about luxury brands and virtual goods.

Continue reading →

Growth areas in 2009 for virtual worlds: 5 to 15

Following the Virtual Worlds London Expo earlier this week, as promised I’m going into greater detail in terms of offering my thoughts on growth areas. This post covers virtual worlds with average age ranges between 5 and 15 years old. The actual presentation delivered can be seen here. Also, the K Zero Universe charts how have a permanent home, here.

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Learning 2.0 / P2P

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The majority of effort to date in this space in terms of proposition has focussed on casual gaming, socialising and play. Whilst this is all well and good, from a parental perspective this raises the issue of ‘value’ – what is my child actually gaining from interacting with this virtual world? This issue is becomes further compounded when considering the propensity for users to be converted into premium accounts.

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An area which is currently under-served and in my opinion ripe for growth are educational virtual world platforms. For example, curriculum-based initiatives could work very well. In this context, environments could be created to allow children to explore history-based topics – ancient cities, historical buildings and events – a really engaging idea. This flows over to geography as well – sure, real-world field trips are great and will always be the best way to ‘show’ but a virtual world alternative has obvious benefits. Problem-solving and team work are two other outputs from this concept. Continue reading →

20 Oct

Presentation from Virtual Worlds London

Uncategorized

Fresh from the stage, here’s the presentation I’ve just delivered in the Numbers and Growth panel from Virtual Worlds London. I’ll be expanding on all of these points (for age-segmented growth areas and market issues) in posts this week.

Update: growth areas for 5 to 15

VW’s London, K Zero

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own.
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