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31 Jul

Virtual goods purchased by 12% of Americans

Virtual Goods

A new study released yesterday by Frank N. Magid Associates and PlaySpan shows that more than one in 10 Americans or roughly 12 percent have bought a virtual item at some point in the last 12 months. The virtual goods and currency market is estimated to reach $1.8 billion this year (US) and demographic research offers insights into who is buying what and where.
Virtual world usage is significant as nearly half of the respondents who report being active MMO participants are also virtual item consumers.
More info can be found in the article by Wagner James Au here.

KZero referenced in the Guardian

Published in the technology news & features section in the Guardian, our Universe Chart and research helped highlight the boom in virtual world memberships. “Membership of virtual worlds grew by 39% in the second quarter of 2009 to an estimated 579 million,” reports Victor Keegan based on our research. He also explains that much of this growth comes from children (or tweens). Keegan mentions Twinity’s recent funding and explains that unlike Second Life, there is no content creation allowed. You can read more about Twinity here. At the end of Keegan’s article he writes that “one problem of virtual worlds is that you can’t go from one to another,” a concept known as interoperability – a concept we’ve been thinking about for quite a while.

31 Jul

Who says you cant re-live history? Now, you can in Historic Philadelphia

Mirror Worlds / ARG's

Walking through time has taken a whole new meaning when GeoSim Virtual Philadelphia and the Independence Hall Association launched a Virtual Tour of Historic Philadelphia in 3D. The application, developed jointly in late June, is up and running at

Using GeoSims mirror-world technology most of Old Philadelphia had been previously virtualized, but now fifty-two of Philadelphias historic sites have become stops on a virtual tour within GeoSim Philly. Users can see these sites in 3D rendering and interact with US History guides or avatars wearing period costumes who can answer questions and offer basic historic facts about the places visited. Furthermore, the virtual tour is fully integrated with the website so that visitors can jump back and forth between the two websites after downloading and installing GeoSim Virtual Philadelphia.

Continue reading →

Linking Socnets with facial recognition

This is a great example of first stage AR by Swedish company TAT (these guys might need to change their name for the UK market), utilising already-existing socnet data (our business our personal lives managed online), with facial regcognition. The result – a great demo for AR. This is one of the great things about AR – it’s visual and easily understood. Kinda makes you wonder why people are getting so excited about markers….

24 Jul

The Long Tail for Virtual Worlds

Virtual Research

New companies continue to enter the virtual worlds space all the time. Some looking to emulate the success of existing worlds and others seek to create unique genres and reach new audiences with different types of propositions and approaches.

We’ve taken our registered account analysis and sliced it to take a Long Tail approach to analysis. What this shows is the current dominance of a very small number of large worlds and the growing number of smaller (note: newer) VWs in the space – it’s a small number of Goliath’s vs a lot of David’s.

The graph right shows the Long Tail. Habbo obviously has the lead here, followed by Poptropica. Neopets holds its own in third, and then we get into the Stardoll/WeeWorld zone.

The bulk of VWs reside in the circa 1m and below category – for now – because we all know the David vs Goliath story. Time will tell.

The next graph, shown below takes a cumulative approach. The top 10 virtual worlds on a reg acc basis account for over 75% of accounts. The top 20% of worlds represent over 90% and the top 30% account for over 97%.

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21 Jul

Radar charts for Q2 2009 – hot off the press

Virtual Research

These show virtual worlds from our Universe charts but by sector instead. The full set of Radar charts historically are now on our Flickr site.

Continue reading →

14 Jul

Updated Kids, Tweens and Teens in Virtual Worlds report


32 pages of virtual goodness are contained within our latest report on Kids, Tweens and Teens (KT&T) in virtual worlds.

Included in the report are overviews of many worlds in the sector as well as strategies for success for both marketers wishing to take their brands in-world as well as companies considering developing worlds for these demographics.

Order the case study here. Continue reading →

14 Jul

579m Virtual World Registered Accounts

Virtual Research

Yesterday we released our updated Universe charts for Q2 2009 (you can see them here). Now we’re going to drill down a little into the numbers.


On an overall basis, including estimates, total registered accounts in the virtual worlds sector totaled 579m in Q2 2009. This is an increase of 38.6% from Q1, with a total reg accs number of 417m. The graph left shows total Q2 2009 registered accounts by age.


These data-points take the average age of users within each world and allocate all accounts to that age, as opposed to showing accounts by specific, recorded age (not all worlds capture actual ages).

. Continue reading →

13 Jul

Virtual World Accounts Q2 2009: 25+

Virtual Research

Last and just a little bit least, here’s the KZero Universe chart for virtual worlds with an average age over 25.

See all the age ranges and virtual worlds here.

13 Jul

Virtual World Accounts Q2 2009: 15 to 25

Strategic Marketing

Not such a busy sector currently but watch this one for major growth in 2010.

See all the age ranges and virtual worlds here.

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