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16 Jun

The Star Team social gaming app goes live

Cheesy alternative headline: Blasts Off for Star Team!

Our social gaming and virtual world strategy for Star Team blasts off today. Star Team is an action-adventure story about a group of students attending an intergalactic space academy who face innumerable challenges when inadvertently rocketed into the farthest regions of space.

We’re in the process of creating the virtual world/MMO strategy and business plan for Star Team incorporating the user journey and experience, virtual goods tie-in and game mechanics.

Development of the virtual world has been awarded to Dubit and Brainwave Studios.

The first phase of our plan relates to social gaming, with the Star Team Academy games launching today on (here’s the ), with an aggressive roll-out onto a range of third-party gaming sites.

We’ve developed a designed to sniff out potential recruits for the Academy.

Good luck!

The KZero Facebook page is

Virtual Goods: Good for Business?

An extract from a recent KZero report on B2B virtual goods (also published by the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research):

Whilst 2008 saw the emergence of the virtual worlds sector, 2009 has to be called the year of the virtual good with 2010 seeing even broader usage. With online destinations such as social networks seeing the creation of brand-new revenue steams and virtual worlds ‘giving the users want they want’, the virtual goods sector is one of the fastest growing areas of the Internet.

In its most popular form, virtual goods relate to accessories for avatars – clothing, hair and other person-related apparel. These are purchased by users to customise their appearance and are popular across all types of virtual worlds, from kids and tweens right through grown up worlds and also apply across all genres. There is an incumbent demand for users to want to  change and control how they are seen in virtual worlds.

But virtual goods don’t just include avatar appearance customisation. Online communities are learning how to monetise all aspects of the user experience, including the ability for example to buy a bespoke user name or access specific areas inside a virtual world. On the SocNet side, virtual goods are being used to great effect with social/mini-games, providing ‘tools’ to complete the game faster / level-up.

Interestingly, average revenues per paying user (ARPPU) increases in line with age, highlighting the value in older demographics. Typically ARPPUs from SocNets peak at around $5 per month, rising slightly to around $6 for virtual worlds. In terms of the overall market in total revenue terms, we estimate it to currently be worth $5bn globally (as of June 2010), rising to $14bn in 2012.

virtual goods revenues kzero

This growth rate is potentially under-estimating the future market-value when you factor in the impact of augmented reality revenues and other sources of virtual goods platforms, such as the AppStore. Continue reading →

Building the (virtual) Yellow Brick Road

KZero client Summertime Entertainment is enjoying our full range of services in support of their upcoming animated movie Dorothy of Oz. We were appointed earlier this year to provide strategic services relating to the development of the virtual world, virtual goods and social gaming elements.

With the movie coming out early 2012, our focus has been on developing the virtual platforms to build pre-launch awareness of the movie as well as provide online destinations for fans (and monetisation of course). All online efforts are designed to bridge the Wonderful Wizard of Oz franchise to a new generation.

We’ve created the end-to-end business plan and model for the virtual world, leveraging both the Dorothy brand and the movie. This effort includes the in-world feature sets and user journey as well as game/questing mechanics, socialisation mechanics and the supporting virtual goods strategies. Now we’re working alongside Dubit to build-out the world and bring it to market Q1 of next year.

Here’s some concept artwork for the movie. Continue reading →

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