Subscribe to our monthly report/news updates
and Virtual Reality News Weekly

3 days ago

RT @WEARVR: Check out @WEARVR in @thetimes today! #VirtualReality #VR

Filter Post Format:

Universe chart Q3 2010: 15 to 25 year olds

The market segment of virtual worlds with an average user age between 15 to 25 is, we believe, THE one to watch over the next 12 to 18 months. Why? Several reasons:

  1. The largest world is the market, Habbo, resides in the sector and has considerable ‘clout’. With an active user base as large as Habbo’s it’s the perfect testing ground for emerging initiatives such as branded virtual goods, simulcasting/real-event integration and product extension.
  2. Monetisation: Users in this segment have direct purchasing ability. Finding new ways to achieve monetisation could yield significant upsides.
  3. Mobile devices: This is the texting generation. Expect to see greater integration of mobile devices in the forthcoming year.
  4. New entrants: There’s some extremely interesting new propositions coming to market.
  5. IMVU: Those guys are always up to something interesting. No laurel-resting here.

Here’s the Universe segment for virtual worlds with an average user age of 15 to 25.

The entire report can be ordered here. Continue reading →

Universe chart Q3 2010: 10 to 15 year olds

Virtual worlds with an average user age of between 10 and 15 account for 46% of the total market – that’s 468m of the 1.009bn as at Q3 2010.

Shown below is the updated Universe chart for this age segment. Stardoll leads this segment with 69m total registered accounts and has experienced extremely strong growth year to date.

Neopets pops into second place with 63m with Club Penguin in third with 47m, accordingly to our estimates and data access.

In terms of worlds in development (blue dots) there’s some interesting concepts entering the market.

Lego Universe will of course be an interesting one to watch, particularly bearing in mind the client download factor.

The other in-development worlds are largely what we call ‘Vertical’ worlds – virtual worlds themed into specific genres, as opposed to the more generalist casual gaming and socialising platforms already in the market. Adventure in Oz and Star Team (both KZero clients) are examples of movie/IP-led worlds coming to market.

Our complete report covering Q3 2010 registered accounts and all segments of the Universe chart can be ordered here.

KZero services:


Business Planning


Product Development

9 Jul

Britain’s Next Top (Virtual) Model

Stardoll has signed a deal with Britain’s Next Top Model (shown on the Living channel) to promote the show and give away virtual clothes. Exclusive previews of the series are being shown in the Stardoll Cinema.

Taken from New Media Age:

Living has expanded the deal for the whole series following a teaser video that saw more than 100,000 plays. It earlier worked with Stardoll to promote America’s Next Top Model, which attracted 740,000 video views.

Stardoll has a wide user age spread so this partnership makes sense as it targets multiple ages. Two thirds of Stardoll members Mothers play the site without the daughters.

It’s also another good example of how virtual worlds are moving their brands into new channels.

Stardoll leads the pack in terms of registered users in the fashion space, but they have competition, as shown in the Radar segment below.

KZero services:


Business Planning


Product Development

8 Jul

The Brand New Worlds

Here’s a presentation giving an overview of how real world brands are creating their own virtual worlds and MMOs.

For a pretty-much complete list of all brands inside virtual worlds, including third-party activity, click here.

Brands in Worlds

KZero services:


Business Planning


Product Development

Q2 Radar Slideshare Presentation

Kzero Radar Q2 2010

The full Radar Chart report and presentation can be ordered (for free) here.

KZero services:


Business Planning


Product Development

Q2 Radar: Brands and Learning dominate new entrants into virtual worlds sector

We’ve updated our Radar Charts for Q2 2010. These charts show both existing virtual worlds and platforms in development (closed beta). This time we’ve included MMOs into the Radar charts and we’ll be building out this list over time.

As a whole, the virtual worlds and MMO marketplace is changing quite dramatically. Whereas 12 months ago a concept we called ‘Chasing the Penguin’ was the main thrust of activity. This related to completely new companies setting up shop funded on the basis and excitement caused by the Disney acquisition of Club Penguin. This led to a massive influx (60+ new worlds) entering the marketplace going after the lucrative kids and tween sectors.

Of course, there’s only so much time kids have available and only so many times these kids can convince their parents to part with their hard-earned cash – we’re seeing casualties now.

As our last post explained, the virtual world and MMO marketplace is now shifting to being brand dominated as companies with existing customers, channels and operations see the value in sliding the brands and offerings into immersive environments.

The uplift in new platforms being developed as a result of these brands can be seen in the Radar segment shown below.

The other key segment seeing increased activity from new entrants is Education and Learning with a wide range of companies across many different educational areas developing their offerings. Continue reading →

1 Jul

(In and) Out of their World – How Brands are Moving Across Platforms

We’ve highlighted many times the opportunities presented to brands within the virtual world and MMO category, primarily from engagement and monetisation perspectives. Linked to this is another trend we identified of leveraging different platforms to synergise brands. This is a post about how these trends are rapidly transforming and driving the sector.

Real world brands having virtual worlds is not a new concept. Barbie Girls and Webkinz were early pioneers of this strategy, amassing multi-million user bases in short periods – and importantly, in most cases much faster than ‘pureplay’ virtual worlds which at present make up the bulk of the sector.

We’ve just updated our Radar charts showing existing and new worlds and MMOs by genre. Related to this, we thought you’d be interested in seeing how brands are moving across different platforms. This is shown in the diagram below (which we’ll be updating on an ongoing basis).

We’ve placed five different channels (TV, Movies, Toys/Games, Consoles and Books) around the virtual world platform. From here we’ve shown how a brand has moved from one of these channels into virtual worlds. For example, BuildaBear started life as a toy retail operation and then , BuildaBearVille. Kung Fu Panda similarly created a MMO off the back of the movie – so on and so forth. Continue reading →

Radar chart Q1: Sports, TV/film/books and content creation

Here’s the second segment from our updated Radar chart for Q1, 2010. The first segment is here and the full report can be order from here.

Updated Radar charts for Q1 2010

Here we go folks, our updated Radar charts for Q1 2010. On an overall basis we’re seeing a shift from ‘Chasing the Penguin’ and now we’re seeing efforts in the following areas:

1. Learning and education. Expect a growing number of virtual worlds entering the marketplace focusing on various elements of learning, education and self-development. These are focused around the eight to 12 year old segment.

2. Real-world IP: We’ve discussed this particular segment in length for a long time. This relates to existing popular brands creating virtual worlds to accompany movies, toys, TV and other IP-led properties.

Here’s the first segment (Education/Learning, Fashion/Lifestyle and Music). The full report can be ordered here.

kzero radar q12010 seg3

KZero services:


Business Planning


Product Development

Radar chart: Toys/games, fantasy and mirror worlds

Following on from our Universe chart posts for Q4 2009, we’re delighted to release the Radar charts. These charts show, be genre, virtual worlds either live or in development. The chart below shows three segments, Toys/real world games, fantasy/questing and mirror worlds.

kzero radar q409 seg2

For the Toys and real world games segment, we’re expecting a lot of movement. Mattel has lead this segment with Barbie Girls and we’re now seeing Hasbro/EA move into the market with the Littlest Pet Shop Online (LPOS) and Ubisoft with Imagine, launching shortly (Shameless plug alert – both are KZero consulting clients). And let’s not forget about Lego Universe. Continue reading →

Elevate gaming with exclusive casino rewards.

online casino usa real money