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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.

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Virtual world registered accounts breakthrough 1bn

Our Q3 2010 Universe Chart has just been completed and the major headline to report is that total registered accounts have reached 1bn (1.009bn to be exact).

That’s a 51m increase in accounts from Q2 2010 and a 350m increase over the last 12 months. The chart below shows quarterly growth from Q1 2009.

From an age perspective, the 10 to 15 year old age range still dominates, with 468m total registered accounts, a 24m increase from Q2. The second largest group is 15 to 25 with 288m accounts – a 15m increase. The table below shows total registered accounts by age band from Q1 2009. Continue reading →

16 Feb

Q4 2009 Universe chart: Teens and Adults

Our last post (assessing Kids and Tweens) showed the five to 10 year old segment and 10 to 15’s grew 17.8% and 6,8% respectively from Q3 to Q4 2009. Here, we cover the older sectors and first up virtual worlds with an average age user from 15 to 25. Here’s the Universe chart.

IMVU continues to dominate this age range, growing to 46m registered accounts in Q4. One to watch in this range is French VW Dofus, with 30m registered accounts, mainly in France. Of note, IMVU now publishes active users (concurrency) live on their site (with over 100k online at time of writing this post). Continue reading →

Q4 2009 Universe chart: Kids and Tweens

As published in our last post, the overall market of total registered users in the virtual worlds sector reached 800m in Q4 2009. Here, we delve into the younger segmented of this market, Kids and Tweens.

Virtual worlds with an average age user between five and ten reached a total of 179m in Q4, up 17.8% from 152m. The chart below contains the Universe segment for this age range.

Commentary on this age range in terms of drivers for growth and upcoming worlds is explained in this post based on the Radar. The full report on Q4 growth containing both the Universe and Radar charts can be requested here.

Here’s the segment for the ten to 15 year old group. This segment (the largest in overall size) grew 6.8% quarter on quarter from 367m to 392m. Continue reading →

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.

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.


Learning 2.0 / P2P


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.


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 →

4 Jul

Updated: Virtual world analysis for 20 – 30’s

And here’s the segment tailored towards 20 – 30 year olds. Full universe charts are here.

Updated: Virtual world analysis for tweens and teens

Here’s the updated segment of the Universe graph for virtual worlds targeting tweens and teens.



Virtual Worlds feature-set report

Kids and Tweens case study


4 Jul

Updated: Virtual world analysis for under 10’s

Here’s the updated segment of the Universe graph for virtual worlds targeting under 10’s, aka Da Kids.



Virtual Worlds feature-set report

Kids and Tweens case study



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