A lengthy list of predictions in the platform, mobile, TV, and gaming space.
There’s been discussion lately about Second Life and how its reported numbers seem to be off. Clay Shirky, on Valleywag, has been deconstructing the numbers claiming that the emperor wore no clothes. The funny thing is that this was coinciding with some research I’ve been doing to better understand whether SecondLife is a flash in the pan of whether it holds real meat. Since October, I’ve been tabulating the numbers listed on their front page, once a week, on Mondays. From there, I ended up with the following spreadsheet: Date Total Residents Logged in last 60 days US$ spent in last 24 hours Lindex Activity last 24 hours 11-Aug-06 493,563 225,028 Â Â 22-Oct-06 1,082,664 446,153 $460,979.00 Â 24-Oct-06 1,110,224 459,062 $519,914.00 Â 31-Oct-06 1,203,213 499,223 $531,768.00 Â 6-Nov-06 1,269,019 515,907 $613,793.00 Â 14-Nov-06 1,391,715 533,825 $548,912.00 $86,659.00 20-Nov-06 1,517,480 611,793 $656,020.00 $91,508.00 27-Nov-06 1,653,272 667,645 $624,537.00 $99,675.00 4-Dec-06 1,791,247 700,303 $654,750.00 $116,785.00 11-Dec-06 1,932,418 701,287 $626,187.00 $132,005.00 18-Dec-06 2,002,617 720,010 $696,210.00 $120,198.00 25-Dec-06 2,107,321 831,653 $721,341.00 $124,723.00 1-Jan-07 2,287,108 844,317 $803,790.00 $116,425.00 But the data itself wasn’t that interesting when it came to raw form. So I started thinking about some of the things I could do with it.…Read More
Continuing in the series of exploratory articles about the virtual world phenomenon, I will now explore the opportunities in that market. I would contend that this space is just a natural evolution of the Internet model and that this phenomenon may represent, in the long run, the next step evolution in the web. So, without further ado, here’s my list: Access (aka Subscriptions) Hosting (aka Real Estate) Platform (aka Client/Server) Collaboration Event Planning Education Building/Designing Professional Services Integration Trade platforms I will now go an and elaborate on each of those points. They are divided into three broad categories: opportunities for virtual world vendors, for users, and what I would call secondary markets. Opportunities For Virtual World Vendors I would generally group the opportunities for virtual world vendors into three broad category: access, hosting, and tools. Access (aka subscriptions) At the current time, this is the opportunity that most of the existing players have been mining the most. The basic model is simple: sell monthly or hourly subscription services to users. This is really no different than the business that AOL, Compuserve, and early ISPs were into, charging a fee to access an environment. Much like those early players in…Read More
Having looked, in the previous entry, at the economic conditions surrounding virtual worlds, I am now turning my attention to the demographic profile of those users. Overall Numbers The overall population, according to MMOG Charts, is currently about 12 million people strong. What is interesting, however, is the growth rate: looking at the linked chart, one can see the population doubling at an increasing rate: it took 24 months to get from 6 million to 12 but it took 48 months to go from 3 to 6. This accelerating rate of growth is an interesting one. Assuming that few other factors change, one could envision a 24 million people strong population within the next 12 months or, on a more conservative basis, within the next 18 months. Considering the upsurge in stories about the phenomenon in the mainstream press, growth will, at least, continue at the same pace over the next year. A recent estimate shows that SecondLife is growing at a rate of 22 percent a month though a more conservative estimate shows a growth rate of 15 percent. Any which way you play it, this is a fairly high growth rate. Age The videogame industry has evolved and…Read More
Over the last few months, I’ve been trying to get a better understanding of what is happening with the concept of virtual worlds. Let me go into more details as to why I think this phenomenon has some real potentials. In this first entry in a series, I will explore the economic activity surrounding this phenomenon. Size of the market When talking about virtual worlds, I am focusing on the new space created by the gaming industry that allows to create online avatars and interact with other players in a fully immersive environment. From an economic standpoint, estimates range from around 100 millions to a high of US$1.5 billion a year. These are not insignificant numbers and they point to an emerging phenomenon and potentially the rise a new industry, with its own set of marketplaces, gathers, owners, creators, and marketers. Marketplaces To understand virtual worlds marketplace, one must first understand what si going on in those virtual worlds. When a player sets up an account, he’s given a basic set of skills. As he or she progresses and interacts with the virtual world and its denizens, the player gains more and more skills and goods. However, this type of…Read More