Registered Virtual Worlds Accounts: 1.4 billion and growing

Gurus of virtual worlds statistics, KZero, have released their second quarter 2011 info on virtual worlds. Estimated registered virtual worlds accounts now sits at 1.399 billion, up from 1.185 billion in the first quarter of this year:

If you’d like to see the whole shebang, you can view the Slideshare presentation right here:

KZero Radar Q2 2011
View more presentations from KZero Worldswide

One thing’s for certain, a lot of industries would wish they had this sort of growth trajectory. What I’m waiting (and hoping) for is a spike in the adult space that matches the kid space.

Merged realities – events and issues for virtual worlds

1. Leading Second Life broadcaster Treet TV (formerly SLCN) has expanded its web presence by creating Treet Business. Two new business shows are on the way to complement the current lineup.

The company has certainly come a long way since its 2007 launch. I’m looking forward to appearing on Tonight Live with Paisley Beebe next week to talk about internet filtering.

2. Kzero have some interesting data on the average age of Habbo users by country. Australia is middle of road with an average age of a little over 15 years old. They also have an interesting post on Miss Bimbo, another teen-focused virtual world.

3. A reminder for males aged 18 and over: a Deakin University researcher needs your input for a study on body image in both the real and virtual environment.

4. Linden Lab have employed a Conversation Manager. Wallace Linden has received quite a welcome in the comments on his introductory post, with plenty of discussion on his previous life writing for the Second Life Herald (now Alphaville Herald).

5. Second Life residents are organising a range if fundraising events for the Haiti disaster, with the most comprehensive list found at New World Notes. If any Australians are planning events in any of the platforms around, please let us know and we’ll do what we can to promote it.

Merged realities – events and issues for virtual worlds

1. Forterra have fallen upon hard times, laying off around half their workforce, according to an email we’ve received and as reported here. It’s a shame to see any company lose so many employees – her’s hoping Forterra are able to continue their work ongoing.

2. The dynamos at Kzero have updated a couple of their forecast charts. Active virtual worlds users is one of the most interesting ones:

3. A prim has been rezzed at the highest ever altitude in Second Life – here’s the proof.

4. The first machinima to be presented to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been produced by Pooky Amsterdam. It was produced for Alissa Moreno, who performs her song ‘Every Day’. Have a look for yourself:

5. The University of Western Australia’s Second Life activities continue to expand, with a machinima competition announced:

WHAT: MachinimUWA : The UWA Machinima Challenge

WHEN: Submissions are open 18th December 2009 – 31st January 2010
All entries will be displayed on the University of Western Australia (UWA) Second Life Blog. http://uwainsl.blogspot.com

Winners will be announced during a ceremony in February

WHERE: In front of Winthrop Tower (Main SIM of the UWA presence) & starting point of all Machinima

THEME: Architecture, Teaching, Research & Arts on the UWA sims

THE CHALLENGE
Create a Machinima between 2 and 5 minutes in length that captures the 4 main elements thats make up the heart of the University of Western Australia SIMS. These elements are the RL architecture, the teaching, the research and the arts. The purpose would be to show that UWA’s presence in SL is comprehensive and covering all these areas, creating true bridges between SL & RL for prospective students, current students, staff, alumni & the community (this is the snapshot – more details below). Note that there are 3 SIMS making up the UWA presence, namely UWA, Uni of WA & WASP Land, and this challenge covers all 3.

Method of Entry:
* Load the Machinima anywhere, and provide the link to both Jayjay Zifanwe & White Lebed (co-hosts of MachinimUWA)

Closing Date:
* Midnight 31st January 2010 (winners annouced in Mid-Feb 2010)

Recession and virtual worlds: go real-world

Nic Mitham at Kzero has written a interesting piece on virtual worlds and the challenges they face in the current economic climate. He pays particular attention to ‘pure-play’ worlds, which are those that aren’t linked to a real-world brand.

kzero-tweens

Pure-play worlds don’t have the relative security of a more widely known brand to leverage from and Kzero’s view is that a foray into the real-world marketing space will assist in surviving the current challenges. It’s a claim that’s hard to refute given the ever-increasing competition in the space – the paying customers (mostly parents) are more likely to feel engaged with a product they’ve eyeballed beyond the computer screen. Of course, a lot of pure-play worlds are hard pushed to maintain their cash flow for development, let alone funding real-world marketing pushes with product to back it up.

In the Australian context, Mycosm, VastPark and MyCyberTwin all fall into the category of worlds with no real-world brand awareness beyond the products they’re developing. To date, Australia has escaped the worst of the worldwide economic conditions – that’s not going to continue forever and these three platforms face some nail-biting times ahead.

Read the full Kzero piece here.

Kids and virtual worlds: the ever-growing market

Virtual worlds metrics gurus, Kzero, have done some further hypothesising on the growth of the kids market for virtual worlds in the next year or two.

If the prediction of 110 million kids using virtual worlds by 2010 is close to the mark, even the most cynical corporates are going to start taking notice. Take Hello Kitty as an example. That one brand is likely to draw an enormous following if their latest trailer is anything to go by:

Kzero: 7 Point Plan for Marketing in Virtual Worlds

Kzero have released an updated version of their 7 Point Plan for marketing in virtual worlds. It’s a free publication that can be ordered here.

There’s certainly a plethora of white papers, discussion papers and case studies around now – the only thing left is the holy grail of a true ROI case for investment in virtual worlds.

Age demographics and virtual worlds

Metrics gurus Kzero have released a new breakdown of the age variances by type of virtual world frequented.

There’s no big surprises but the figures do further emphasise the power of the pre-teen and teen market for social virtual worlds.

Thanks to Pavig Lok for the heads-up.

K-Zero: more than 300 million registered for virtual worlds

K-Zero are a company that follow metrics in virtual worlds and last week they released their updated chart showing the number of registrations by platform over time.

Note that gaming worlds like World of Warcraft (with more than ten million active users) aren’t even part of the 300+ million, which just further illustrates the growing depth of the virtual world population. Of course, an even more interesting measurement would be how many of those people remain active.

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