Online Gaming - untapped market for advertisers?

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Just blogged about the potential online gaming has for advertisers, with a focus on "Second Life", where people buy and sell items for real life money.

Several major businesses have "purchased" a virtual presence within the Second Life world - ranging from the BBC who "own" an island they use to hold concerts on via Radio 1 to Reuters who have a full time journalist based in the virtual world who reports on events.

For those who aren't familiar with Second Life its basically a cross between MySpace, eBay and an online game - rather than a web presence you buy virtual land and build / sell stuff. As with eBay, etc there are folks who make a good living just selling in game.

Has anyone looked at expanding their current sales efforts into an online world such as SL and if so how did it / is it working out?

MG

Comments

Bleh screwed up the links in

Bleh screwed up the links in the post - the BBC link goes to here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4766755.stm

Tail Side

Here's a story to the flip side of the coin Online World for Asheron 2 comes to an end.

Hehe the demise of AC came

Hehe the demise of AC came about due to a lot of different factors coming into play - mainly the launch and popularity of WoW, but EQ (and subsequent release of EQ2) killed the user base. Just like forums, MMOs cant survive without users (as the community focus is the key to success).

IIRC, SL was launched about the same time as the demise of AC and that's still going strong (as are other MMOs). Although SL is a different in that it isn't as much a game as it is a community of sorts. I think it would be wrong to compare them as being the same - they are very different, one being a game, the other being a virtual community.

AC dying is kinda the equivalent of not many people using Excite anymore. ;)

Going off at a tangent, I

Going off at a tangent, I recently discovered that there is a thriving cottage industry in something called "powerleveling".

Once you've signed up for an online game, you turn your account over to professional players who do the grind work of taking you from level 1 to level X, and you pay them in real world currency for the privelege, usually a couple of hundred dollars. You can also usually buy in game currency, sometimes rare / powerful items etc.

As a long time RPG fan, the idea fills me with horror - doing the work is the whole point, from my POV, but there are those who simply want a max level, in-your-face, near demi-god status avatar inside a week. I don't think the gaming companies really know how to comabt it yet either

Yeh PLing is actually hand

Yeh PLing is actually hand in hand with the sales of in game items and currency - most gamers don't like the concept, although there are arguments for and against it. I believe the guy behind a big PL / item sale company is a SEO by trade and the company at one point was making well into the $millions.

Companies like these hire legions of staff to play the games 24/7 "farming" items and currency to sell on. Companies can't really do much about it but I have seen a few release "off the record" horror stories about people buying accounts and then a few months later the original owner comes back and reclaims it and they can do nothing. Kind of like buying a DVD on eBay then the original owner claims it back and you don't get your cash back.

Another tangent - I've always found SEO to be quite similar to RPGs - you generally do the same thing over and over, occaisionally exploring new areas and adapting to chaning environments - and everyone you know thinks you're bloody mental! ;)

IBM cosies up to Second Life

CNet writes today on IBM building a "virtual island" on Second Life for much the same reasoning as Wells Fargo months ago!

Anything like

weblo?

WoW.. Is that the flying pig

WoW..

Is that the flying pig people game? There are pig people who can fly strange balloon like crafts?

Out in Left field

Now that we've taken this thread in a completely different direction, everytime I come across WoW the first thing I think of is the video The Internet is for Porn

Great example of how things

Great example of how things can go viral within gaming community - that video was linked across hundreds of forums within a day or so. ;)

its been done before

I used to play Matrix Online that came out a couple years ago. Its a Massive-Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG). In the streets, you would look up at billboards and you would see signs for the Batman Begins movie (before the theatrical release) .. also the ARMY was advertising in it... pretty neat because they built it where they could change out the signs and billboards.

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