The secret success of Second Life.

In a blobpost by Leander I was linked to some statistics published by about the growth of Second Life in the last 3 years. It’s amazing to see how their user base has grown round about 30% since their „hype“ in 2007, and time spent within the world increased by ca. 20% during the last year.

In terms of money: the economy of Second Life has also greatly increased. The amount of money changing hands has increased to $567 Million!

That sounds like Second Life is slowly gaining ground, however this time without the hype that diluted their numbers. Now that all the hype seeking geeks, journalists and other curious cats have left „the building“, Second Life grows their natural user base, who ever that might be. It would be interesting to get some stats on their user base, anyone have a hint where to get that?

Machinima clips of brands in computer games

Just finished the blogpost about Toyota and Burger King, when I found a post at the „off the record“ blog listing video clips of brands filmed in World of Warcraft, Second Life and GTA (so called machinima):

Toyota in World of Warcraft

Coke in World of Warcraft

Coke in Secondlife

Coke in GTA:

Thanks for the tip!

Toyota launches Yaris Advergame

Toyota published an Xbox advergame, says an article on the NY Times:

The shooting car is the central character of a new Xbox game called Yaris that Toyota will introduce today. The game will be offered free to all Xbox 360 console owners in the United States and Canada, who can download it from Xbox Live’s service. It is also the first Xbox game created by an advertiser to be distributed over Xbox Live.

They were not the first to launch such a game, but again, this is a good example of a growing trend:

Advertisers in the United States will spend $502 million on video game advertising this year, up from $346 million last year, according to eMarketer, a research firm. Just over half of that is in the form of ads placed within games, and the rest is for marketers to create their own games, known in the industry as advergames.

That this can bei highly successful is proven by Burger King for example, who sold an advergame for the Xbox for $3.5 which despite the price showed a considerable amount of time spent with the game:

Using Xbox data on game use, the Burger King game equates in time spent to more than 1.4 billion 30-second commercials, the fast-food company says.

Imagine that. 1.4 billion voluntary 30 second long contacts – It will be hard for „classical“ advertising to beat that! Both in terms of quantity, as well as quality:

Interacting with our characters in the games is actually more engaging than just sitting back in your chair and watching a Super Bowl commercial,” said Russ Klein, president for global marketing for Burger King.

(On a side note: how does Microsoft track that, anyway? This is scary, once again…)

What will be the „Youtube for online games“?

Just a quick note: this could be interesting: apparently, after all the bookmark, photo and video sites, there is one new „user generated content“ thing for which VCs put up their money: online games.

Sofar, we have two sites racing for the jackpot: Kongregate and YoYo Games.

I doubt the potential is as big as for any of the other typical Web 2.0 sites, simply because it is so much more difficult to conceptualise a computer came, with all its rules, scenarios, player modes, levels, etc.

At the same time I am sure the market is still big enough for good advertising potential, since people will probably spend even more time on these online games portals than they will on Youtube.

(The only thing the sites need to make sure: that the players will see a range of ads, even though they are most likely spending a lot of time on a single page. Remember the discussion about the death of the page view?)