Second Life v Facebook: Which Makes More Money?

While most consumers tightened their real-world purse strings in 2009, but that did not seem to hurt sales of virtual goods. Users of virtual world Second Life spent $567 million buying virtual goods in 2009. 65% year-over-year increase in spending on user-generated virtual items for avatars. It’s marketplace saw virtual goods sales of $6.1 million. The economy is based on the Linden™ dollar (L$), Second Life’s virtual currency. You can buy and sell L$ on the LindeX™ the official virtual currency exchange of Second Life. In 2008 more than USD $100 million worth of L$ were bought and sold on the LindeX. While Facebook gets the media hype, Second Life generates real money – even though it starts as virtual money. Let’s look at the figures.

Second Life’s Virtual Economy Makes $500m Per Year

Patrick Hoge, writing in the San Francisco Business Times, reports that Second Life “residents” have spent more than $1 billion in transactions to date and spent 1 billion hours logged into this virtual world. Facts 1. In 2008, Second Life users spent $360 million on virtual goods ranging from land (virtual real estate) to designer […]

Fotolog to Sell Virtual Goods to 27 million members

Viximo, a developer of virtual goods solutions for social networking sites, has partnered with Fotolog, the world’s most popular photo-blogging site. Fotolog intends to use Viximo’s technologies to offer virtual goods to its 27 million members. How does it work? Viximo’s software will provide a virtual gifting experience for Fotolog’s users in combination with Viximo’s […]

Game design as marketing: How game mechanics create demand for virtual goods

Hamari, J. & Lehdonvirta, V. have published a very interesting paper on how online game mechanics create demand for virtual goods.

Virtual Rentals are the new business model for Social Networks

Reuters note that Asia is also a playground for a range of virtual business models such as rentals.

80% of online gamers now buy virtual goods, Free to Play gamers most active buyers

According to a new report, the median average expenditure in online gaming was highest among Free to Play games ($75), followed by MMOs ($60) and Social Networks ($50) respectively. The average user plays three online games. 80% report buying digital goods for their own use while 20% said they purchase for gifts.

The Virtual Currency Report – Sept 18th

This week on the Virtual Currency Report we cover in-game Virtual Goods, Testing Platform for Online Game Developers, why 99c for micro-transactions is a problem, Google Checkout Glitchs, Gift Stores in Facebook, Voice Mashups for World of Warcraft, How Virtual Gifts Generate Revenue, BillMyParents New Payment Options, $5 million Funding for Virtual Currency Developers, Who made 1 Billion in Transactions, and why Virtual Worlds May Act Like Developing Economies. Let’s get started.

Success Stories for the Micro-transaction Business Model

Nima Pourshasb and Laura Brown, at Live Gamer have published this article on the relative success of the Micro-transaction Business Model. As you can imagine, it has a positive spin and doesn’t work too hard to argue against its own case. Why should it? Others will do that anyway. Here are some of the key points.

IMVU Target Tween Markets, In-world Video Sponsorships Deals

IMVU, an avatar-based social network, introduced a new advertising sales and sponsorship group that will help major brands reach IMVU’s audience of more than six million monthly unique visitors.

Register for 3rd Annual Virtual Goods Summit

The Social Gaming Summit 2009 (Friday, October 30, 2009) is a one day event focused on the intersection of games and the social web. This year’s event will focus on helping social games developers build, monetize, and grow their social games. It aims to bring together the leaders in free-to-play games, social networking, and payments infrastructure for a full day of panels and talks.