Virtual worlds have become the latest shiny object on the Internet, attracting more than $345 million in venture financing in the first six months of this year, according to Virtual Worlds Management, a firm that researches the industry. (…) Each boasts millions of users who buy virtual items, look at advertising or pay for premium subscriptions.
The reigning kings of virtual worlds for kids and teens include Gaia (15 m), Habbo (100 m) and Walt Disney Co.’s Club Penguin (19 million users)
Nic Mitham from K Zero, the UK based virtual worlds agency, updated their Universe graph showing total registered accounts for the virtual worlds sector. There’s four graphics now, each one showing segments for different age ranges (between 8 and 25+ years). New data included relates to Q3 2008. Nice that somebody out there does such an incredible job collecting and visualizing all that data for the rest of us to glance at – thanks, Nic!
Universe graph: Virtual Worlds showing total registered accounts over the years for the age range 15 to 25
Interesting experiment by Kzero: they entered the term “Virtual Worlds” in Google new geographical trend tool and posted the resulting maps from 2005 through 2008. I think Asia might be under-represented in Google insight because Google rates only 3rd or 4th search engine in Korea … and according to an expert in the Asian digital media industry it is seen as highly deficient on features, even regarded as third rate. China has it’s “own Google”, too, Baidu, so imho these maps are highly inaccurate and show strictly the “western” world’s engagement in virtual worlds. Kzero’s article »
Virtual Worlds at a glance – nicely segmented by sector, genre, age. Optimized version with recent updates (Lively etc.) of Kzero’s Universe graph. Thanks again, Nic Mitham! Virtual Pursuits – Who’s on the Radar? : Kzero