Virtual Goods: What the Experts Have To Say @ VCON 2010
This month at GDC, Live Gamer’s VCON 2010 devoted an entire day to explore the burgeoning virtual items-based business model and the transition to games-as-a-service. VCON 2010brought together visionaries in the gaming industry to discuss just how they’ve benefited from integrating a virtual economy into their games, social applications and virtual worlds, as well as economists and researchers who shared their insights and predictions for the space.
Here are just some of things they had to say….
“We estimate the U.S. virtual goods markets to grow north of 60% CAGR over the next three years and reach $3.6 billion by 2012, driven by a growing awareness of the virtual goods business model, generation Y’s comfort level with internet and virtual worlds, and a growing number of payment options.” Atul Bagga, VP Equity Research, ThinkEquity
“VCON was a great opportunity for people to come and share their discoveries and ideas in the field of micro-transactions and free-to-play games. When I started promoting free-to-play gaming in the USA market, people thought I was crazy, so I’m really happy to be attending a conference like VCON that’s showing just how important it’s actually becoming to the future of the industry.” David Perry, CEO & Co-Founder, Gaikai.com
“Having a virtual item offering in a virtual world is crucial for success. Giving customers options and offering them virtual goods that they can relate to or can customize their experience with not only adds to interest and engagement, but significantly increases revenue, as well. VCON was an excellent event for discussing different strategies for virtual goods." John Cahill, CEO, Meez
"As more and more people use information technologies in the conduct of their daily social lives, it is natural that the focus of consumption moves from material goods towards virtual goods." Vili Lehdonvirta, PhD (Econ. Soc) MSc (Tech), Researcher, Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT
“VCON was a wonderful event. In one day I caught up on all the major trends in the industry. Virtual economies are becoming a core element of all software-enabled social networks.“ Edward Castronova, Associate Professor of Telecommunications, Indiana University Bloomington
“We are just at the beginning of a major long-term trend toward business models that incorporate virtual goods. The 83 million people tending to their virtual farms on Farmville each month are a towering example of how virtual goods game economies, albeit in their most simple manifestation in point-and-click soybean harvesting, is probably here to stay and should compete with other forms of leisure entertainment for years to come. And we expect that the level of engagement that users will have with those virtual goods will increase as well, especially as more creative models emerge beyond basic point-and-click social gaming activities.” M. Lee Clancy, SVP, Product Management & GM, Direct Revenue, IMVU
“VCON 2010 provided the ideal forum for information sharing and thought leadership in the micro-transaction industry. It was incredible to see such significant interest across the board - from developers to CEOs - discussing best practices from the burgeoning games-as-a-service playbook.” Andrew Schneider, president and co-founder, Live Gamer
"The extraordinary recent growth of social game revenues has been fuelled by a transition from offer-based marketing, which is relatively easy to service, to virtual goods, which requires intricate execution to optimize. Virtual goods economies are a lot harder than the majority of North Americans think.” Eric Goldberg, Managing Director, Crossover Technologies
About Live Gamer
Live Gamer is the global leader of total commerce solutions for micro-transaction-based businesses. Spanning online games, virtual worlds, and social networks, Live Gamer provides an advanced offering that goes beyond monetization to drive core business metrics and optimize new transaction-based revenue streams. Combining its micro-transaction platform, primary and secondary market management, fraud and security solutions, scalable publisher support and international payment gateways, Live Gamer's technology has been adopted by leading publishers in gaming, social and entertainment including Acclaim, Funcom, NHN USA, Quepasa, MEG Toys and Sony Online Entertainment, supporting over 65 million users in 23 countries.
Founded in 2007, the company is backed by $28 million in venture funding from Charles River Ventures, FirstMark Capital, Kodiak Venture Partners, Rustic Canyon Partners, Triple Point Capital and Venrock. Live Gamer is headquartered in New York with offices in Los Angeles and Palo Alto, CA and Seoul, Korea. For more information, visit www.livegamer.com.
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