The new Japanese Wii Catering Channel (Demae Channel) lets you point and click your way to food delivery right from your Nintendo Wii.
There are categories for pizza, noodles, sandwiches, curry, burgers, chicken, and many other snacks, complete with visual menus that let you select toppings and save your orders for next time.
Food is a national obsession in Japan, but as far as I know delivery isn't as common as in other big cities, such as New York. I suspect Wii players will be able to easily rationalize ordering a meal to augment all the calories they burn … Read more
In a recent report, research firm Screen Digest says that in-game advertising will hit $1 billion by 2014. Not bad, but nowhere near virtual goods, which may already be worth $5 billion in Asia alone.
Virtual goods have a low barrier to entry but a huge swath of virtual-world competition is trying to monetize users. Game play, branding, and the overall offering have to all mesh for virtual goods to sell well.
In-game advertising is complex and there are a few major players that control the games, consoles, and monetization, putting up some serious barriers to entry. To date, most … Read more
Using Facebook Connect, visitors can play directly on the Petsociety.com Web site, removing the the forced interaction with Facebook itself. You do still have to login, but you aren't forced to play games as part of the Facebook "experience"--rather you can interact with the game and other … Read more
Virtual goods are providing very high-margin sales for many internet companies. According to PaidContent.org, Chinese portal Tencent pulled in nearly $1 billion last year from the sale of virtual goods, while Facebook earns between $50 million and $100 million (your mileage may vary on these estimates). Recently Hi5 Networks made the move to include far more virtual goods as part of its social-networking site.
Obviously every site is a bit different, but there are two common threads of items that people seem ready to pay for:Customization of the environment -- page decorations and other things that provide some kind of status in the game Enhancements to games -- if you can't beat them, you can just pay for items
Of course, there are many other possibilities--virtual gifts play a big role in Facebooks' revenue and I believe there is a huge market for goods such as baseball cards and other tradeable real-world/virtual world crossovers.
If there is any market more confusing than enterprise software, it's the world of video games. Enterprise vendors are constantly trying to reinvent themselves to support new technologies to maintain their market positions and large game companies like EA are trying to evolve with the way consumers play games. And being the 800-pound gorilla in the space means that the company has a better chance than most in weathering a storm.
Accordingly, it appears that EA has begun to sound the death knell of game consoles, highlighting PC games and digital distribution as recent high-growth areas. Of course, this … Read more
A new study suggests that video games are highly addictive, with game addicts showing more than half of the same traits as those addicted to gambling.
Researchers at Iowa State University and the National Institute on Media and the Family studied 1,178 American children and teenagers, aged 8 to 18, and found that addicted gamers played video games 24 hours a week, twice as much as casual gamers.
Some gamers have shown similar symptoms to those suffering from gambling addiction, including:Lying to family and friends about how much they play games Using the games to escape their problems … Read more
New March sales data from NPD Group reveals that video game sales are finally being hit (and hit hard) by the recession. Despite a strong showing through February, March sales across the board dropped by 15 percent to 18 percent year over year from 2008 to 2009.
As reported on Gamespot.com:Although unnerving on their own, NPD's March numbers also signaled a more alarming trend. When taken into account, the month's numbers caused 2009's first-quarter game sales to go from solid growth to a near flat line. For the January-March period, the U.S. game industry … Read more
Virtual world Second Life is out with its Q1 2009 Economic Report and things are looking up. In fact, Second Life economics look much better than the real world.
Users are spending much more time on the site despite a drop in land ownership. In an interview with CNET News, Linden Labs CEO Mark Kingdon estimated "user-to-user monetary transactions in Second Life may hit $450 million in 2009, up from $350 million."
An overall mood of increasing optimism - A number of factors drove the growth in the Second Life economy in Q1 2009: an increase in active … Read more