The China Blog: Online Gaming, Telecom, Digital Home...

Sunday, May 14, 2006

I'm back

It's been too long. I've done a fair amount of travel lately. NCTA in Atlanta, NAB and Broadband Wireless World in Las Vegas, Connections (our conference) in Santa Clara, and E3 in Los Angeles. With this crazy schedule, it was very difficult to keep my blog up to date. I'll take my wife's advice, update more but write shorter updates.

The buzz words, besides Wii, Xbox 360, and PS3, are microtransaction and social networking. Microtransaction is huge in Asia. In fact, many games in China and South Korea are purely based on microtransactions. Such concepts are now being introduced to the U.S. with different incarnations, such as Wild Coins from Wild Tangent and Second Life from Linden Labs. With popular South Korean games including FreeStyle Street Basketball coming to the U.S. in the next year or two, surely more U.S. games will leverage such a business model. $15 a month is a barrier many gamers don't want to cross and microtransaction may help generate revenue from casual and moderate gamers who would otherwise only play free web games. Wired Magazine recently run a good article about micropayments in Asian Games and you can read it here.,70573-0.html

In addition, games such as Second Life and Project Entropia, which combine a virtual economy, social networking, user-generated content, and many other interesting concepts, lately have generated a lot of media coverage from mainstream media such as the Business Week and the New York Times. Read the Business Week article here Robert apparently has done a lot of research and the article is very informative. At E3, I confirmed with Linden Labs and their subscriber base has grown to 210,000, instead of 170,000 mentioned in the article. Apparently viral marketing is working for them.


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