Companies that create their own worlds, or set up new game worlds, will need to find a way to attract visitorsâ€"just as they have to draw them to their websites. You have to figure out why you're creating a virtual world, what people will do there, and how you'll promote it. It also would be "fantastic" if Yahoo! and Google wanted to add support for searching for worlds.
Over 10,000 developer teams have registered to use Multiverse's platform, in part because of its attractive business model. All of its software is free to use. But once developers begin to make money from their worldsâ€"from subscriptions, in-game advertising or sales of in-game itemsâ€"they pay 10% of their revenue.
One such developer is Edward Castronova, a professor at Indiana University. He is building a world called "Arden," an idealized portrayal of Shakespearean England. He and his students have spent the past year re-creating medieval Somersetâ€"geography, villages, characters, and an economyâ€"on the Multiverse platform.
Castronova is optimistic about the Multiverse approach, which will provide a choice of hundreds of worlds to explore. Just as the Web makes it possible to create and follow links between a huge variety of websites, an open platform for virtual worlds could allow users to stroll seamlessly through Atlantis, across Mars and all the way to Shakespeare's Arden.
Where is the Buzz? I would love to see the day when there are multiple experiential worlds out there, and I don't believe we are that far off. As marketers add new Web 2.0 capabilities and build communities, creating their own world might just be the very next innovation on top of all that!
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