Virtual Goods Summit 2007

Session videos from last months Virtual Goods Summit in Stanford are now available for viewing. Kyra Reppen from NeoPets, Min Kim from Nexon and Paul Thind from Habbo gave good overviews of their respective business models in the Virtual Goods Success Stories session. Nabeel Hyatt from Conduit Labs moderated the Why Virtual Worlds Matter session. Bryon Reeves from Seriosity, Amy Jo Kim from Shufflebrain, Daniel James from Three Kings and Craig Sherman from Gaia Online spoke about immersion, micro payments, decorative and functional items, how secondary markets drive the primary markets. Mark Wallace from 3pointD moderated the Making Virtual Economies Work session. John Bates from Entropia Universe, Brock Pierce from Affinity Media, Joshua Hong from K2 Networks and Raph Koster from Areae covered the similarities and differences between virtual and real economies, governance and identities. Robert Scoble from PodTech moderated the Virtual Items : Mainstream or Not session. John Vars from Dogster, Jia Shen from Rock You!, J.T.Stephens from Six Apart and James Hong from Hot or Not discuss meaning, attention, perception and value. Susan Wu from Charles River Ventures moderated the Are Virtual Goods the Next Big Business Model session. Tim Stevens from Doppelganger, Kevin Efrusy from Accel Partners, Dan Kelly from Sparter, and Min Kim from Nexon discuss social capital, access, advertising, utility and experience. Charles Hudson moderated the Virtual Goods Meets Entertainment session. Sean Ryan from Meez, Jim Greer from Kongregate and Erik Bethke from Go Pets discuss self-expression, motivation and community relations.Hat tip to Charles Hudson and Susan Wu for organizing a great conference and sharing these videos.

Casual Virtual Worlds

The Walt Disney Company acquired Club Penguin today for $700m ($350m cash + $350m earn out). All eyes are now on Puzzle Pirates creator Three Rings whose earlier rumored $450m valuation maybe more attractive to Sony.

Philip Rosedale incorporated the soon to launch SL Voice feature in his demo at the AlwaysOn Stanford Summit 2007. His follow-on session with Irving Wladawksy-Berger, Chris Sherman, Chris Melissinos moderated by Jaron Lanier titled How Real Is the Virtual Web is recommended viewing.

Reactions to the Club Penguin deal over on Techmeme and the panel discussion at AlwaysOn give a flavor for what casual virtual worlds and virtual goods hold in store for the future. Interesting times indeed.