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Virtual worlds

Could reach over US$2 billion in revenues this year, reckons Southeast Asia-based publisher.

(Manila, Philippines, May 12, 2010) – Virtual worlds continue to experience growth, and game services providers must maintain and increase service quality to address the potential demands of virtual worlds companies, according to Scott Countryman, CEO and founder of a Southeast Asia-based pioneer game services provider, Digital Media Exchange (dme).

“Virtual worlds have been growing since 2007; in 2009 alone, the segment attained almost US$1 billion in global revenues. This year, virtual worlds are projected to achieve over US$2 billion in revenues. This growth translates to increased demand from virtual worlds companies for game support services,” said Countryman. In 2013, virtual worlds are expected to reach US$7.29 billion in revenues.

Virtual world is a form of online community where users can interact as well as use and create objects in a computer-based simulated environment. Users can take the form of avatars and the game usually is in 3D visuals.

Virtual worlds under development have exponentially increased due to the increase in interest of the kids, tweens, and teens audience segment. Countryman said that in 2012, the expected number of virtual worlds might rise to near 900. In 2009, he noted that virtual worlds only reached 150.

However, a saturated virtual world market means that companies need a unique marketing strategy to acquire and retain customers, said Countryman. “Social networks have opened many opportunities for game services providers such as ours to execute a strategy for customer acquisition. By reaching out to specific demographic markets in these social networking sites, we have experienced 22% customer conversion success rate in only a month.”

However, marketing initiatives may be expensive for start-up companies offering virtual worlds. To cut back costs, companies can turn to outsourced services. According to Countryman, a game services provider can set target goals on customer acquisition and projected market demographics to set the number of employees to work on the program.

“By setting specific goals and timelines, game services providers can outsource the work to part-time or project-based employees, providing a cost-effective and high-return solution to the customer,” explained Countryman.

The quality of the virtual world experience can have significant impact in the marketability of the game. It is important to assess the virtual world by acquiring insights from other gamers, said Countryman. This can be accomplished through game testing, which can uncover technical issues that developers should address to attain a seamless game experience.

Customer support is also important in retaining virtual world customers. “Retaining and assisting virtual world customers is achieved by providing customer support – not just ordinary agents but those who have in-depth knowledge of the gaming community, as well as first-hand experience of gaming. By doing this, game services providers can guarantee virtual world gamers smooth and assisted gameplay,” Countryman concluded.


About Digital Media Exchange

Established in 2003, Digital Media Exchange, Inc. (dme), is a veteran online games publisher and a game service provider to the global computer games industry. Under the brand name Mobius ( www.mobiusgames.net), dme pioneered the Southeast Asian online game industry by architecting the leading Philippine peering exchange for online games, launching the first free-to-play/item-based games in the region, and creating unique and innovative premium services seamlessly integrated within a proprietary digital media platform and payment system ( www.mobiusonline.net) used by over 12 million registered users. dme’s outsourcing division provides game consulting and support services to some of the world’s largest global entertainment, technology, and retailing companies including Disney, Dreamworks, Dolby Laboratories, Nexon, NHN, and Build-a-Bear Workshop. For more information, e-mail: info@dmii.net.


Contact: AJ Cadavedo

Phone: +632 757-3500 loc 316 dme

Contact: Windi Barth

Phone: +63 920 951-4351

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