Around the Virtual World

A weekly wrap up of interesting news about virtual worlds, virtual goods and other social media.


LinkedIn’s 2Q Earnings Soar as Growth Accelerates

The results announced Thursday provided the first update on LinkedIn’s progress since the company’s headline-grabbing initial public offering in May.
LinkedIn’s shares have more than doubled from their IPO price of $45, stirring a debate about whether investors are overvaluing Internet companies. LinkedIn earned $4.5 million, or 4 cents per share, in the April-June period. That contrasted with earnings of $938,000, or 2 cents per share, at the same time last year.

Controversy Erupts Over SpotON3D’s Patent Claims

Competing OpenSim hosting companies are concerned that SpotON3D’s viewer plugin patent isn’t original, will hinder innovation, and that the company isn’t playing fair with the broader open source community. Other developers, however, say that SpotON3D’s innovation can help energize OpenSim adoption — and the patent, if it is granted, may not be that burdensome to the community.

Diablo III Will Have Real Money Auction House

For as amazing as Diablo II
was, the economy was rather quickly ruined by the sale of virtual items. Most of the better loot required a significant time investment – or luck – so many players naturally flocked to the more convenient option. Blizzard, being the savvy developers that they are, has come up with a work-around for that: A flood of reports are coming in that Diablo III
will feature an in-game auction house that will allow you to sell and buy virtual items (including virtual currency) for real cash.

EA Chief Vows to Keep Up With Big Changes In the Video Game Industry

Electronic Arts chief executive John Riccitiello said in a conference call today that the video game industry has fundamentally changed as gamers embrace new digital alternatives to console games – from mobile games to social games. And, he said, EA’s strategy is changing with it.

SAP Launches The Ultimate Travel Challenge Dashboard

I find the concept of gamification fascinating so when I heard that a fellow team at SAP was launching a game to showcase one of the company’s solutions it peaked my interest.  The game was built on SAP Crystal Solutions and showcases how the product can help your business by simulating the pressure of making informed decisions in a face-paced environment.

Augmented Reality Kills the QR Code Star

Augmented reality leader Layar just took its system to a whole new level by installing a real-world object recognition protocol that’s a little like Google’s Goggles. In one swoop it may have turned AR apps from intriguing,
inspiring, and occasionally useful toys into serious tools for information discovery and, of course, advertising. Let’s call it hacking the real world.

PayPal: 12M Monthly Users Are Paying For Virtual Goods

which collects a lot of data on online payments, says the monetization of digital content has come a long way since the company was launched in 1998 and sold to eBay in 2002. Now it generates more than $1 billion in quarterly revenue and has more than 100 million active users.