Around the Virtual World

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


Don’t Buy and Sell Pokemon Data In Japan

Japan is going a bit copyright crazy of late. It’s not cool to sell customized figures online, it’s not cool to rent video games in love hotels, and now, it’s apparently not cool to sell Pokémon save data.

Lessons of the NBC Agreement With Battlestar Galactica Fans

NBC / Universal has agreed to let Battlestar Galactica-themed roleplay sims continue in Second Life.   They too had been issued a cease and desist order through a DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) order.  In their case, the order was arguably even more serious – filed against Linden Lab itself, resulting in the closure of several Battlestar-themed sims and even the confiscation of content..

Wannabe Cool Kids Aim to Game the Web’s New Social Scorekeepers

Today, a new generation of VIPs is cultivating coolness through the world of social media. Here, ordinary folks can become “influential” overnight depending on the number and kinds of people who follow them on Twitter or comment on their Facebook pages.

Guitar Hero Video Game Series is Axed by Activision

Activision Blizzard, which makes the Call of Duty and World of Warcraft series, says it’s ditching the franchise because “the popularity of music-themed video games has faded”.

Social Gaming Market Value to Approach $4 Billion by 2015

The global social gaming market’s value will grow by 166 percent from $1.5 billion in 2010 to almost $4 billion by 2015, according to a recent forecast by analyst firm Business Insights.

Visa Acquires Playspan

Pushing into the virtual goods space, payments giant Visa has acquired Playspan, which powers e-commerce for hundreds of online games and virtual worlds, for $190 million.

How Location-Based Services Changed Social Games in Asia

As social gaming on mobile devices continues to grow throughout 2010, so will the number of applications offering location-based services. But will 2011 be the year that location-based social games take off in the U.S?