After a torrid 2012, Habbo changes CEO — but is it enough?

A child protection scandal and failure to innovate have left Habbo Hotel — once one of the most popular virtual worlds — reeling. Now with the departure of CEO Paul LaFontaine, it’s feeling increasingly like the Finnish company faces a do or die moment.

Mind Candy on the hunt for more acquisitions

Moshi Monsters creator Mind Candy has announced the purchase of UK games studio Origami Blue to help lead its experimental labs project – but the company’s first acquisition is unlikely to be its last, with a new head of M&A joining.

How to create an avatar for work-related virtual worlds

As virtual worlds become prevalent in business, we need to learn how to present ourselves effectively. Since first impressions count just as they do in face-to-face teams, we need to take our virtual appearance seriously. In these environments, appearance is based on our avatars.

Virtual Worlds for Business (Yes, Business)

conversifymeetsI’ve been a huge fan of Second Life since I first “rezzed” (logged into the virtual 3-D environment) in March 2007, and have previously blogged about my own Second Life. Despite all the limitations and downsides of Second Life (and there are many), it has been one of the most flexible and inspiring proving grounds for virtual worlds for business. Just like with Twitter, I try to cut through the hype and go straight to the core: Using this new platform can introduce you to new ways of thinking and help you hone valuable skills that will put you at a clear advantage as communications and workspace technologies continue to evolve. Read More about Virtual Worlds for Business (Yes, Business)

Exclusive: Second Life Starts To Grow Again

They say numbers don’t lie, and in recent months the number of people populating virtual world Second Life has started to rise again. Mark Kingdon, CEO of parent company Linden Lab, has been touting the return to steady user growth; to back up his claims, he shared with us the chart below, which tracks the number of unique repeat logins into Second Life on a month-by-month basis (it doesn’t include new signups during each month.) That number stood at 731,000 as of the end of March, the result of an upward climb that began in August 2008. Read More about Exclusive: Second Life Starts To Grow Again

How Virtual World YoVille Got 5M Facebook Users

yovilleWhile everyone in the game industry was following the latest news from GDC last week, I happened to notice an MMO milestone happening on Facebook: a casual virtual world called YoVille passed 5 million monthly active users.
Launched in May of last year, YoVille’s user growth rate is faster than that of any virtual world I’m aware of, quickly putting it in the upper ranks of other web-based MMOs, such as Gaia Online, launched in 2003, which reported 7 million monthly actives last Winter, and Habbo, launched in 2000, which reported nearly 10 million monthlies last June. Even more surprising to me, YoVille is only accessible as an app on Facebook and MySpace (where it currently counts 2.8 million users.) Read More about How Virtual World YoVille Got 5M Facebook Users