by: Rick van der Wal via Business and Games Blog

Earlier I reported about Virtual World News’ survey amongst 45 big players in the field of Virtual Worlds, and now they want bloggers to answer the same questions:

VirtualWorldsNews.com wants to know your industry predictions and business goals for 2008. Answer the following questions on your own blog and then post a link to your blog entry in the comments section below. If you don’t have a blog you can just post your answers in the comments below. These are the same questions we asked 45 industry leaders in the Virtual Worlds Management Industry Forecast 2008. No cheating, answers must be supplied before Jan. 1, 2008.

1. What are your top 3 trend predictions for 2008?

- Optimism: As the 2d internet grows, the potential for Virtual Worlds grows. Better data exchange between 2d and 3d content make Virtual Worlds more accessible to the masses. Interest of big investors grows and steps towards a standard slowly start to connect multiple worlds and applications.

- In search of the holy grail: Trough 2d and 3d integration many developers, both the professional and the amateurs, will look for applications of (3d) virtual environments. What will be the ‘killer app’ to convince a mainstream audience the 3d sites are worth visiting.

- Disappointment: Companies will still get it wrong, the masses will still stay away from Metaverses, and it will take some time to get over the negative spin Second Life has given Virtual Worlds. Opportunity’s, jobs and ‘residents’ will fluctuate, a roller coaster many believe to be Bubble 2.0 (or even 3.0)

2. What business goals have you set for 2008?

- Experiment: Discover how to use Virtual Worlds as a valuable addition to business cases, rather then just following the hype. Explore the areas where Virtual Worlds excel and fields where Virtual Worlds lack true purpose.

3. What challenges do you expect 2008 to bring for the virtual worlds industry?

- (Negative) publicity: The backlash of Second Life gets underestimated. It has given Virtual Worlds a bad aftertaste for all the wrong reasons, and it will take time to prove these wrong, possibly more time then just 2008 if we don’t see some good applications and 2d integration of Virtual Worlds.

- Getting virtual worlds out of the ‘niche’ of gamers and early adopters: Getting people to accept and understand the Virtual World navigation will be more then just interaction design. To many it still feels as ‘Elvis shaking its hips on TV’ - something for ‘young’ people. Virtual Worlds will have to address this technological and psychological issue in order for Virtual Worlds to grow beyond the niche of early adopters.

- Lack of purpose: The ‘why’ questions both companies and consumers have should be answered in 2008. Why invest, why explore, why sign up and join these communities.

4. A number of new platforms are launching in 2008. What are the biggest impacts this will have on the industry?

- Demand for connectivity: They will provide for an even bigger need to connect these worlds and platforms. The impact of these ‘new’ platforms will pretty much be the same as Second Life post Oct 2006. It will address its own niche, some more interesting then the other. There will be more data to see what worlds are viable at this moment, and what niches/markets will stay away from Virtual environments for a while.

5. How will the above changes affect your specific segment of the industry in 2008?

- Who is using Virtual worlds and why?: (I am in marketing/communications) We need to analyze whether we are still reaching out to niches, early adopters or get to see some mainstream audiences in Virtual Worlds. How these people respond to the level of immersion Virtual Worlds can offer - and how to expand/build on this through integration of into the 2d web for example.

Original Post: http://digado.nl/what-are-your-2008-predictions-and-business-goals.html

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