Virtual goods have a long established place in the world of quest-based and campaign-oriented online gaming. As important as this genre has been, the casual games and entertainment markets continue to attract a different demographic with different motivation. How will virtual goods impact the casual games and entertainment markets? Will the same tactics and techniques that worked in other instances drive success here as well? Our closing panel will share their thoughts on this topic and talk about what the future holds for virtual goods and entertainment.
Greer: Coming from a purely game environment, when you play a game, you are rewarded by certain criteria. It's about engaging, and then showing off for your friends. Pride in accomplishments, power in accomplishments, and the virtual cycle. It's about earning virtual goods.
Bethke: Earned versus gifted virtual goods are about giving the opportunities and choices.
Greer: It's about achievement. It's time versus money, and both have value and balance.
Ryan: A lot of our items are paid for, and a big portion of our member base earns its virtual goods. You keep the enthusiastic evangelist, and the ones that keep engaged and excited. It's the heavy users and the balance of the hybrid-model. It's a mixture of prescritions and virtual goods; although it's very high percentage of virtual goods in the East, it will never be that way in the US because of past consumption practices - advertising models, etc.
Greer: We will work with brands to provide virtual goods as rewards, but it is not at the level yet.
Greer: If you look at Amazon or Yelp, you get badges for being prolific. It's an earned virtual good. It goes back to discussing if it's better to receive, buy or earn a virtual good - it depends on what is your desire.
Bethke: Virtual goods will become more like traditional Website - there are APIs and people will share virtual goods across the networks and worlds.
Tags: Jim Greer, Kongregate, Erik Bethke, Go Pets, Sean Ryan, Meez, Charles Hudson, PR, public relations, communications, marketing communications, marketing, marcom, advertising, virtual goods, virtual goods summit, vgsummit2007