Business in Virtual Worlds

McKinsey & Company on Virtual Worlds: “Ignore them at your peril”

McKinsey & Company, a management consultant firm, recently spoke to the TimesOnline about virtual worlds, saying that companies who do not experiment with VWs are putting themselves at strategic risk:

McKinsey & Company, the management consulting firm whose observations about corporate behaviour are closely watched, said that virtual worlds were on the cusp of a major expansion - particularly as a way to reach younger customers - and that companies were “ignoring them at their peril.”

The VW market has expanded significantly from Second Life and a few major gaming titles to the point where handbooks are being put together to keep track of them all.

Virtual Worlds Management provides a list of current youth-oriented VWs operating or in development, with the total number passing 100 as of April, 2008.

New SL CEO Mark Kingdon is convinced that once a company turns to VWs, it becomes hard to turn back. But there’s still the challenge of attracting and keeping users, at least for “true” virtual worlds and not paper puppets in semi 3D panorama spaces:

“It takes a significant time investment, but it’s pretty clear that once someone has made that investment and crossed that divide, they stay and they stay engaged,” he told Virtual World News. “All good things come when we make that easier and shorten that learning cycle. And it’s very possible and doable. There are lots of complex technologies that people have added extremely simple interfaces to. For that reason, they’re joyous.”


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