by Alphaville Herald on 03/07/09 at 7:21 pm
1.) build a world 2.) add it to your web site 3.) profit?
by Pixeleen Mistral, National Affairs desk
If the name of the game in MMOs is to grow the user population in preparation for an eventual IPO, Metaplacetook a significant step forward this week by allowing Metaplace spaces tobe inserted into players' web sites. For example, the Herald's Metaplace offices are embedded below, and can be freely explored – after logging into the service – without leaving this page.
Enter the world, find the television and click to see Larry Lessig YouTube video embedded in Herald Metaplace offices embedded in Herald web page
Why is this move significant? First, it has the potential to harness viral marketing forces. To see the Metaplace worlds, visitors to websites with embedded MP spaces need to have an MP account — and each web site with an MP embedded space becomes an advertisement for Metaplace.
Embeddable MP spaces may also help jumpstart acceptance of Metaplace now that existingweb-based advertising and payment mechanisms can be used alongside MP spaces. We expect to see MP game designers, musicians, and DJs employ PayPal tipjars on their web pages along with Google AdSence in an attempt to monetize their gameplay.
For the training and education sector, inserting a live environment into their web pages should also be appealing – as arethe minimal hardware requirements to run Metaplace. But the training and education sector is not where the real money is – various forms of Internet-enabled commerce seem more likely to be they key to virtual world viability – but this is where Metaplace still has some work to do.
It is understandable that real world commerce is not Metaplace's strength today – the world has only been in open beta for a few months, so a number of promised features remain promises. This creates some tension for early adopters.
Although the Metaplace designers have a real money trade virtual currency planned for the future, players who hope to host large scale events in Metaplace need either deep pockets or a revenue source to help pay for high concurrency spaces in MP. Web pages with MP spaces partially address this issues with the possibility of web-based revenue.
The revenue issue is acute for those hoping to host large events on a regular basis. The trial spaces given to free account holders are enough to get started, but part of the MP business model is charging players to increase their concurrent visitor limit for large scale events – typically with $9.95 USD day passes that allow for up to 100 concurrent users in a space. Anything that helps world creators develop revenue streams has the potential to help MP's bottom line by allowing players to more easily pay for these high concurrency spaces for games, concerts, and lectures.
How does it work?
The Metaplace wiki describes several approaches to embedding a space, and for those who are comfortable with working in HTML, an example the embed code for the Herald space is:
To get a feel for being in more than one place at a time – if not being transworld omnigendered – visit some of our favorite places:
Paris cafe society
Gin n Juice in the 'hood