In all, eMarketer estimates that 20 million children will be part of a virtual
world by 2011, up from 8.2 million today. Disney, for example, plans to follow
Club Penguin’s success with virtual worlds for “Pirates of the Caribbean” and
“Get ready for a total inundation” of kiddie-oriented virtual worlds, says
eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson. Webkinz, Club Penguin and the like have
been a smashing success where adult-oriented counterparts Second Life and
There.com have not. According to comScore, Disney-owned Club Penguin attracts
seven times the traffic of Second Life. Webkinz, a site where children create
and care for virtual stuffed animals, has seen its traffic soar 342 percent in
the last year.
Web Playgrounds of the Very Young – New York Times
LOS ANGELES — Forget Second Life. The real virtual world gold rush centers on the grammar-school set.
Trying to duplicate the success of blockbuster Web sites like Club
Penguin and Webkinz, children’s entertainment companies are greatly
accelerating efforts to build virtual worlds for children. Media
conglomerates in particular think these sites — part online
role-playing game and part social scene — can deliver quick growth,
help keep movie franchises alive and instill brand loyalty in a
generation of new customers.
Filed under: advertising, Branded Entertainment, Consumer, content, Games, Gaming, Gen Y, kids, trends, Tweens, widgets