World Wrestling Entertainment is taking their annual Royal Rumble to Habboâ€™s virtual world. Though the actual Royal Rumble doesnâ€™t take place until January 27, live on pay-per-view, the action on Habbo.com has already begun. And just like the real Rumble, the winner will be going to WrestleMania 24 on March 30 in Orlando.
After being assigned a virtual avatar to one of 59 WWE Superstars, Habbo.comâ€™s 1.6 million online citizens will vote for which of the top 30 WWE Superstars they think will play various roles in the event. Users who correctly predict at least one of the roles will be entered into a sweepstakes, sponsored by Habbo, for a chance to win a trip for two to WrestleMania 24 in Orlando, Fla. on March 30.
Second Life developer Cory Ondrejka has left Linden Lab due to irreconcilable differences with the founder and CEO Philip Rosedale.
While it is not quite clear whether he resigned or was fired, the bigger concern now is the future of Second Life.
Massively was able to get a copy of the farewell e-mail sent by Rosedale to the staff of Linden Lab. This is a portion of the said e-mail:
Cory and I have differences in how we think Linden should be run, differences that in the past few months have become irreconcilable. These are tensions that were more manageable when we were smaller, and there have been times that they have helped us do great work together. But now, as we change and grow as a company, I feel that we need a different set of strengths in engineering leadership. I strongly believe that this is the right decision, although not without pain, for both LL and Cory.
In the absence of any official statement and just by reading between the lines, I would suspect this as a termination and not a resignation. You can also read Ondrejkaâ€™s farewell e-mail in Massively.
However, it is very difficult to claim this issue will spell the downfall of Second Life. On the contrary, Linden Lab is confident this will bring a dramatic change to the virtual world.
Currently, Second Life is notorious for being unstable, slow, frequently crashing, and very buggy.
Beginning this week, when people visit MyCoke.com they will find themselves in a whole new virtual environment created by Makena Technologies, creator of There.com.
The new community, dubbed, ‘CC Metro,’ is designed to offer visitors a completely new experience rooted in the uplifting, optimistic attitude of the ‘Coke Side of Life.’ The new environment will provide activities that are fun, engaging and varied to help connect people within CC Metro. MyCoke.com members will find options focused on music, gaming, sports and entertainment, including a skate park where they can test their ‘hoverboard’ skills and a theater featuring exclusive videos presented by Coca-Cola. Members will also be able to develop their own music through the ‘music mixer,’ socialize with other members via chat and voiceover IP, and explore other parts of There.com. CC Metro will replace the current ‘Coke Studios’ virtual environment located at MyCoke.com.
Through CC Metro’s 3-D virtual environment, which is located on a new Coca-Cola contour bottle-shaped ‘continent’ in There.com, users can enjoy social networking and exclusive content not found anywhere else. Coca-Cola associations like American Idol, NASCAR and the Olympic Games will be part of the CC Metro experience. My Coke Rewards, the popular online rewards program, will be integrated into CC Metro, allowing users to obtain virtual merchandise through a My Coke Rewards store. Members can also purchase Therebucks, the There.com virtual currency, to buy clothes and accessories for their avatar, as well as property, pets and vehicles.
Gaia Online announced that Warner Bros.’ movies will be made available through Gaia’s virtual theater, the Gaia Cinemas, starting today. The more than 2.5 million teens who visit Gaia Online every month will be able to watch the legendary studio’s films with daily free screenings as well as pay-per-view screenings. Movie titles will include box office smashes such as “The Matrix” and “Batman Returns”; comedies including “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”; “Caddyshack 2 & 3″; and classics including “Superman 2 & 3″ and “Risky Business”.
Additional movies from Warner Bros.’ library will be added to the Gaia Cinema schedule every Monday. While select movies will be available for free, recent releases will operate on a pay-per-view basis at $1.99 per screening.
Nexon America Inc., the U.S. division of Asiaâ€™s online entertainment company Nexon Group, whose Game Cards are available at retail giants such as Target, Best Buy, and 7-Eleven, Inc., plans to integrate its mega store partners into MapleStory, its most popular game. Nexon America is educating their players on the availability of the Nexon Game Cards through outlets such as Best Buy, CVS, Duane Reade and 7-Eleven, by bringing the stores to the players virtually.
Nexon America will send its millions of MapleStory players to the virtual markets with themed quests that will promote both the retailers and the availability of Nexon Game Cards in these stores. The special quests will prompt users to complete various tasks and visit any of these chains to earn their own virtual Nexon Game Card, which will provide Maple Points, the in-game currency of MapleStory.
Nexon America is an attractive partner for retailers because it provides a dedicated and entertained community. Special events are ongoing throughout the holiday season to promote the spirit and culture of MapleStory. Players are not only immersed within the game, but can take part in real-world events, too. Such events include a photo submission contest of a Maple Story-themed holiday meal and an upcoming poetry contest awarding the winner a custom poster and original concept art. These contests offer a creative venue to showcase the real-life talents of Maplers for the enjoyment of the entire Nexon community.
Research and Markets has announced the addition of â€œEntrepreneur’s Guide to Second Life: Making Money in the Metaverseâ€ to their offering. The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Second Life will give readers an in-depth look at businesses and other economic opportunities in Second Life, explain the business operations of each, and show readers how to identify, develop, launch, and profit from their own business.
Written by Daniel Terdiman, an award-winning CNET reporter and and Second Life expert with deep ties to the business community, The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Second Life begins with an overview of the virtual world and its flourishing economy as well as the challenges it presents to entrepreneurs. A virtual business basics chapter discusses important features of all successful Second Life businesses, including marketing and advertising avenues. The following chapters discuss how to plan, start, and successfully run such businesses as real estate, clothing and accessory creation, construction and landscaping, adult opportunities, music and video production, art creation, and building and running entertainment venues.
The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Second Life also features interviews with successful Second Life entrepreneurs, sidebars discussing practical considerations in each field, and useful resources for anyone who wishes to operate a successful, profitable business in Second Life.
Vivox, provider of integrated voice services for online games and virtual worlds, has secured $7.8 million in a second round of equity financing led by Benchmark Capital led the round. Support was also received from the its existing investors, Canaan Partners and GrandBanks Capital.
Proceeds from the round will fund product development, sales support and marketing as the Company extends its technology and market lead. Vivox offers the only integrated platform and managed service available today to enable online games and virtual worlds to connect their communities with cutting edge features and functionality on a massive scale.
Vivox customers and partners include online game and virtual world leaders 1GPN, Inc., Alpha Innovation, BigWorld Technology, CCP Games, The Electric Sheep Company, FWD International, IBM, Icarus Studios, Illusion Factory, K2 Network, LanguageLab.com, Linden Lab, Monumental Games, Pixel Mine and Wizards of the Coast.
Activeworlds, Inc., a leading provider of virtual world technology on the Internet, has announced the availability of the “Active Worlds 3D Avatar and World Explorer” application, built on Facebook Platform.
This enables companies and developers to build applications for the Facebook website, bringing the online 3D experience to an entirely new level of accessibility.
“I saw a huge opportunity to bridge the social aspects of Facebook with the real- time interactivity and building components of the Active Worlds platform. For the first time, millions of Facebook users that install the application can interact and chat with each other, explore sweeping 3D landscapes and environments, and build their own virtual structures for others to enjoy,” said Robert Frederick, the developer of the Active Worlds Facebook application.
Playhut, Inc. announced the release of GoLive2.com Kraze, a free interactive virtual world where children can play games, have fun and interact with friends in a safe atmosphere.
In celebration of Halloween, GoLive2.com Kraze turns ghoulish with an online Halloween party. Children can explore Halloween-themed areas of the virtual world, play Halloween-themed games, and dress up their avatarsâ€™ in Halloween costumes.
To get started, a player can register for either the boy-themed Wowbotz universe or the girl-centered Mystikats Kutties world. After signing up for a world, an email is sent to a parentâ€™s email address. After parental approval, players can then hang out with friends, instant message buddies, and create personal photo and video albums. Players can also play games where they earn virtual cash that can be spent to decorate their avatars’ personal rooms and customize their Wowbotz armor or get new Kuttie outfits.
Warner Bros. Pictures unveiled an original, online, multiplayer first-person shooter/RPG game playable in Second Life. The largest and most expansive Second Life game ever launched in support of a film release, I Am Legend: Survival transports players into an eerie replica of over 60 acres of New York City set in the chaotic year preceding the movie. The future of mankind hangs in the balance as players choose to play in either of two rival factions, uninfected and infected. Uninfected characters must fight to survive as they desperately seek the cure for the terrible virus that is destroying mankind. Infected characters have only one objective: to stop uninfected characters at all costs.
The game features player-customizable avatars loosely based on characters in the film and New York City-based environments that change and expand over time, and supports both voice and text chat for in-game multiplayer communication. The game is available as a free download.
I Am Legend: Survival is inspired by the upcoming feature film â€œI Am Legend,â€ starring Will Smith as Robert Neville.