Februar 13, 2007

Where BMW is, Mercedes-Benz will follow – and vice versa

I’ve stumbled right now about an article by Pham Neutra from the 9th February. It again shows that the saying in the topic is absolutely right. BMW shows in world their clean energy technology only so far right now.

And Mercedes-Benz? Well, according to a press notice from the 15th of February (seems to be published too early, why should Pham Neutra know already otherwise?) they are entering Second Life officially on the 20th February 2007.

They are not only entering it with one island only, like BMW has right now; no, they’ve got nine islands to their hands, which are not opened at the moment.

It seems that they are actually taking a different approach on their presence in SL than BMW does; there are already some pictures in the blog entry from Pham Neutra showing the Mercedes Sprinter, although not from the region itself, since the region is still inaccessible. They are going to celebrate the opening with a live concert and there is also a blog, too, about it, although still not working at the moment.

So, the competition of the German carmakers in SL is heating up and I wonder where this development is going to lead now.

SL roundup

After not posting entries for some days, I’ve got to dequeue my queued posts now. So, with no further delay here they are:

  • SL had terrible problems yesterday. They bunch varied from not being able to login to problems with teleporting up to problems with the assets. So it was unsafe to use the inventory at all. This reminds us: when you really want to do business in SL, the platform tends to be fairly unstable. Count that always in. The whole drama lasted over 10 hours. Hopefully it is over now.
  • Zee Linden posted an Excel spreadsheet about the key measures of SL. Very interesting read, you should give it a read. There are some big differences from SL’s statistics to other games, and it shows. For example:
    • The time of hours spent online per month seems to grow exponential at the moment.
    • There is a big growth in land. But the area covered by private islands is 2.5 times bigger than by the mainland (102.72 square kms mainland compared to 258,08 square kms private islands).
    • Also again: big economy growth in world and big growth in the sales of the LindeX.
    • Also as it seems a big exponential groth in the number of residents at all, but the number of premiums more in some kind of linear growth, also taking off right now, too.
    • The top 100 countries of the residents: 31.19% from USA, 12.73% from France, 10.46 % from Germany, 8.09 % from the Netherlands. I would have thought that more people are coming from the USA, but it shows that the audience of SL is truly international and not dominated by US residents only. So this leads of course to separated communities and some gated communities, too.
    • Average age on the main grid: 33. Bummer. Now this is really worth mentioning it. The audience in SL seems to be much older than in other online games, which makes it of course more interesting for commercials, real life companies entering it and so on and on.
    • More males using it than females (58,89% male compared to 41.11% female), though the female population keeps growing and growing.
  • RL issues are coming strongly into SL, too, right now and this is going to be a big, big thing. Mainly: violation of copyrights. It is the title theme of The Avastar from last week. Only because there were not really actions taken against some people because SL was not on the radar of the companies and copyright holders at all does mean that it is safe to use copyrighted material. On the contrary, RL copyright of course applies also to the in world. This is a lesson people should have learned from the booming days of the Internet already, but history seems to repeat itself right now. For example they are interviewing King Pascale who sells his articles under real life brand names like Gucci, D&G, Chanel and so on. Now this guy seems to come from Denmark. The graphical ad for his shop looks like this:
    Luxury Fashion Ad
    To cite him:

    I don’t do anything illegal. Producing articles and use of real life brands is forbidden. However, I don’t only sell on what other people create for me. I got it in writing from the Lindens that it was not illegal to sell on RL brands.

    Dude, you are sooo wrong! When a brand is copyrighted, it can be applied to several fields. For example the name of a computer must not apply to gardening utilities and so on. But what you are doing is to use the already established brand names to sell your own goods and make your own profit out of them. Read my lips: when a brand owner/copyright owner is going to sue you, and this is bound to happen sooner or later, you will be sued. Period. Don’t take the naive stance, it is not going to help you. Only a letter from the Lindens is no absolution that never anything will happen to you or binding legal consultation at all. Go to a lawyer with experience in this field and ask him for a consultation in that matter – and be quick! Be so quick!

  • Of course violation of copyright does also include streaming music, videos and much more fields to cover. With the rush of RL companies into SL expect them to take some actions against it. Otherwise you’re naive.
  • Another matter if importance are the still way too much high prices for land on the mainland. The prices are still not falling down, despite some other opinions. It seems that there are still land buying bots in the grid, buying new land under your feet. The Lindens should really do something about it, like introducing Captchas and other countermeasures. This is getting frustrated.