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Posted by: Matt Vella on January 18
The whole brand meets Second Life, brand falls in love, brand’s time and money is wasted story is an old one. (My colleagues Reena Jana and Aili McConnon were at the forefront of the pack in reporting the beginning, middle, and effective end of the trend.) But, on a recent call with reps from Toyota’s (TM) Scion I was struck by how widely the upstart youth brand has cast its virtual net. The fledgling nameplate is deeply involved in no fewer than five mass online communities.
Aside from Second Life and MySpace, Scion has operations in Whyville, Gaia, and There.com. Scion has been aggressively courting younger customers since its inception five years ago – it was conceived to do just that for the Toyota family – and yet, supporting that many online communities represents an interestingly deep level of commitment. Not surprisingly, its customers are the youngest in the auto industry, with a median age of 29.
No longer child's play, the booming global games market is worth billions of dollars. In Games, Inc., BusinessWeek Innovation writer Matt Vella and Tokyo correspondent Kenji Hall analyze emerging business trends in video games and interactive entertainment. They’ll examine everything from button-mashing, chart-topping, console games to serious games commissioned by big corporations to train staff. They’ll also map the evolution of expansive virtual worlds and go behind the strategies at companies that are turning play into big business.