Raph Koster announced Metaplace at the Techcrunch 40 yesterday.
Some elements of his vision totally resonate: open; reduced barrier to entry in creation of content; platform of solid tools.
Some things remain a little sketchy: Compelling content is needed to drive a good platform – this is still unproven; Do consumers want to search through thousands of worlds like they do thousands of casual flash games vs. going to somewhere with a compelling single game/community experience like World of Warcraft?; Can they actually implement certain elements of the vision – especially a 3D client and make that work within the vision?
What is for sure is that it is a more ambitious and thoughtful approach to virtual worlds than any other company I’ve seen right now. So it’s a watch this space.
Club Penguin’s exit for $350m plus $350m in upside is testament to the arrival of the kids virtual world. I do believe that the Toy industry is going to benefit massively from the growing importance of virtual worlds. There are so many more opportunities to connect directly with their audience, hopefully improving creativity in the process.
Meanwhile, Doppelganger raised another $11m today which bodes well for its brand of music/MySpace content.