MoiPal To Implement New Virtual Goods- Store Widget

moipalMoiPal, a Finland based social gaming virtual world by Ironstar Helsinki, has introduced widgets for music artists to sell MoiPal virtual goods to the virtual world users. MoiPal is not a localized virtual world like Habbo, which has started their community building from scratch in each new country. Instead MoiPal aims to create a common space where all nationalities mix and thus make the world seem more lively. MoiPal is also mainly intented to be played via mobile phones. According to MoiPal CEO, Joakim Achrén, focusing on mobile phones instead of the browser creates stickiness and users tend to come back much more often.

MoiPal has been working on virtual goods partnership all along 2008. These have mainly been with record labels and Finnish music artists, including Lovex, Hanoi Rocks and Lordi. What this means in practice is that the partnering artists have seen a MoiPal character creation widget appear on their website. If a MoiPal charater has been created through one of these websites, the character that has been created have been able to get virtual clothes and a look that resembles the one of the artist who's website is in question.

Through the partnership the artists get visibility in MoiPal virtual world when characters walk around in t-shirts and clothes that carry the artist logo and name. Artists can also perform a virtual concerts in picture-14MoiPal City, which is the center of the MoiPal virtual world. Currently Lordi, a Finnish heavy artist, is actively present in MoiPal and interacting with the users.

The latest development is selling virtual goods via a widget that sits on an artist website. MoiPal has confirmed its first deal that was done with EMI and EMI's up-and-coming new artist, Haloo Helsinki. With a Premium SMS message the users can buy their character a full blown Haloo Helsinki costume set. In addition to the 50/50 revenue share the record label can get visibility to their new acts.

MoiPal is currently in talks with all the major record labels for similar kind of deals. The virtual goods store -widget can also be placed on an artist MySpace profile page via OpenSocial that MySpace has implemented. This has also been experimented with two Finnish bands, namely Stigg Dogg and Notkea Rotta.

MoiPal has currently over 100,000 users. The service was launched in October 2007 and aim to hit over one million user mark by the end of 2009. The two biggest methods in building the virtual world for MoiPal are Facebook apps, of which they already have all together three, and getting visibility in artists' websites. Currently most of the new users come from South-East Asia. The service grows with  approximately 600 new users a day.

If you feel a sudden urge to try out the service (here), by writing moilei or snoukka in the promotional code field ArcticStartup readers will get a free virtual t-shirt for their MoiPal character. Go play!

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Ville Vesterinen January 05, 2009

Here's info copy pasted from Ironstar Helsinki website:

"Some points on the virtual goods market:

* Gartner predicts that by 2011, 80% of Fortune 500 companies will have a presence in virtual worlds.
* Virtual goods market size USD 2.7 billion in 2007, estimated to be USD 10.3 billion by 2012.
* All leading virtual worlds have virtual goods as their main business model.
* Improving technologies and increasing adoption by major brands driving growth.
* Virtual Worlds are increasingly important for marketing and CRM."

(http://www.ironstarhelsinki.com/?page_id=44)

What do you think, is virtual good the next big thing in monetazing social gaming? What about Facebook apps?
Know any other good examples of virtual goods that are making a bank?

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vilpponen2 January 05, 2009

IMHO, just to spark the conversation a bit; I think money/skill gaming and virtual goods will be the biggest monetization drivers for social gaming in 2009.

However, I'd also like think that virtual goods aren't only limited to virtual worlds. One could consider Facebook trying to monetize its community through virtual goods - something it has slightly tapped on with gifts. I'm sure there are a ton of other mechanisms as well up that road.

My favorite examples come from Asia: QQ and Cyworld - world class examples in capitalising their communities, yet very few know of them.