Every week, we feature the top stories from the surging online/virtual world space from Gamasutra sister site WorldsInMotion.biz
This week's notable items in the space include Zynga
securing $29 million and acquiring YoVille
, MTV UK launching MTV House
, and our in-depth tour of Mattel MMO Barbie Girls
Zynga Secures $29M In Series B, Acquires YoVille
"Social gaming service Zynga
has announced that it has completed a $29 million Series B round of financing lead by venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) and Institutional Venture Partners. In addition, the San Francisco-based company has acquired virtual world and Facebook application YoVille
MTV UK Launches MTV House
invites users to create avatars, explore different rooms, listen to music, interact with channel-based characters, and play games. Developer Yomego intends to eventually allow users to produce short videos with their personalized avatars, audio files, background, and text."
Worlds In Motion's Online World Atlas: Barbie Girls
"In Barbie Girls
, players create an avatar, design their room and can then explore a virtual world where they can earn 'B Bucks' play games, watch videos and chat with other girls in a safe environment."
Parks: More Free Games Needed To Grow MMORPG Market
"Of the 2,000+ online gamers polled, only hardcore gamers were found to be interested in subscribing to an MMORPG service, whereas 'social, dormant, and leisure gamers all show significant interest in a free-to-play, microtransaction-based model.' The study's numbers show that 14% of gamers currently not playing MMORPGs would be interested in playing them if they could for free, while only 2% of gamers from the same group were interested in playing an MMORPG requiring subscriptions."
Q&A: Vivaty's McCurdy On Being More Social Than Social Networks
"Worlds In Motion talked with former Electronic Arts vice president and Vivaty's CEO, co-founder, and president Keith McCurdy, about the company's virtual spaces platform and what makes it special; benefits over the '2D' Facebook experience; future developments and what he thinks of Google's entrance into the space."
Cyworld, muvee Partner For Video Editing, Sharing
"Based in Singapore, muvee offers software and services allowing users to create and share home movies out of unedited video, digital pictures, and music. With the new agreement, Cyworld's
reported 20 million users can add music and editing styles to their videos and photos, creating movies which can be displayed on their profile pages."
Gaia Interactive Secures $11M In Series C
"San Jose-based Gaia Interactive, the company behind teen-targeted social network and MMO Gaia Online
, has picked up an $11 million Series C round of venture funding from VC firm Institutional Venture Partners."
Interested parties can read daily news on the online/virtual worlds space at the WorldsInMotion.biz weblog
, with a second Worlds In Motion Summit planned for September's Austin GDC event