Barbie Girls (maybe) registers 3m

 Posted by (Visited 9905 times)  Game talk
Jul 162007
 

According to a blogger over at Scientific American,  the 3m is in the span of 60 days.

 Last night at the Digital Life preview a Mattel rep–who, just to make the conversation extra surreal, actually looked sort of like Barbie–told me that in the first 60 days of its existence, the new online virtual world Barbie Girls has signed up three million members, and they’re adding new ones at the rate of 50,000 a day.

“Could Barbie Girls Become The Largest Virtual World?” has some good discussion over at TechCrunch, including some controversy over the stats. Among the other comments that caught my eye:

  • It has to be fun for me to be there: “I think Niche games like this will end up being more popular that games like second life. I have no interest in second life, but if there was something that was a little more specific that was interesting to me I might be motivated to try it.”
  • Probably less than you think: “out of the 3M users, lol – how many of those accounts are pedophiles?”
  • Yeah, good idea: “These virtual worlds should allow users to travel to other virtual worlds through special “gates”.”

  19 Responses to “Barbie Girls (maybe) registers 3m”

  1. I don’t really have much to talk about as far as games goes – because I haven’t logged into a game in a couple weeks and haven’t been keeping up with the news all to well. Just one thing though, Raph and others have mentioned BarbieGirls and its rapid growth. There is only a matter of time before My Little Pony Online will end up coming out and surprising no one with its massive growth as well. At this point, I

  2. couple street magicians compared to a successful ad campaign of a large corporation. Casualties of War. Can’t make a cake without breaking a few eggs and all of that. OK, so where am I going with this? There’ve been few posts as of late (Techcrunch,Raph Koster, etc) about the new Barbie Virtual World. Some see it as a response to Webkinz, which in one way is true, but it’s not the most interesting way to look at it. Barbie and Webkinz are loss leaders. They are giving it away to sell dolls or plushies or

  3. Probably less than you think: “out of the 3M users, lol – how many of those accounts are pedophiles?”

    2,999,999

    Run little girl.

  4. Another comment…

    What percentage of players in Barbie World are coming from another virtual world? I suspect that a LOT of world hopping is going on.

    This has a few problems for current design/financial models:

    – The more world hopping, the less time a player spends in any particular world.

    – The less time they spend in the world, the less valuable the virtual items are… which means that players aren’t going to spend as much real money on virtual goods.

    – Which, of course, leads to the question: What kind of interesting stuff is going to keep the players in the world? And/or, how does the world survive if it only has a transitory population?

  5. Why do you think “These virtual worlds should allow users to travel to other virtual worlds through special ‘gates’” is a good idea?

    Richard

  6. What kind of interesting stuff is going to keep the players in the world?

    Her classmates…

  7. […] Raph’s talking about it. Razorwire’s talking about it. PlayNoEvil’s talking about it. […]

  8. What kind of interesting stuff is going to keep the players in the world?

    Her classmates

    I think that she and her classmates will hop from VW to VW in a large group.

  9. This really reinforces what I think is the main lesson from WoW:

    The key to success is to spend many years marketing a brand, then release a virtual world that uses that brand. Start now and you can release your mega-hit in only 10 years from now!

    Have fun!

  10. Mike: I think that she and her classmates will hop from VW to VW in a
    large group.

    Yeah, maybe. Though my observations of friendship-communities which have been overrun by teenagers after a couple of years of operation suggests that they might stick around with their friends and friends-friends and new-cyber-admirers for a good while. It is not uncommon for young teenagers to have 30+ friends on their friendslist with elaborate descriptions of each person! That makes for slower transitions to new worlds (logging in to 2-3 worlds, rather than just one).

    Of course, Barbie has something unique to offer. If they evolve the design to support the needed sociability then they could retain their users for perhaps 1-3 years, after 3 years the users have outgrown the product anyway. A good strategy for growing their market: turn her friends into Barbie fans too… The popularity of the incredibly silly virtual paperdoll sites shows that Mattel’s approach has real potential.

  11. (To avoid confusion: When I said “retain their users”, I mean Barbie-fans, not visitors…)

  12. Ugh..

    It is not uncommon for young teenagers to have 30+ friends on their friendslist

    I parsed that wrong and had to re-read.

  13. Has anyone gone to your nearest big box toy stores and look at the Barbie merchandise displays? It looks like an avatar gear and loot store.

    Doll dress-up has been around for a while. Girls got Barbie and Boys got GI Joes. Boys now have hack’n’sack MMOs and Girls now have Barbieworld.

    It’s all getting with the times.

  14. Proof that Second Life sucks so bad most of its users are flooding Barbie World.

  15. Looks like a Habbo Hotel clone so far, but a well-done clone, at that. It probably didn’t cost all that much to put together, but retains a consistent atmosphere and “Barbie feel” (and no comments from you budding pedophiles).

    This is one of those brands that has power in its market, enough to bridge the gap into a virtual world. Be interesting to see how they extend the experience.

  16. […] and all of that.OK, so where am I going with this?There’ve been few posts as of late (Techcrunch, Raph Koster, etc) about the new Barbie Virtual World. Some see it as a response to Webkinz, which in one way is […]

  17. […] rant about this more later, but for now, checkitout: the new Barbie MMO already has 3 million subscribers and it’s only in Beta.Which means it’s number 3, or maybe number […]

  18. “Barbie Girls” is an okay game, but it does have a few flaws. I don’t know if the flaws are only on my BG account, or what. But, whenever someone types a message it shows up as a code. That, so far, is the only flaw I’ve found. Since I’m not what you would call a, “Barbie fan”, I’m not all that interested in the game it-self. After all, I’m more of an anime based virtual world type person.

  19. […] Now, as if we haven’t gone through enough examples of totally bastardizing any original vision that anyone ever had for Virtual Worlds by not only using and abusing the idea of RMT, but wholly designing entire games around it to exploit children (I’m sure Richard Bartle and Raph Koster are currently rolling around in their communal grave that we MMO players made them after PKing them for various system changes), a new example arises. As I’m sure one would every day when it’s this profitable and easy. […]

  20. […] one thing though, Raph and others have mentioned BarbieGirls and its rapid growth. There is only a matter of time before […]

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