Saturday, May 26, 2007

Enter 9Dragons: Acclaim's Kung Fu MMO Has Launched With 5 Payment Methods

Los Angeles, CA (May 19, 2007) - Acclaim Games announces the Commercial Launch of 9Dragons, a FREE TO PLAY martial arts Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) for PC, and introduces the all new Item Mall. Think of the world of Hero, House of the Flying Daggers, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Drunken Master rolled into one. In the game, you can rise from a beggar on the streets to a master of Kung Fu as you train with some of the greatest masters of ancient China. With over 500,000 registered subscribers, 9Dragons is one of the fastest growing MMORPGs in the US and Europe. While 9Dragons remains free to play, the commercial launch features the release of the in-game Item Mall, where players can easily purchase various virtual items using Acclaim Coins. Purchasable items include elixirs, healing herbs, and unique outfits for those players who demand that their characters really stand out. Players who want to bundle new features can purchase Premium Packages that offer Kung Fu boosts and other features that can enhance gameplay.

Online item purchases are done in-game using a simple click and buy interface. Players can easily purchase Acclaim Coins with their credit card, bank account, or a variety of other payment methods using safe and trusted online payment services to ensure secure online transactions (using PayPal, Click&Buy, or PayByCash).

Monday, May 21, 2007

Jupiter Research on Youth Payment Trends

JupiterResearch has announced a new report titled "Payment Preferences Online: Managing the Generation Gap Between Mature and Young Adults" that found that younger consumers (those under 35 years of age) are evolving very different payment and content consumption habits from adults over 35. In particular, "JupiterResearch found that younger adults are driving much of the usage of PayPal and debit cards for online purchases, product preferences which are helping to drive the marked differences in payment habits that exist between younger adults and baby boomers."

According to the study, 48 percent of consumers ages 25 to 34 prefer debit cards for Internet transactions, as compared to only 39 percent of all online consumers. Thirty-four percent of online consumers ages 18 to 24 prefer PayPal or similar services versus 27 percent of all online consumers. "As younger adults expand in proportion to the workforce, their earnings and overall capacity to purchase will also increase. This will solidify the most durable of their different payment preferences, “said Edward Kountz, Senior Analyst at JupiterResearch. “This trend will require payment-product issuers to develop marketing and product strategies to meet the payment desires and changing values of younger adults. This will include card features tailored to younger adults' lifestyle needs, and marketing efforts that embrace emerging social media.”

The deviation in online payment habits between younger and mature consumers can be directly linked to a number of social and technology trends that have emerged during the past two decades. According to the survey, the introduction of the internet, maturation of PayPal and related services, emergence of debit cards and stored value cards, and availability of data-capable mobile phones and other mobile are embraced by younger consumers as they have co-existed with technology for most of their lives.
"Beyond modifying today's most common features and products, issuers and vendors must keep an eye on the emerging data habits of younger adults, and pay special attention to how their payment and data preferences feed into tomorrow's payment-product and form-factor innovations,” said David Schatsky, President of JupiterResearch. “While a critical mass may be hard to achieve for such next-generation innovations over the short-term, leading issuers should seek to establish an early understanding of younger adults' likes and dislikes with regard to emerging payments services.”

Bratz Doll Online World Coming This August

Bratz doll's are getting their own virtual world - - this August. The company is also launching Rescue Pets (my this summer


Over at TechCrunch there’s an article about MyMiniLife. In a nutshell, it’s a competitor to CyWorld or Habbo, with social network aspects and virtual apartments. The client runs in Flash, so you can embed it inside any site: your MySpace profile, Yahoo!, whatever. The look of it is very Sims-like. You use virtual currency to purchase stuff to decorate your house with. It’s put together by a bunch of students who seem to have gotten together at U Illinois Urbana Champaign, though now one of them is a grad student at UCLA. And they’ve been around since the middle of last year, running along quite quietly.