Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Franchise a Kiddie Virtual World Virtual World Developer Napfolt KFT of Budpest will partner with New Media Studio Nefele of Tampere Finland to bring one of the leading kiddie virtual world sites to Finland and Estonia! If you want to launch a kiddie virtual world you should check out this unique opportunity.
As blogged previously, PG recently spoke to Balazs, Juhasz, Founder of Hungary's largest social networking site and kiddie virtual world, CoolCamels. Cool Camels is published by new media company Napfolt KFT in Budapest. You may find more information at the corporate site and facts here The Napfolt Team can also send you a company and product presentation if you like. Cool Camels, or "Teve Club" in Hungarian, is the most popular virtual world / social networking site for youth (kids, tweens and teens) in Hungary. There are 3 language versions, Hungarian, German and English with Cool Camels currently completed extensive development and feature enhancement with a coming mobile version to help speed international expansion and registration.

Cool Camels is perhaps the internet's 1st "virtual pet virtual world". It was conceived and launched in 1999 and has been developed completely in-house. Its international development team is located in Budapest and has some of the finest developer and technical resources in the country.

The Cool Camels team, has created unique and innovative technology including a 3D chat, comic strip generator (with 50,000+ user generated comics and proprietary game portfolio. Napfolt has also successfully extended the Cool Camel's brand into merchandise, animation and print media. It has its own retail operations and publishing arm ala WebKinz.

Napfolt's current aim is to spread the CoolCamels project all around the world, basically as a franchise system on a revenue share basis to have as many language
translations as they can. The new 3D site ( is much more easier to translate as the old version ( - and is much more expandable (easy to
insert new environments, rooms, items, advertisers, etc) So they have to
spread the new version to many languages and countries as possible.

The current old version English ( and German ( websites will be modified and upgraded to the new version as soon we'll find a local partner.

What does Napfolt offer to a local partner?
1. Napfolt provides the engine
2. Napfolt will host the webiste on it's server
3. Napfolt will provide all the new developments they make - to keep all the language versions up to date
4. Napfolt will make all the special appearance requested by paying advertisers
5. Revenue share on all incomes generated on the local site

What does Napfolt expect from a local partner?
1. Local marketing - as they need local users
2. Translation
3. User support

Good deal in PG's opinion. Contact Balazs at

Ericsson IPX Mobile Payments For Danish Campfire

Campfire is a Danish startup, founded in 2007. The company offers cartoons to mobile handsets under a service called Catooz. And not just any cartoons, but licensed ones from Marvel. Campfire signed a deal with Marvel in October last year. Right now there are strips of Xmen, Spiderman, Iron Man, Fantastic Four, etc. The service is currently available in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Germany.

Campfire provides a Java client for accessing Catooz, the installing of which is smooth. The comics are distributed in multiple small packages, “chapters”. Each chapter might cover around couple of pages of a physical magazine and is downloaded over-the-air. There is one free “chapter” of each comic as an introduction and a teaser to the service. You can buy more chapters easily from within the mobile client. However, the single chapters are really overpriced at EUR 2 (USD 2,69), considering you only get only a few of minutes’ worth of reading, and there are apparently 6 chapters per story. The purchase process works smoothly, though: you press ‘Yes’ to confirm, and you’ll instantly start reading the strip. The payment system appears to be implemented over Ericsson IPX, so being SMS-based might explain the high pricepoint. Luckily, Catooz also offers a basic monthly subscription at EUR 4 per month, which is much better deal. With the basic subscription you can read all comics which have been published over a month ago. There is also offer a premium subscription at EUR 8 (USD 10,70) that allows unlimited access also to the latest comics. At the present time it seems only basic is available, though.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Too Many Lindens On Board?

M. Linden beefs up his team with 5 new Executive Lindens. This makes 12 Management team Members. 13 if you include Philip Linden. There is a lot of redundancy with 3 technical Linden VP's but no CTO. Then you have 3 business Linden VPS, Judy, Ginsu and of course CEO M Linden. Which of the old Linden VP's will be demoted? 12 is way too many for a management team to function fluidly. Anyway, here are the details from M. Linden's blog post;

"To help us move the platform, product and the user experience forward, we’ve added two senior executives to an already excellent executive team:

Brian Michon (Michon Linden) will take on the role of VP of Core Development. Brian will be responsible for the voice, database and simulator infrastructure of the Second Life platform, scaling it to support our growth and our product expansion. Brian has over twenty years of technology experience with Fortune 500 companies. He joins us from Intuit, where he managed the development and operation of Web-based services and made popular products like TurboTax and QuickBooks easier to use and manage, both for organizations and individual consumers.

Judy Wade (Judy Linden) has come on board as VP of Strategy and Emerging Business. She’ll be responsible for working with the executive team in refining Linden Lab’s overall business strategy, including seeking out key partnerships to expand the capabilities of Second Life in key geographic and vertical markets. She joins us from Kapor Enterprises, the investment company of Linden Lab board member Mitch Kapor. Prior to Kapor Enterprises, she was a partner at McKinsey and Company, where she worked with a variety Fortune 500 companies, helping them define and implement significant strategic and organizational transformations across multiple sectors.

Brian and Judy join a stellar crew of Lindens on our executive team, including three hires I made over the past six months (in reverse order of appointment):

* Howard Linden, SVP Customer Applications, responsible for improvements to the Second Life experience and the development of new products and features that enhance the usability and overall customer experience of Second Life

* T Linden, Chief Product Officer, responsible for driving the product strategy for Second Life

* FJ Linden, SVP Global Technology, responsible for processes, systems and tools to maximize the scalability of Second Life’s network architecture


Great new tech news site. Highly recommended.

UKASH Partners With Citadel

Ukash, provider of safe online payments with cash, has announced a partnership with e-commerce finance experts Citadel Commerce to issue prepaid vouchers online, direct from a bank account using a secure money transfer. Online issuing makes it easier and even more convenient for consumers to get Ukash and keeps all the guaranties of safety and financial ‘anonymity’ of the existing Ukash issuing channels (convenience stores and mobile). The move has been largely informed by a recent customer survey, which revealed the majority of Ukash users are banked and own credit cards however favour safer payment methods such as Ukash to pay online. The new channel sees Ukash extending the issuance of vouchers to 13 new countries in Europe, with more virtual and physical networks in development. Please, see a note with details attached and let us know if you would welcome any further information.

Best regards,

Rosa Vaquero on behalf of Ukash
emaillogo Dec 08
Rosa Vaquero
44/46 Scrutton Street
London EC2A 4HH
DL: +44 (0) 20 7392 1993
T: +44 (0) 20 7247 8334
M: +44 (0) 7894 462 343

Monday, January 26, 2009

PayByCash Takes Ultimate Game Card to India

From Virtual World News

PayByCash announced today that it was making its alternative payment methods available to the Indian market in over 20,000 retail locations. A company representative told me that specifically PayByCash was selling its Ultimate Game Card, which comes in branded and unbranded options and offers a generic virtual currency for hundreds of virtual worlds and games. With the addition of the Game Card, that also makes India, which has lower credit card use than some other areas, a new market for virtual worlds. Nasscom, an Indian tech trade organization, says that teh gaming industry in India exceeds $212 million and is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 50% to exceed $1 billion by 2012.

“It’s always been our mission to give gamers every opportunity to enjoy online entertainment no matter where they live,” said Kevin Higgins, President of PayByCash. “Our expansion into India enables its millions of consumers to experience and purchase the over 300 games, virtual worlds, and premium content of our PayByCash publishers as well as providing other types of merchants with a new revenue stream.”