Rezzable EBuddy and looking for VC
One of the big surprises in content development for Second Life in 2007 was new kid on the block Rezzable which launched the Greenies sim in July which has been a top 5 attraction in terms of visitors ever since. Quite a lot of residents and bloggers have been impressed by this build, though many were wondering about the business model as the could see any clear sponsors.
There's no doubt Rezzable injected a lot of money in developing this sim, and the dozen of other places, like the Toxic Gardens, the Cannery and the Black Swan and they've not been very forthcoming about their financing.
First of all, the Rezzable sims are a showcase to get on the serious side of business. Not tampered by marketing agencies or corporate restrictions they have build experiences which showcase their ability. This would be an expensive calling card, but a serious one at that which might be worth a few bucks. Revenues are created in multiple ways though such as goodie shops and in context advertising at the Greenies Home.
When talking to Rezzable founder Jon Himhoff he told me Rezzable was looking for Venture Capital and they're putting together a funding round. Off course I raised an eyebrow. Does Rezzable need funding to maintain the dozens of sims?
[13:45] You: what will be the motivation for the funding round?
[13:45] RightAsRain Rimbaud: ah...That's a good question
[13:46] RightAsRain Rimbaud: In general our existing work doesn't need it
So on the whole it seems the 3 streams of revenues generate enough income to keep up the good work.
Last month I saw the sculptures made by Lightwaves appear on the SLexchange as well, at serious prices (ranging L$ 9K -35K, or US $ 30 - 130) and to support this Rezzable opened a new sim last week, the Ebuddy Sandbox which also shows and sells the sculptures you can find in the Rezzable sims. Here are some snapshots:
Rezzable is going to push this sim (and thus their complete works) hard with real world promotion as well such as an Art Gallery in London and a print magazine.
To get back to the funding, what is Rezzable upto that needs a serious financial injection? In general you can state that there is a serious difference between gameworlds such as World of Warcraft and social worlds such as Second Life when it comes to user activity. Capturing the resident's attention has been hard for all MDC's in 2007, resulting in a number of corporations to be dissappointed in Second Life as a medium.
The basic premises is that social worlds need more of a storyline which led Millions of Us to redo the Scioncity sim and Electric Sheep Company to experiment with converging media with CSI:NY in the last months of 2007. One of the underlying concepts in Rezzables development has been to create immersive experiences (such as the Greenies Home) all along. A second element has been pushing for a storyline at the Toxic gardens, which has been build as a big decorum and is accompanied by a small story outline.
Rezzable has massive plans for 2008 to expand on this interactivity:
We have a massive idea for content play and we will launch this in SL, but...it is a virtual world play across many platforms in the future and also 3D web in general. Rezzable is still very committed to SL. Our main focus here is more interactivity, so we are workin on lots of simple, fun games with web databases."
"We think it is a major play for establishing 3D web content and user engagement. Virtual worlds are still very new. Once there are a few more credible platforms running--which we think is a 2008 thing--main issue is what will engage users and we feel it is quality content. Quality content can be defined as visually stunning, interactive and immersive. It is not porno, gambling, camping, real estate speculation. We see a lot of opportunity for
real-world cross-overs. Stay tuned, lot of new stuff coming in 2008."
Since they're still putting together the funding round, which is supposed to bring in about 3.5m USD, Jon couldn't disclose much more, but I'll be paying close attention to this as I think one of the keys to generating traffic will be in serious content play.