Linden Lab acquires Xtreet and OnRez, brokers of virtual goods for Second Life
Is the real economy dragging you down? Hop into Second Life, where the virtual world's gross domestic product jumped 54% in the fourth quarter!
Residents of Second Life traded $100.8 million worth of virtual items in the three months ended Dec. 31, up from $65.4 million in the same period a year earlier, said Tom Hale, chief product officer of Linden Lab, the San Francisco company that runs the virtual world. Though the sales occur in virtual Linden Dollars, the currency itself is bought and sold for U.S. dollars (the exchange rate is currently 262 Linden Dollars per U.S. dollar).
For a 5% sales commission, the sites serve up an Amazon.com-like one-stop shopping experience for Second Life goods. What kind of goods? How about your very own President Obama avatar (pictured above) for about $7.50? Or a bouquet of virtual roses for a mere $2? Can't qualify for a mortgage? Get a Second Life mansion with a waterfront view for just $114.
Last year, Linden Lab estimated that its users traded about $360 million worth of items, with XStreet SL and OnRez brokering about 1% of that, or roughly $36 million in trades. Let's see, 5% of that is $1.8 million -- enough to shower your Second Life mansion with as many roses as your virtual Obama could possibly want.
-- Alex Pham
Photo credit: MrS via XStreet SL