Shades of Julian Dibbell’s entrepreneurialism in the Ultima Online gaming environment, the executives of There Inc., maker of an online gaming environment by the same name, are encouraging commerce among players.
For $1, There players can buy almost 2,000 Therebucks, which can be used to purchase a variety of products and services, even virtual rental property. And offline companies are getting into the game, too.
The virtual world presents marketing opportunities for real-world companies. Levi Strauss & Co. is offering jeans and jean jackets for avatars, and players can buy sneakers by Nike Inc. that allow the avatars to run faster.
Huh. It’s new-school product placement online.