The Wall Street Journal Digits column published a cool article today about how a player of Second Life sold the publishing rights of an in-world game that he created called "Tringo" to media company for an undisclosed 5-figure amount. Here is a bit from the story:
|Wall Street Journal Digits March 3, 2005|
Tetris Meets Bingo
When Nathan Keir cobbled together a simple videogame called Tringo (think Tetris meets Bingo) over the Christmas holidays, the 30-year-old Australian software programmer never expected it to have a life in the real world. Mr. Keir created Tringo within Second Life, an online virtual world run by Linden Lab of San Francisco where the game can be played only by Second Life members, all 23,000 of them, through digital avatars.
But Tringo became an addictive hit in Second Life and now, in an unusual deal, it has a ticket out of virtual reality. Mr. Keir recently cut a deal with Donnerwood Media, a San Francisco startup that plans to publish versions of Tringo for mobile phones and the Web. Sean Ryan, Donnerwood's CEO, agreed to pay Mr. Keir a fee in the low five-figures as part of the deal, considerably more than he has earned from the game within Second Life. "They have rights [to publish Tringo] in the real world -- I have rights in Second Life," Mr. Keir said by phone from Brisbane, Australia.
Currently, Second Life members pay "Linden dollars" to host Tringo-playing events for groups in virtual homes, arenas and other locales. Linden dollars, the in-world currency of Second Life, can be translated into real cash through various online exchanges. At current exchange rates -- currently about $4 for every 1,000 Linden dollars -- the million Linden dollars Mr. Keir has earned from the game are valued at about $4,000. He says he hasn't cashed any of the currency out yet.
--Digits was compiled by Ann Grimes, with contributions from Li Yuan, Kevin J. Delaney, Don Clark And Nick Wingfield.