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  Universal McCann Doesn’t Understand MMOGs  
Posted 2006-11-10 by Tony Walsh
MIT's AdLab brought to my attention a rather awkward Universal McCann report entitled "Parallel Worlds" on MMOGs and virtual worlds. Published in June 2006 the report aims to cover innovations, trends, and opportunities for company executives. I found the report to be barely-informed--frankly, I pity Universal McCann's clients if executives are making decisions based on its dangerously-oversimplified "Bottom Line" advice.

The report includes this gem:
Second Life and World of Warcraft are currently working together to form a cross-genre community MMOG, SLoW. The idea is to combine fantasy, reality, games, guilds, avatars, businesses, parties, and community in one world. It’s certainly a risk and is expected to take close to two years to build; the combination will allow hybrid interaction in a world of blended niches.
Bottom Line: This will be an exciting opportunity for marketers to test out new marketing techniques in an "otherworld"while breaking down the barrier of the fantasy genre.

Whoever wrote this report can't tell an independent project from an official one. Metaverse maven Jerry Paffendorf invented the SLoW concept, but it's not being developed by Warcraft-maker Blizzard or Second Life-maker Linden Lab. Paffendorf's idea was published in May--Universal McCann's report was issued in June. What kills me is the degree of embellishment Universal McCann added: "It's certainly a risk and is expected to take close to two years to build." And by embellishment, I mean "making stuff up."
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Comment posted by ivv
November 10, 2006 @ 11:36 am
Ah, no more mystery. I thought I would've heard about it if it were official. Thanks, Tony.
Comment posted by Jerry Paffendorf
November 10, 2006 @ 1:23 pm
That is really funny. On the upside, ideas have a funny way of creating reality. I mentioned in the machinima fest part of this post that I recently had a chance to meet with two of Blizzard's young World of Warcraft machinimators (who worked on the WoW South Park episode) who were taken with the SLoW concept. I'd love to see them (or anyone) work on some greenscreen machinima (kinda like this) that mashes the worlds. Maybe something with planning WoW raids in SL, or the Feted Inner Horde if that's still around, or WoW-style quests in SL (linked pic by Poinky Malaprop). Far from an official cross-genre community MMOG, but maybe we'll see one of those Multiverse ;).
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
November 14, 2006 @ 2:27 pm
The Global Director of Strategic Development & Innovation for Universal McCann's parent company Interpublic Group said he'd amend the information in the report. I figured I'd mention it in case the original version is no longer available--also it's good to know the company is interested in getting the information correct.
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