Gamers connecting through common interests – the new market?

According to Red Herring, game developer start-up, Outspark (site unavailable at writing moment) has managed to secure $11 million in funding from Tencent (a Chinese internet service company who’s mission is “to use Internet-related technologies for the betterment of human life”), Altos Ventures (Silicon Valley venture capital firm) and DCM (another venture capital firm in Silicon Valley).
Apparently they’re combining web 2.0 applications with casual games and focusing on revenue from the sales of virtual items – such as avatar clothing a.s.o. To me it all sounds very Habbo Hotel’ish, but why wouldn’t new gaming companies focus on the Habbo model?
It seems they’re using independently developed games and using them within they’re community. As Justin Moresco writes:

“And with an office in Seoul, Korea, Outspark hopes to tap into the
much-lauded game developer pool in the country. Both its current games, Fiesta
and Secret of the Solstic, are licensed from Korean developers.
Altos Venture general partner Han Kim said Outspark will continue to source games from Korea and then “localize” them for the North American market.”

I’m intrigued by the sourcing of gamedevelopers and the localizing efforts.
They’ve already registered one million users in the course of five months, which seems cautiously promising. I’m intrigued.
Venture Beat writes:

“Users get a single ID and use the same currency across all of Outspark’s games,
so they don’t need to sign up multiple times for the same services. The idea is
to encourage Outspark users to connect through common interests, not just
through the games they play together.”

P.S. – practicing writing articles in a hectic work day and publishing quickly – for reasons I’ll come back to soon. This was read about and reported in the course of 1 hour – constantly interrupted by other things. Me thinks me needs more practice – he he!

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