New York-based ESC has built a number of successful branded properties in virtual worlds like Second Life, but the WebFlock application will allow companies like Showtime to reach a much larger audience. The Flash-based platform requires no software to be uploaded to a user's computer, and upports chat, IM and avatar-creation functions, as well as in-world payments and ads. Marketers can expect to pay under $100,000 for a typical branded virtual space, including a year's worth of tech and account management.
"We have spent years creating virtual experiences for media companies and brands, and have struggled to match available technology with the needs of our clients, " says Sibley Verbeck, CEO of ESC. "That struggle led us to create WebFlock, and we are thrilled to work with Showtime again as one of our first customers for the product."