"There has built an innovative software platform with a patented physics engine that supports multiple applications, from consumer to military," said Steve Victorino, CEO of There, Inc. "Our first consumer application, There Limited Access, has shown that consumers can see a real difference between the rich experience in There and traditional chat rooms and online games," he continued.
"After nine months of public beta testing we've proven that consumers are interested in a social online product where they can choose how they look, who they hang out with, what they do for a living and what they want to buy."
There Limited Access is the first consumer application rolled out to the public. It capitalizes on several behavioral and market trends, including:
- Chatting and online game play are mass market activities: 50MM people have chatted online and 35MM people have visited an online "game parlor," like AOL Games and Yahoo Games, in the last month (Nielsen NetRatings). There combines the ability to connect with friends with the fun of online play.
- Women rule: Women continue to be an underserved audience for online games despite women outnumbering men on the Web and spending more money online than men. There appeals to women; during Beta they returned more often than men and were more often leaders of the community.
- Gamer audience changing: Gamers are becoming more mature, with the average age of video game players now at 29 according to Entertainment Software Association.
- Faster PCs are becoming commonplace: PC-based video games are driving faster, more powerful CPU and graphic cards into everyday PCs. This provides There's potential customers with more affordable and easily available PC option in order to enjoy There's online 3D world.
- Broadband household penetration increases: According to Jupiter Research, by the end of 2003, 30 percent of online households will connect to the Internet using broadband. By 2007, analysts believe that 46 percent of the online population will connect via broadband. While There can connect using a 56K dial up connection, There also delivers consumer-relevant broadband features such as voice and music.