Empire Avenue is becoming a huge hit and is taking off with big companies. The fairly new website is a stock market simulation social network game, which allows users to buy and sell shares of people and websites. Although it launched in February 2010 by invitation-only in a beta format, it was released to the public in July 2010.
Right now registration and game play is free, but with it’s recent rise in membership, that is likely to change. Social networks supported by Empire Avenue include Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, LinkedIn and the player’s own blog and RSS feeds, but more are signing up daily.
In summary the way it works is players have their own portfolio in a virtual economy. Pricing of a player’s share depends on the ticker’s stock buying and selling, along with social networking activity. It is kind of like the stock market, where the players then can have multiple investors, which will garner them a higher share price. They can also invest in other players. Players win Achievements, by advertising and adding services such as Twitter, and they gain dividends from the other shares in players they invest in.
Similar to other social media games, Empire Avenue uses virtual currency called Eaves as a means of purchasing shares in other players. The founder and CEO of Empire Avenue, Duleepa “Dups” Wijayawardhana, said eventually they will introduce features that will allow players to exchange Eaves for real-world rewards.
It sounds a bit like on-line gambling if you ask me, some may get addicted so hopefully they will keep the currency virtual, and make money on advertising. Pretty cool concept, I hope someone invests in me!
Looking to use non-virtual money, it may be time to invest in a home.