UpperDeckU (beta) – New Sports Card Collecting Virtual World

Remember all those days back at the school playground trading cards? Baseball, football, basketball — and probably about a dozen other types of cards that have nothing to do with sports at all. Many parents told their kids not to waste their money on pieces of cardboard, but the young collectors coveted their cards of choice, buying and trading them, hoping one day their collection would be “complete.”

Sadly, that was at least 10-15 years ago. Since then, the love of card collecting has slowly withered away. However, just last month, in an effort to rekindle the passion for card collecting, Upper Deck and Flying Lab Software launched a beta virtual world for kids called UpperDeckU.

Though the ultimate goal of UpperDeckU is to revitalize the love of card collecting, the virtual world has some significant monetization values tacked onto it. As it stands, the world will utilize three different forms of revenue generation:

  1. Upper Deck will still continue selling the cards, but within the packs, collectors will find “Insider Access” codes that can be utilized within UpperDeckU. These codes will then allow users to access new features within the virtual world (i.e. team merchandise that can be used for room decoration).
  2. In addition to the physical cards, users will also be able to purchase virtual sets as well (if mom thought the cardboard was “useless,” try explaining this one to her).
  3. Finally, micro-transactions, via the purchase “Gold Coins” (an in-game currency), are expected to come online at some point. They will allow users to buy any number of “special items.” Unfortunately, what exactly these “special items” are remains unknown.

“The vision is that this is a marketing tool we’re using to engage kids into collecting cards more,”  says Louise Curcio, VP of Marketing for Upper Deck. “That being said, there’s also the possibility that it could be a viable business. But we’re really not doing it from that perspective [yet]. Like any business, you always want that other leg to stand on. I know a lot of the other players out there, Action AllStars being one, is doing it to make money. We’re doing it to extend the life of baseball, football, and hockey cards. But we’d be remiss not to include [revenue options].”

[via Virtual Goods News]