Fact and Figures
Birth date of Anshe as avatar: December 1999, Asheron's Call
Birth date of Anshe in Second Life: 26-Mar-2004
Worlds Anshe received notoriety as business person or leader: Asheron's Call, Shadowbane, Star Wars Galaxies, Second Life
Total real life investment in Second Life: 9,95$ for purchase of Second Life account
Start of virtual real estate business activities as hobby: June 2004
Affiliation with Linden Lab prior to joining Second Life: None whatsoever, did not even know who Philip Rosedale was
Anshe Chung Studios Ltd. (ACS)
Start of business activities of Anshe Chung Studios, Ltd. as real company in China: January 2006
Full time employees 15-Oct-06: 21
CEO of Anshe Chung Studios Ltd.: Guntram Graef a.k.a Guni Greenstein
Chairman of the Board: Ailin Graef a.k.a Anshe Chung
Projected yearly revenue 2006: 670 mio Linden$
September 2006 monthly revenue: 80 mio Linden$
Revenue generated in Second Life: 94%
Revenue other virtual worlds: 6%
Virtual real estate holdings 15-Oct-06: 330 simulators / 21.6 sqkm / ca 300 CPUs
Q&A with Anshe Chung
What made you start a Second Life?
AC: The concept of a virtual world that can be changed by its residents and that leaves them a maximum of freedom has made me curious enough to check out Second Life when it was still widely unknown. Both Guni and I have always felt limited by technical and behavioral restrictions in other online worlds. I already joined Shadowbane because of its greater degrees of freedom and, as surprising as it may sound to some, moving to Second Life was only logical.
Did you take part in other online worlds before?
AC: Guni introduced me to virtual worlds as soon as we moved from China to Germany in the mid 90s. I enjoy exploring different roles and visit places. I experienced the Internet and virtual worlds as a liberating medium that allowed me to travel mentally even while looking after my little daughters at home.
What does your company do in Second Life?
AC: We provide service, create content, act as an investor and operate many regions of this virtual world.
Do you have a lot of staff?
AC: We currently employ 21 people in China, as of October 2006, and work with several freelancers in North America and Europe.
Which virtual world platforms do you operate on?
AC: Our main platform is Second Life, but we diversified to IMVU and There.
Philip Rosedale says that if you banned someone from your properties, it would be like being expelled from Second Life, do you see yourself as a "powerful" avatar?
AC: I believe in consumer choice and the ability to vote with ones feet. This is why Guni and I originally began to develop a new continent and land ownership system as an alternative to the old parts of Second Life that Linden Lab managed directly. This model worked and became an example for many others. When I ban somebody, he is only removed from the regions of Second Life that we added ourselves since January 2005. Yet it is true that people grief far less in our sims than in most other parts of Second Life. They don't want to loose that option of spending time in our regions.
Why do you think Second Life is growing so fast?
AC: Because it empowers people and renders many limitations that we know from real life meaningless. People also get tired of being treated like passive consumers or even small children by the established virtual world companies. They want to live, love, dare, create and do whatever they want.
Is the growth making building virtual real estate quickly enough harder?
AC: The rapid growth certainly is a big challenge. I am glad we moved to China just in time. Now we are still able to keep up with the growth rates, even at this pace.
Are you the richest person in Second Life?
AC: I think so.
AC: July or August 2004
Is it true that you are the first avatar who has become a US$ millionaire?
AC: Legally, without violating the Terms of Service of an online world I believe so. If including people who broke the laws in their virtual worlds then I donít know.
What sort of things do people use your properties for?
AC: Almost anything you can imagine: They build, learn, love, fight, create, sell, play, teach, collaborate, impress, experiment, socialize, earn money, make love, campaign, research, produce, imagine and a million other things :-)
What don't you like about Second Life, if anything?
AC: What I don't like about all major virtual worlds, including Second Life, is that they are all privately owned. I hope that the Lindens are going to set a new standard in further opening up the technology and platform. According to their CTO we can expect open standards and open sourcing of the Second Life software by 2010.
Is it worrying to trade in an "alternate reality"? Do you know that your business is secure in Second Life - and how?
AC: How do you know if your business that exists in what they call "reality", is secure? :-)