And not just likenesses. Metaverse developer Millions of Us intends to market likenesses, hair-styles, catchphrases, dance moves, signature moves, clothing lines, furniture collections -- you name it -- based on well-known celebs all under the banner business name of Virtual Greats. These appearances and digital accessories would be sold in dozens of virtual worlds, though you'll probably see them in Gaia Online, Habbo and Second Life first.
Deals have already been done with Justin Timberlake, Elvis Presley Enterprises, Snoop Dogg, Paris Hilton, Raven Symone, Marvel (for The Incredible Hulk), and Tila Tequila, and more are in the works.
That makes us wonder about the celebs that are already in virtual worlds. Tila Tequila took the plunge into Second Life last year, setting the virtual world on fire to the tune of twelve fans in the official fan club group. Will digital likenesses enhance or dilute her image? Or is it just the money that matters here?
We're surprised to see Marvel easing up on the IP-protection a little. After law-suits against a certain well-known superhero MMOG some years ago, on the basis that playing Wolverine or The Incredible Hulk was unlawful, well, now it seems that they're licensing the Hulk out, and even giving the likeness of Iron Man away.
That's kind of a profound sort of philosophical shift for a company that has traditionally been super-protective of the visual look and contextual presentation of its characters and properties.