Shawn Fanning Ruptures Warcraft

shawnfanning.jpgShawn Fanning, the founder of Napster, is in beta with Rupture, which Heather Green at Businessweek describes as a virtual social community for gamers.

rupture.jpg
Funded by well known Silicon Valley angel, Ron Conway, and Joi Ito, chairman of Six Apart Japan and a board member of Technorati, Rupture “api’s” into a MMOG and compiles data (stats on individual and guild rankings) on characters and resources and publishes this on a personalized site. Starting with World of Warcraft, the service will also allow guilds to organize their playing, allow players to chat in groups and download add ons and game demos.

This is a smart move in building up a social network and meta layer of data, which is what will be of value to Rupture.

 Matt Marshall agrees

Experts say this is a promising area, because millions of gamers have formed communities with each other through playing, but their interactions have been limited by the confines of proprietary software. Why not open up these interactions to the full richness of the Web, let gamers flirt with each other, communicate offline or any number of other things?

Susan Wu, an associate at Charles River Ventures, notes that rupturing the MMOG walled garden will lead to tension, but there are a number of startups focused on doing just this and besides, there are tons of plugins setting a precedent for building a meta layer on top of an MMOG like World of Warcraft.

This will be an interesting one to watch.

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