Virtual World News announced today that TurboSquid has partnered with VastPark to distribute their collection of 3D assets via VastPark’s virtual worlds platform. Currently, TurboSquid acts in a capacity similar to stock photo agencies such as iStockphoto; they provide pre-fabricated 3D assets to game and virtual world developers. These developers use TurboSquid’s assets to augment their internal art teams in the same way that a book publisher might use stock photos to augment their internal art & design team.

However, the true value of a virtual good isn’t determined by the material from which it is made (in this case, the 3D geometry and textures that TurboSquid sells to developers), rather it is determined by the economy and social context within which it is sold. So an asset that TurboSquid sells for $300 in a B2B transaction may generate tens of thousands of dollars in B2C sales if it is used to create a rare, sought-after in-game virtual item.

Accordingly, TurboSquid seems to be shifting their strategy from a stock asset agency to a virtual goods provider. The first step in this shift is their partnership with VastPark. VastPark has been described as “the Ning of virtual worlds”. Using VastPark, anyone can create and share their own virtual world. With this partnership, VastPark’s users will be able to use TurboSquid’s extensive collection of assets to make their worlds richer and more immersive.

Matt Wisdom, CEO of TurboSquid, describes his company’s strategy:

“Ultimately where we’re trying to go is to take 3D to the consumer marketplace. We’ve done very well with sort of stock 3D and the professional marketplace. The big picture is when regular consumers are buying 3D, whether it’s clothes for their avatar or avatars or any representation they want to have online. We’re trying to connect the consumers to the artists in the virtual worlds.”"