Eero Aarnio, one of the most famous Finnish designers, has taken his work online to Playforia, the 3D virtual world created by Apaja. He created the timeless Ball Chair in 1963, which has been hugely popular around the world. Apaja, the company behind the casual gaming site, has built Playforia as part of their service portfolio to gather audience from the huge population living in online worlds. According to Asmo Halinen, one of the founders of the company, over 30% of the users in Playforia and Aapeli are over 30 year olds.
Apaja is venturing into the same direction as Sulake, who has done a lot of co-operation with 3rd party content suppliers in their Habbo Hotels. It’s definitely a feasible way of bringing in valuable content and creating that link between the virtual and real world that users normally crave for in some sense.
Disclosure: the author is a former employee of Apaja.