Owlient uses virtual goods for the greater good

[France] French virtual games company, Owlient, has teamed up with UNESCO and Gut Aiderbichl to allow users to support real causes with virtual goods.

The Paris-based games publisher currently has over 10 million members worldwide. The company’s two most popular games, Babydow and Equideow, enable users to take care of a virtual baby or horse respectively. Throughout the game, virtual goods can be purchased for personalization or care of the online character and virtual space.

One of the company’s newest goods includes virtual UNESCO baby shirts of which it donates 30% of the sales to the organization. €850 has already been raised through this model, to go towards the protection of children who are in danger at school and to support their professional development.

With Gut Aiderbichl, a German animal protection association, Owlient does something slightly different; users can make a 30 cent donation to the organization and also have access to live footage of 2 donkeys from Romania, Maria and Tabea who were rescued and are currently being protected by the organization. The model has currently generated over €1,300 in donations for the organization. Owlient also plans to contribute an additional €1,000 once Maria and Tabea’s page hits 2 million visitors.

Owlient, which was founded in 2005 by Olivier Issaly and Vincent Guth when they were 21 years old, is also the publisher of Aquariow and Fashiown. The recurrent “ow” in all the company’s names was initially produced by a technical bug but was later adopted and incorporated into the brand.

The company has raised €3 million with Innovacom in May 2008 and has an additional office in Germany.