When we first covered Empire Avenue, it was an obscure, but interesting, game based around the idea of trading visrtual stocks in users’ social media presence – Klout crossed with the NASDAQ, if you like. Since then it’s picked up a lot of steam. Now the Canadian startup is taking things a step further with its first commercial partnership.

The deal with Microsoft’s Xbox brand means that users will be able to trade their virtual social value on the site for a ‘virtual Xbox360′ to show their love for the brand. An Xbox badge can be unlocked by purchasing the item and then posting the phrase “Xbox FTW” to Empire Avenue, Twitter or Facebook.

While this may sound a little lightweight as a reward, virtual goods are big business and Empire Avenue players are already used to trading in virtual stocks, so why not get a pretend games console too? Empire Avenue plans to sign up more brands to offer both virtual, and real world, rewards to the game’s players in the future.

If you’re new to Empire Avenue, read our beginner’s guide here.

Screen shot 2011 07 13 at 14.35.36 Empire Avenue ties up with Microsofts Xbox brand to offer virtual goods