MMOG / Second Life Competitor Pipeline

Raph Koster’s blog listed some fun new stuff that I just had to link to here. He’s at GDC this week – and I’m not, boo hoo!

The march of the branded worlds continues, as Lego taps NetDevil, makers of Auto Assault and Jumpgate, to create a virtual world about, well, Legos.

LEGO MMO! Woot! Quote from the press release:

“As children around the world continue to spend more time online we are developing new and engaging ways for them to interact with our brand,” said Lisbeth Valther Pallesen, Executive Vice President, Community, Education and Direct Division LEGO Group. “The LEGO brand represents construction, creativity and problem solving – values that compliment the MMOG market. By merging the online world of social interaction with physical play, the LEGO brand is providing new experiences for children, as well as fans. NetDevil’s technological capability, openness to work with a large community, and their enthusiasm for the LEGO brand made them a natural partner.”

And for those who can’t wait, Raph pointed out:

It should be interesting to contrast this to Roblox, which is, well, also an online block building environment.

And a second post from Raph: The Second Life competitors materialize?  I recommend clicking and reading the full post, which includes other links, commentary, screenshots and trailers. But to entire you, here’s his summary first paragraph:

So supposedly everyone is trying to clone Second Life. Here’s word via Mobil Avenue on three different takes on the model, each trying to fix what they see as a key issue: HiPiHi in China, which looks like SL with easier tools; Planet Cazmo, which keeps the house decorating aspect but changes it into a browser-based Animal Crossing lookalike; and finally, reviews trickling out of the closed Kaneva beta, which is putting more MySpace peanut butter in your SL chocolate. Are they really SL clones?


6 thoughts on “MMOG / Second Life Competitor Pipeline

  1. Kerry says:

    Pretty cool sites. I also recomend Faketown and , both cool 3D cities…..

  2. theschwartz says:

    Thanks for the sites, Kerry! It’s cool they’re based on pixel art. How much do you use them yourself? Have you been creating your own content for them? Seems like pixel art would make that easier to do than 3D modeling. I also posted here last year about pixel art.

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  4. The Dragon Rider says:

    Yeah, I’m really looking forward to the Lego MMOG. Another competitor to Second Life is Myst Online: Uru Live, hosted by GameTap, for all you Uru fans out there. It’s basically the original offline Uru ( by UbuSoft/CyanWorlds ), gone MMORPG, with new features such as: Email built-into the KI( wrist cam ) with a Buddies/Ignore list; Public neighborhoods; New Ages; New city locations; etc… This one is a must-see. Simply the best graphics anywhere, user-friendly ( non-action/violence, although the chat system lack a bad word filter, so better supervise the young ones ) and very fun for those puzzle-solvers out there. I highly recommend a good graphics card + high-speed Internet. It is a very large download too, but it is worth it( better than paying $50 for a non-Multiplayer version ). said: “Forget ( World of ) Warcraft – the hottest new game online is `Uru Live'”. That’s BIG. You have gotta check this out. Unfortunately, you need a GameTap account to get the full Uru experience. But it sure if one fun game!

  5. theschwartz says:

    Thanks for the tip, Dragon Rider. There are a lot of Myst fans out there – I’ll check this one out, and it’ll be interesting to see how it does, with game mechanics that are different, and based on puzzles rather than combat. Definitely more proof of the market fracturing. And if the demographic posts I’ve made previously continue, and Uru reaches outside the narrow gamer niche, this has the potential to be surprisingly successful. On the WoW point, WoW is simple and playable and grindable and soloable and has PvP and is from Blizzard, and all that let it become a social phenomenon. It’s really that point, making it a social phenomenon, that got WoW where it is. I haven’t heard a lot of talk from designers and developers about that point – making social phenomenons is not really their ‘thing’ – but the next WoW is going to have to do that, too.

  6. The Dragon Rider says:

    The next WoW? Didn’t know they were making another one. Cool.

    PS – About the spelling errors: Blame the wireless keyboard. 😀

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