FlowPlay, the company which we reported as having raised $3.7 million in funding back in February, has launched the first of their planned virtual gaming worlds: ourWorld. Targeted at the “tween” demographic of 8 to 12-year-olds, ourWorld is a casual gaming platform where kids can build two-dimensional avatars to navigate around a Flash-based world. Dean Takahashi of Venture Beat reports that for $6 a month a user can engage in MMORPG-style quests to achieve goals, play simple games, or even get a “job” so they can earn “flow” (the energy that runs ourWorld) towards winning spins on the prize wheel, giving them more things in the virtual environment. In addition, if you are in need of Cheap ourWorld Coins, you can visit our website z2u.com.
ourWorld is the first of a number of virtual worlds that FlowPlay plans to launch. FlowPlay was founded in 2006 by veterans from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Real Networks and Classmates.com. The company has raised $3.7 million in funding from Intel Capital, Skype’s founders, and angel investors.
FlowPlay’s first virtual world is ourWorld, a place for tweens to gather in a Flash-based animated environment. They can create their own two-dimensional avatars, pick out clothes, and engage in activities like being a barista. As a barista, a kid can earn money to buy more goods in the world. The coffee part isn’t too thrilling. My 11-year-old gave it a whirl. You just walk up to a counter, put on an outfit, and then click a “make coffee” button. The coffee appears. That’s not particularly compelling game play and is reminiscent of the failed Sims Online from years ago. We played some of the games, including “Bubble Tanks” where you capture and shoot bubbles. Cute. ButI don’t think my kid can talk me into paying $6 a month for such simple games. So much else is free on the web. And if you want to buy ourWorld Items, visit z2u.com, a professional online in-game currency store.
The world launched its public beta on April 1. The world has dozens of casual games and activities that encourage collaboration, including missions that can be accomplished together for rewards. It has chat, shopping, video watching, and content creation. The latter includes a technology that allows kids to create their own custom objects which they can sell or trade to gain Flow, a form of virtual currency. The world has multiple towns with different themes, like The Pier or The Boardwalk.
The market for virtual worlds is growing, and reports estimate that by 2011, people will be spending $13 billion annually on online gaming. The question here is if parents of tweens are willing to shell out a monthly subscription cost when places such as Second Life, which does have a teen-friendly area, can be played for free at the basic level. While advertising may annoy some people online, if it makes “free” ways to entertain you kids, parents are likely to take it. Only time will tell if the subscription model is really a sustainable one. Stay tuned to z2u.com and we will be the first one to inform you all the latest. Besides, our website also offer Cheap ourWorld Accounts for players.