Dinglepharb Studios, based in Hong Kong, have given us a sneak preview at their upcoming WoldTown game for Facebook, and it looks like it will be a notable one. The MMO is an expansive virtual world that incorporates real goods, tons of mini games, real-world brands and unique new features like watching movies and previews in a shared theatre. The game is shaping up more and more each time we see it, and may become the premiere MMO on Facebook.
The game, scheduled to be released on May 15th 2010, will feature 20 mini games, a virtual economy and real world advertisers in game providing discounts to players on goods and services they use daily. There will be 100 different areas and special extended mini-games to allow you to earn currency so you can deck out your avatar and room. One of the most innovative features is that Woldtown is opening up their API to allow developers to “make mini games that are played inside Woldtown and earned 70% of the revenue from these games.” The game has been improving since we last previewed it, and the ideas behind the game are interesting, especially the open offers to developers to make games and keep their revenue.
The most interesting element of the game is that you can use your virtual currency to buy real world merchandise from inside the game. I didn’t see the feature in the demo, but apparently you will be able to order pizza, fast food, furniture and more right from within Woldtown. Dinglepharb is working to get real brands into the game, and personally I think this is an interesting option. One of the biggest criticisms that outsiders have of social games is the amount of effort put into virtual items that do nothing but allow players to improve their abilities to put more effort into the game. We looked at this in our recent article about Farmville being a social obligation rather than a game, and something like real goods changes the whole idea.
Dinglepharb provides a little more information about some of the features below:
Woldtown players have a full 3D virtual world to casually play in where they can explore exciting places play mini games, decorate their homes and chat live with their friends while trading virtual goods with them, making interaction deeper then with other games. Players can challenge other players to play mini games, have a pie war where players earn points by hitting other players with pies, or they can just explore on their own and interact with the real world brands in game. Players can earn special limited addition virtual goods by watching a movie trailer in the Woldtown Cinema or they can go to the Comedy club or Night club and watch videos of named acts or up and coming artists, all the time rating what they have viewed for their friends to see and join them.
We’ll post a link to the game when it goes into open beta, for now let us know what you think in the comments!