Update: Cartoon Network’s FUSIONFALL
The Cartoon Network announced that it will unveil its virtual world platform, Cartoon Network Universe: FusionFall, tomorrow at the San Diego Comic-Con. FusionFall, produced in partnership with Grigon, is a mix of a “3-D console platform game and all the customization, character development and open-ended world exploration of an MMORPG.” A previous release pegged the game as free-to-download with support through subscription and micro-transactions. Users will power-up by collecting “small, super-deformed versions of Cartoon Network characters […] to assist during missions.” However, the network confirmed with Kotaku that Adult Swim characters will not be part of the game.
We spoke yesterday with Trilogy’s Michael Pole about the importance of white-label, private virtual worlds for massive brands. It seems like The Cartoon Network agrees. One of the major sources of revenue he spoke about were subscriptions.
“If [Pimp My Ride’s owner, Viacom] are to launch a new movie and there was a new trailer available or they wanted to have celebrities appear in world, we could do that,” he said. “We can create special areas in which premium subscribers can go to and will pay premium fees for to see something that’s not available to the average user.”
It sounds like FusionFall, though, will be entirely subscription-based, though. That’s the way Disney’s ToonTown started before switching to an ad-based model. And with the absence of Adult Swim characters, it seems like Cartoon Network is aiming for more of a children’s virtual world, so it might eventually need to go the same route.
- Wow, Cartoon Network PREVIOUSLY did not have a community (except for the Fosters game)… this will be a great boost to their website (which pales in comparison to Disney & Nickelodeon, but in a way, where I actually appreciate it– it’s all about the shows & mini games… that’s really great)
- Free & Subscription based? Nice.
- They’re working in all the characters from their shows– that’s a good tie in. Very “Kingdom of Hearts” (the consol game for kids who want to save Disney)
- What the heck is up with the name? “FusionFall”? Hmmm. When I read it I do not think “Cartoon Network” at all. It reminds me a lot of Toontown & VMK– both of which have bases in Disney (Toontown being a section of the Magic Kingdom, where tourists can roam through Mickey’s house IRL, and VMK = Virtual Magic Kingdom). “FusionFall” makes me think of “GreeneFusion” which is the faux-perfume company in ABC’s “All MY Children” (I’m a geek, yes)
- I understand the need to associate the idea of your product with a pre-existing example… I’m just said that poor Cartoon Network has to be in the shadow of Viacom (and Nickelodeon, it’s rival).
- No word on peer-to-peer communication: whether it will happen, how it will happen, and at what length it would happen.
So, I will be watching eagerly. All these virtual worlds aimed at the tween set. Very exciting. Very elaborate. I wonder if eventually kids will rebel– the whole “too much candy” burned out feeling. Where will they go then? Back to forum based communities? Hmmm. Time will tell. Perhaps they will wish for a more organic approach to online gaming (instead of the uber-visual flashy worlds).
The site is live now at www.fusionfall.com. You can register, sign up for newsletters, watch the trailer, take a peek at the art (which is amazing), and enjoy the antsy feeling you will get when you realize how excited you are to play the game. Unfortch for us truly… it doesn’t seem to be going live for a while yet (2008ish?). Sigh.
So far, so good. Yay!
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