So long TWORKS, hello KIDSWB

In September, Warner Bros. announced plans for a large virtual world to tie interactive content and its extensive video library together in the form of T-Works aimed at competing with Disney and Club Penguin. Warner Bros. announced today that it had changed the name of the platform to KidsWB.com. The site, aimed at kids 6-12, is being billed as a “premium, ad-supported destination built around youth-oriented, immersive entertainment.” For now it seems like that means streaming video of WB properties and casual games. According to PaidContent, though, KidsWB will see a virtual world by the end of this year that features classic Loony Tunes characters as well as new characters created just for the site. McDonald’s and Mattel have already signed on for the ad-supported site.

Virtual Worlds News: Warner Bros. Launches T-Works as KidsWB.com, Virtual World Still Coming

I sigh sadly. I actually liked T-Works better. Ah well.

Here’s some possible rational as to why KidsWB is a better choice: They don’t want to compete with Cartoon Network’s rip roarin’ FusionFall (which I’m still uber-psyched about despite the continued push back on time– ooo the suspense) nearly as much as the Club Penguin crowd. T-Works has an older, edgier tween/teen boy feel to it (at least to me… I envision Taz when I hear it. Taz, Marvin Martian, etc, all remind me of 8th Grade and Freshman year, as well as Great America theme parks and lick & stick tattoos… anyone else?).

KidsWB is so much more kidsy, it’s got a young, donut hole Saturday Morning cartoons vibe (my dad used to take me for donut holes on Saturday Morning– I was an early riser on Sats. LOVED my cartoons). –Hmm… it couldn’t be because KidsWB HAS a Saturday morning cartoon line-up, could it? BINGO. (update: apparently this is getting axed this fall?  Weird)

Syncin’ it, they’re syncin’ it.

Me thinks there will be multiplatformness… and immediate competition with Neopets 2.0 (tv, MMO, virtual environment, plushy, cross-media IP, etc).

KidsWB– multibrand (Bugs, Batman, Scoobs, etc) under one uberbrand (WB) distributed in Saturday Morning cartoon block, and a virtual world where you can be ONE with your favorite multibrand cartoons.

The only question is… will it succeed where Nicktropolis’s multi-brand in one world kinda (forgive me gods that be at Nick) didn’t?

What do I mean? Nicktropolis has sections where you can make a unique character in the visual styles of Spongebob, then make another in Danny Phantom’s world, etc. Sadly, this method doesn’t feel cohesive, and it takes away from any encompassing citizenship in Nicktropolis (where you again have another character representation of yourself). Part of community is recognizing others. How do you get used to the visual representation of a cool new friend if they’re always changing on you? Plus… how fun is it to travel in a virtual world where the main characters are NPC’s who feel more like animatronic musicians at Chucky Cheese, then a favorite friend from an animated series? It’s a tough line to walk. That’s why MMO’s have rocked for the brands with pre-created characters and story lines (Pirates of the Caribbean, FusionFall, Fosters), and vague cast-o-characters, new brands have worked for virtual worlds (like Club Penguin, Neopets).

But who knows– this project has been in development for a while now… perhaps they’ve found the magical combination that proves me & history wrong? (Notice: me first, history second… apparently I have a chip on my shoulder today, lol).

Anyway– here’s my older post regarding T-Works and the “big dogs” (its’ on of my faves)

UPDATE: Yeah… so the plot thickens, I was wrong, AND more VW’s to the list??????

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