Thinking about the Family: Wizard 101 Subscriptions

KingsIsle Entertainment announced a family subscription plan today for its virtual world, Wizard101. While normally users pay $9.95/month for premium content in the free-to-play world, now families can create accounts for $6.95/month each charged to the same credit card. The goal according to the company is to make it easier for siblings to play together as well as parents and children and grandparents and grandchildren, citing a forum poster who wrote that “I live 1500 miles from my grandchildren…and now this is the game we play. They both think it’s great that their grandma plays with them and they like to brag about it to all their friends.”

Kids worlds have recently begun emphasizing parental use, whether through emphasizing safety and parental controls like BarbieGirls.com, extending a popular brand with moms to kids like Precious Moments, or simply providing opportunities for dual play. It seems to be working: earlier this year Stardoll released user activity numbers showing that moms were almost as engaged as their daughters, with 75% visiting with their children each week.

Virtual Worlds News: Wizard101 Launches Family Plan

Cheers to VWN for once again pulling in great news!

I am a big fan of the Wizard101 site (one of the BEST of 2008).  Sure their community needs a bit of tightening here and there (allowing users to actually feel like they thrive & have school-ties to the kids roaming around – building on the boarding school, friends-are-family themes could make for a really tight, interesting social environment), but overall it is VERY, VERY well thought out, plenty of depth and variety of play, and of course -it’s gorgeous. 

With a site like that – it’s nice to have multiple accounts.  When I think about it – Pirates of the Caribbean Online also gives the opportunity to have multiple “characters” or accounts for their downloadable MMO (I have two: IzadoraRex and then some creepy looking schmo I made when I was bored, who turned out to be hilarious social fun)… perhaps it’s just a few tweaks of lingo and you have a similar idea.  Packaging, packaging, packaging – and then first to the punch.

But again – kudos to Wizards101 for finding what will make parents feel like they’re getting more BANG to the buck. 

p.s. HAS ANYONE NOTICED THAT PIXIE HOLLOW, AKA DISNEY’S FAIRY VIRTUAL WORLD IS UP AND RUNNING?  Ooooo I’ve been playing since Beta.  There’s loads of quirky, cute fun in there!  I’ll have to do a write up soon.  Make sure you check it out. 

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