Funcom Establishes SweetRobot for MMO Games Subsidiary

Funcom today announced the establishment of a new subsidiary, SweetRobot,
who will be publishing Funcom’s ventures into the social and casual
MMO-gaming markets. The first project to be made available through SweetRobot
is the upcoming MMO-game ‘Pets
vs. Monsters’ which will go into public beta testing later this
month. The game is a massively multiplayer online game aimed at a
younger demographic, specifically children aged eight to twelve.

“SweetRobot will be focusing on publishing games outside the
traditional high-end MMO-segment which Funcom has been focusing on the
last years,” says Funcom CEO Trond Arne Aas. “This will allow us to
explore new market opportunities that differ from what we have been
doing before while still retaining Funcom’s familiar profile. This
definitely marks a new and exciting direction for us.”

A team of fifteen people have been working on ‘Pets vs. Monsters’
for almost two years, during which time the team has also focused on
developing a highly flexible game engine that can easily be customized
to work with multiple concepts. ‘Pets vs. Monsters’ is the
company’s first venture into the more casual, social gaming segment, and SweetRobot
will use this as an opportunity to experiment with different concepts,
gameplay mechanisms and business models. No release date has been set
for ‘Pets vs. Monsters’, and the upcoming public beta is intended
to help the developers gather early, but valuable feedback from the
target audience that will prove important to the game’s direction and
development.

“Our passion and dedication for high-end online games remains the same,
and ‘Age of Conan’ and ‘The Secret World’‘Pets vs.
Monsters’ is very much an exciting project for us, our first attempt
at creating an online game for a younger target audience with gameplay
mechanics and production values that differ from what we have done
before. The fact that these productions require significantly lower
budgets and smaller teams to develop is very attractive to us, as it
allows us to try out several concepts instead of placing all our
resources into one single bet.”
are still our
primary focus,” says Aas. “But we are also eager to explore new
opportunities within the industry, and it felt natural for us to step
into the social gaming segment especially considering our outstanding
experience with making online worlds and communities.

‘Pets vs. Monsters’ is a massively multiplayer online game
intended for children between eight and twelve years of age. The user is
treated to a quick download and will be logged in and playing in no time
due to the game’s streaming technology. Players will adventure through
numerous different ‘worlds’ – from deserts to jungles – accompanied by
their trusted pet which they ride into exciting battles. It is also
possible to chat and play with other players from all over the world,
and the game employs typical role-playing mechanics such as statistics,
equipment and loot to incentivize progress.

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