Nickelodeon Dreams Up More Virtual Worlds

Nickelodeon Friday announced its intention to produce and develop virtual world sites based on its SpongeBob SquarePants and Monkey World properties.

In addition, the network said another virtual destination, World of Neopia, is in production and is expected to launch sometime next year.

The new virtual worlds will be developed out of Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group’s Virtual World Studios announced in July 2007 to develop virtual online destinations for kids, tweens, teens and families.

“For our audiences, virtual worlds are the convergence of gaming, entertainment and community online, and by announcing these new worlds, we are ensuring that our content pipeline is going to remain fresh and vibrant,” Steve Youngwood, vice president of digital media, said in a statement.

World of Neopia will build on the fundamental Neopets meta-game and its existing play patterns, and enhance those experiences in a graphical, in-world environment easily accessible online, the network said.

Targeted mainly for tweens, the new virtual world will include games, in-world chat and customization that will help players discover the deep story lines within Neopia as their Neopets explore the various Neopian lands.

Nickelodeon now offers more than 5,000 online games and will add another 1,600 games in 2008. Its portfolio of online casual gaming properties reaches more than 20 million game players each month.