Kids shows and movies transitioning into the video game realm is nothing new. Cartoon Network, however, is taking things a step further with the development of its first massive multi-player on-line game (MMOG) launching in 2008.
CN has teamed up with Seoul, Korea-based Grigon Entertainment to create the MMOG for kids six to 11 years old that will be available for download free of charge. But kids will still have rely on mom or dad’s credit cards to pay subscription and transaction fees within the game. (Prices have yet to be determined.)
In terms of gameplay, director of technology for Cartoon Network New Media Chris Waldron says it won’t stray far from other established on-line role playing games in the U.S. The game will also make use of CN’s slate of characters, such as Ben 10, Mac and Bloo from Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends and the Kids Next Door. Down the road, the game may feature its own original characters as well.
Waldron says CN chose to work with Grigon because it has been successful in the Korean market making MMOGs with a cartoony quality to them, such as Seal Online and Qring Online.
In the meantime, fans of CN shows like Powerpuff Girls, Johnny Bravo, Dexter’s Laboratory, and Cow and Chicken will be able to put their favorite animated characters behind the wheel this month with the launch of Cartoon Network Racing (US$29.99) for PlayStation 2 and Nintendo DS consoles. Developed by Denmark-based The Game Factory, it’s a kid-targeted racing combat sim involving wacky CN-inspired environments and character crossovers.