Given that virtual worlds are driven by strong narratives, it comes as little surprise that more book publishers are eyeing opportunities in the space. The latest example comes from Finnish publisher DramaForum, which is transitioning its Petra’s Planet book series into a virtual world through UK development studio Dubit.
The four-book series of books follow Petra, a young girl who is transported to different countries through her mother’s magical theatre wardrobe. The new freemium virtual world will use a narrative scripting language, or “adventure engine,” that allows children to visit these countries in a browser-based world and take part in various activities. Children will also be able to care for virtual pets, decorate their room, socialize with friends and make new friends in a safe online environment
The experience will also be delivered as a new app on for the Apple iPad and other mobile devices.
The virtual worlds sector now has an estimated 1.4 billion cumulative registered accounts, according to UK consultancy KZero Worldwide, with heavy hitters like Habbo Hotel, Moshi Monsters, Poptropica and Stardoll leading the pack in the youth space.
Since 2000, Dubit Platform has created virtual worlds, avatars and environments for clients in Europe and America that include the BBC, Cartoon Network and Real Madrid.