Users know Gaia Online as essentially an avatar-based chat interface, but now the company's launching what looks like an honest-to-goodness MMO. It's got a title today, too — zOMG . No, srsly, "zOMG " is the name of the new game, which is just entering its closed beta today as well, with applicants who submitted for selection in April. Members of the Gaia community are currently checking out the new MMO and giving feedback to the developers. zOMG is browser-based Flash and free to play. It's got all the eyeliner and crazy hats that Gaia does, but it's got more traditional quests, battles and exploration elements. I'm curious to see how much they can accomplish just in-browser — we'll see this summer, though there's no specific official release date provided in the announcement. Details follow:
zOMG! It's Finally Here! Gaia Online's MMO Game Enters Closed BetaOver 120,000 Gaia Online Community Members Apply for the Closed Beta Program San Jose - July 28, 2008 Gaia Online, the world's most active online community, has launched its upcoming casual MMO into closed beta. Over 10,000 community members will be able to participate in the beta program.Gaia Online proudly announces that the game's official name will be"zOMG!", a term generated from the virtual world's active community. In development since 2006, zOMG! is scheduled for release this summer, and will give the community a new way to play, socialize, and explore. In April, Gaia Online announced that it would accept requests for entry into the beta program. Over 120,000 applications to enter the closed beta were submitted by community members. Players selected from Gaia Online's active community of over five million will get the chance to play in-game with the creators of zOMG! and provide feedback on the game. "Our Gaian community is loyal, vocal and not afraid to ask for what they want," said David Georgeson, senior developer of zOMG! at Gaia Online."It only makes sense for online worlds to place a huge emphasis on community involvement. In our case, they aren't just the people who will play the game; they're the ones who asked for it." Designed in a flash-based environment that is free and requires no downloads, players will interact in zOMG! by engaging in quests, battling monsters, exploring the beautiful worlds and socializing with friends. As an extension of the Gaia Online virtual world, the MMO game extends the current Gaia Online offerings, like mini games, customizable avatars, forums, and numerous creative and social outlets. Visit www.zomg.com for more information about the closed beta program and new images from zOMG!. About zOMG! Explore the epic adventure within the Gaia Online MMO, zOMG!. Discover interesting and beautiful worlds, engage in combat with monsters, interact and play with friends, and more in this casual online massively multiplayer game. Designed for the PC as a free to play game with no download requirements, the MMO is accessible and easy to navigate for everyone. More than a game, zOMG! incorporateselements of social networking and entertainment for community members. Featuring streaming music, a unique storyline and characters, and engaging gameplay, zOMG! is an open environment for people of all ages to play games, meet friends, and explore. For more information, visit www.zomg.com. About Gaia Online Founded in 2003, Gaia Online is the leading teen hangout on the web. More than six million visitors come to Gaia every month to make friends, play games, watch movies in Gaia Cinemas, Gaia's virtual theaters, and participate in the world's most active online community. Gaia provides a fun, social environment that inspires individuality and creativity. With everything from art contests to discussion forums on poetry, politics, celebrities and more, to fully customizable profiles, digital characters and cars, Gaia is a place where teens can create their own space and express their individual style. For more information, visit www.gaiaonline.com.