Massively Multiplayer Online PetzS

Fresh off the launch of its first massively multiplayer online game, Might and Magic Heroes Kingdoms, Ubisoft steers its online gaming initiative in a decidedly lighter direction with Petz World.

Over the years, the Petz brand has grown from a pair of rudimentary pet sims into a veritable kingdom of animal interaction sims. The original Dogz and Catz titles have been joined by Hamsterz, Horsez, Tigerz, and more. The only place left to go now is online, which is exactly where Ubisoft is taking Petz with Petz World.

Developed by Frima Studios, the company behind EA's Littlest Pet Shop Online, the free-to-play Petz World will allow kids and tweens to bring their animal love online in a safe and healthy way. They'll adopt unique pets and travel to exotic locations, meeting new animals and sometimes saving them from...anti-animal stuff. The press release isn't clear on what the animals need saving from. Themselves? That sounds good. We'll go with that.

"Ubisoft is excited to be propelling its popular Petz brand into the MMO space. This game is a unique way for children and parents to play games together," said Chris Early, vice president of digital publishing at Ubisoft. "Petz World allows players to share their progress and adventures, helping each other to receive more coins, achievements and unlockables."

Petz World is due out in 2011.