KingIsle entertainment has announced the launch of the open beta for their family-friendly MMO Wizard101, which combines magical adventures with card-based spellcasting battles to create something that seems to have attracted a larger following than they originally expected. Never underestimate the power of rabid card-game fans.
"We more than doubled our anticipated beta audience for Wizard101," said KingsIsle CEO Elie Akilian. "It turns out that the solid game mechanics and whimsical fantasy environment appeal even beyond the tween audience. We've had a great response from testers that included everyone from grandmas who play with a grandchild sitting in their lap to twenty-something traditional gamers."
Not to mention thirty-something traditional gamers! Anyone and everyone can head over to www.wizard101.com right now, download the client, and start getting completely thrashed by children half your age. It'll be awesome.
KingsIsle Entertainment Launches Open Beta Testing Phase for Wizard101 Beta Testers Find Virtual World Brings the Family Together For Shared Playtime PLANO, TEXAS- Aug 06, 2008 - Online entertainment company KingsIsle Entertainment, Inc announced the successful completion of closed beta testing for virtual world Wizard101. The final beta testing phase has now been opened to the general public at www.wizard101.com. Wizard101, which emphasizes magical adventure and card-collecting in an online 3D world of Wizards, is expected to officially launch within the next month. "We more than doubled our anticipated beta audience for Wizard101," said KingsIsle CEO Elie Akilian. "It turns out that the solid game mechanics and whimsical fantasy environment appeal even beyond the tween audience. We've had a great response from testers that included everyone from grandmas who play with a grandchild sitting in their lap to twenty-something traditional gamers." Wizard101's collaborative play style supports an environment where players benefit from working together in adventure quests. A tiered chat system and pre-defined character name generator create a safe community for younger players while an Arena provides a spot for more traditional gamers to show off their player versus player spell-casting skills. As they adventure, players can upgrade their costume and magical accessories, adopt bizarre pets, solve puzzles and play mini-games. At launch, Wizard101 will be free to play, with advanced play content available by subscription. KingsIsle had Wizard101 under development for three years before the beta period, which means testers experienced a very fully fleshed out game with detailed graphics, fantastic worlds and fully-functional game play. There has been an increasing online buzz about Wizard101. Testers, including those below from esteemed virtual community The Syndicate® have been saying things like: "Wizard101 is a great game for the whole family, especially for kids. I watch my 6 year old AND my 14 year old laughing with each other instead of irritating one another, as brothers tend to do. I play right along side of my kids." "Having been a gamer for 30 years now, playing with my kids has to be the most fun I have ever had ... They enjoy the ability to get many different spells and see all the amazing animations, and both are always wanting to start new wizards to try the others. I think the variety of schools and the spells that goes with them makes Wizard101 stand out over [other online games]." Anyone with a PC who would like to join the final beta testing phase can now sign up at www.wizard101.com and instantly download and install the initial software to join the large cast of good, bad, and frequently silly in-game characters and other players. Beta testers play the game for free and provide feedback to the game's creators leading up to the official launch. For additional details go to www.wizard101.com.