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  1. #1

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    Disney increases focus on virtual worlds

    Disney increases focus on virtual worlds

    By David Ward
    The Hollywood Reporter
    Feb 20, 2008

    SAN DIEGO -- Disney Online said Tuesday that it has created a studio to focus on its growing commitment to virtual worlds as well as games and online social communities.

    The new group, Disney Online Studios, will include several of Disney Online's teams, including the creators of XD and the company's virtual-reality studio that was responsible for Disney's Toontown Online and Pirates of the Caribbean Online.

    Steve Parkis has been promoted to senior vp to lead the new group and will report to Paul Yanover, executive vp and managing director of Disney Online.

    Yanover described the move as formalizing the efforts Disney Online has made in the virtual world space, including the acquisition of leading children's virtual world Club Penguin in the summer and the launch of Pirates Online.

    "We have a lot of fabulous people, and we've put together a pretty robust portfolio, so this is us internally organizing around this space," Yanover said. "We really believe in virtual worlds, and this is another piece in our overall effort to really go after it."

    Disney Online this week also announced a new online world, Pixie Hollow, based on Disney's Fairies franchise, which Yanover said was part of an effort to begin offering virtual worlds aimed at fans of specific Disney franchises.
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  2. #2

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    Re: Disney increases focus on virtual worlds

    My wife and daughter will be happy to hear about the Pixie Hollow VW. Thanks for the news post!

  3. #3

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    Re: Disney increases focus on virtual worlds

    Pixie Hollow is the next major addition to the Disney Fairies franchise, which has already sold millions of books, toys and other products worldwide. Over 4.5 million virtual fairies have been created by visitors to and Disney will finally release the direct-to-video DVD "Tinker Bell" on October 28th.

    To enhance the gameplay of the Pixie Hollow MMG, Disney is partnering with electronic toy manufacturer Techno Source. By using "Clickables" technology, players will be able to take the game experience offline and share it with their friends. Specially designed real world bracelets, charms and jewelry boxes will link electronically and "come alive" to unlock exclusive gifts and content that can be used in the online game.

    Beta testing for Disney Fairies Pixie Hollow should begin very soon. Also in early development at the Disney Online Studios is a MMG based on Disney/Pixar's "Cars."

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