Funcom Goes Social with New Casual MMO Subsidiary SweetRobot

Fri, Dec 11, 2009

Industry, Social

pets-vs-monsters_betaNorway-based game developer Funcom just announced a new subsidiary, SweetRobot. The newly-established arm will focus on casual MMO development, and is already working on its first social title, Pets vs. Monsters.

SweetRobot and Funcom will unleash Pets vs. Monsters into public beta testing this month, and will target younger audiences (namely children 8-12). Is it just me, or does this sound a lot like PopCap’s Plants vs. Zombies? Maybe just coincidence, as Pets vs. Monsters is a free-to-play adventure MMO, whereas Plants vs. Zombies is all about tower-defense.

Even so, if  SweetRobot achieves the same level of success with Pets vs. Monsters as PopCap has with its un-dead farming title, them Funcom will be in good shape – Plants vs. Zombies is one of PopCap’s most successful sellers, which is a pretty big deal considering they also publish the popular puzzlers, Bejeweled, Peggle and Chuzzle.

Funcom also announced last month that it is beginning work on another free-to-play MMO called Board With The World, and planning an extreme sports title for January 2010. Sounds like Funcom has a smart new social strategy, to help combat reduced 2009 revenues for a quick turnaround in 2010.

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