The kid’s genre of MMOs continues to grow with more games geared towards a younger audience. When companies like Disney and Cartoon Network get involved the industry begins to take things seriously. With more games coming to market every day we often ask the question if they are any good? Wizard 101 has answered that question by putting out a game that is great for kids and gamers alike. Recently, Wizard 101 announced over 1 million users in their world. We sat down with J. Todd Coleman from KingsIsle Entertainment about the success of Wizard 101 and what players can look forward too in the future.
My first question to Todd was about the growth of the game and how quickly it has become a success. He explained that the game had a very intense beta followed by a quiet launch. However the industry response to the game was very strong, this grew into more and more signs ups. The best data Todd could point to was that Wizard 101 started with 10 servers for players. They are now up to 30 servers. Nothing measures the success of an MMO better than increasing the number of servers to meet demand. Needless to say, the game is growing very quickly.
I next asked about their target audience, the age range for Wizard 101 is about 6-12. Todd explained that they are happy to see the target audience enjoying the game, but they are also happy with the number of adult players they have. “We really tried to make a game we all wanted to play;” he explains, “There is a lot for both kids and adults.” Todd used the Pixar example in movies to show the approach in building the game. Many of the recent animated movies can be enjoyed by kids, but also have some content and jokes for adults. Those movies are a massive success, so for KingsIsle following that model was an easy idea.
Combat in Wizard 101
Some may not know that the same team, who built the hardcore PvP MMO Shadowbane, is also the guys who put together Wizard 101. Sound like a big leap? It is. When choosing the type of game to make Todd explained, “There were so many fantasy hardcore games coming, we thought, let’s do something else.” From this decision Wizard 101 was born. The game is geared towards the younger audience but will give any MMO player a run for their money with great strategy and spell wielding combat.
I asked Todd about what we can expect to see in the game within the coming months. He quickly talked about Dragonspyre which is similar to an end game zone in other MMOs. This is the area for high level characters to test their skills. Dragonspyre offers a 35% increase in game content for players. It will also offer some things for all the players in the game to explore. Todd also mentioned the PvP arena as being a great area for gamers. They will have a full match system with rankings and even in game items. This way players can test their spell casting skill against each other. At the heart of Wizard 101 is the collectible card game experience, Todd wants to keep that as an important game mechanic. Players will eventually see new cards and spells coming to the game as well. Also more mini games will be coming to the world that is great versions of classic arcade games from the 80s.
Wizard 101 remains a great success in the MMO world. KingsIsle did not have the marketing muscle of a Disney or Turner; they simply made a really great game. As many developers say, if you make a great game the players will come. The game targets kids who have outgrown Club Penguin but are still not yet ready for WoW, but most of all Todd says the game is for people who are young at heart. We are excited to see what Wizard 101 has in store for the future and look forward to more updates for both kids and adults alike.
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Wizard101 Game Page.