Sunday, August 12, 2007

Eccky goes West

The Netherlands has been a testing ground for Eccky, the online game to raise a baby together with someone else or by yourself. Presently there are 750.000 Dutch users. Now the game is almost ready to cross the ocean to the States.

An Eccky baby grows in sex days from a lovely baby to a 18 year old. Every Eccky has his/her own character. The player will have to make Eccky happy. For this you need to go shopping, gaming, msn and many more things. In July a new Dutch version of Eccky went online. This immediately generated a true Eccky-boom. On an average day there are about 7000 to 8000 Ecckyies alive. Currently however there are more than 13.000 Ecckies living. Most of these Ecckies have been created in the new single player mode.

As sponsors are essential to the game in the Netherlands a pet food manufacturer recently organised a Kitten Class. During these energetic workshops future kitten owners received practical advice on how to raise their young cat. During the campaign period gamers could win a virtual kitten for their Ecckies in the Eccky world and chat with this kitten via Windows Live Messenger. Between April 1st and June 1st 2007 35.000 virtual kittens were born and more than 60.000 gamers played the special Kitten Class Quiz. At this moment more than 12.000 people have a virtual kitten in their Windows Live Messenger buddy list. Eccky generated more than 50.000 unique visits to the Kitten Class website. Because of this success Whiskas has decided to activate more campaigns through Eccky.

Eccky started in 2004 as a project of the Media Republic company. The success of this venture in the last two years has paved the way for Eccky to become a separate company and expand its ambition. Starting out as an innovative game concept Eccky's goal now is to become a worldwide entertainment brand for tweens and teens, featuring not only the game itself but many more innovative projects to entertain and interact with young people.

All Eccky's innovations are designed and built in-house by a multi-disciplinary team consisting of people from all over the world. The company currently employs people ranging from Flash developers and technical engineers to concept developers and designers. The Eccky team's greatest focus thus far has been the development of the Eccky game. Using technology and creativity, the aim for the future is to build the Eccky business and extend the portfolio of the Eccky brand. Keeping an eye on the global market, Eccky's current focus is to expand its global presence. An English-language version of the Eccky game will be released in 2007. Behind-the-scenes work has already begun to release Eccky in many more language versions.

For the big crossing the technology and content are ready, but not the business model. In the Netherlands the game is sponsored. For the launch in the US there are still details to be hammered out with partners; besides Media Republic like to get the users to pay there.

Blog Posting Number: 837

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