Big Things are Happening for SmallWorlds
New Zealand-based game becomes a global favourite with over 15 million accounts created
AUCKLAND, April 10 2013—Most people are familiar with virtual worlds: multiplayer games where players create an avatar, their virtual persona, and head out to explore the digital landscape. SmallWorlds offers just this, a world full of adventure and the opportunity to make new friends from all over the world, but a great deal more as well.
Unlike other games, in SmallWorlds self-expression is taken to an entirely new level: players unleash their creativity, painting masterpieces on SmallWorlds canvasses, carving elaborate sculptures, and exhibiting their photography on the walls of virtual art galleries.
It’s not just the born artists who get involved; creativity permeates the SmallWorlds experience, “User generated content has always been something that has set SmallWorlds apart from other games,” explains Mitch Olson, co-founder. “Many SmallWorlds players spend hours creating Missions within the game.” Missions are interactive narratives, similar to levels in other games but more akin to a short story in that they are self-contained. Olson explains, “Players write the story, build the environments and set-up all of the game interactions. It doesn’t involve an external editor and is so accessible that anyone can create Missions. It’s a creative outlet and a brilliant form of self-expression that is very satisfying for players.”
Over 99 percent of SmallWorlds’ game content – missions and environments – are created by players. “Think of us as the YouTube of games, where almost all of the content is created by users, for users,” explains Olson. “When your audience creates the content often what they produce is exactly what they want to consume. That plays a significant role in YouTube’s popularity, and it’s definitely a factor in the popularity of SmallWorlds.”
The future is bright for SmallWorlds who continue to experience strong growth at a time when many other games have been struggling to attract new players. In December alone over half a million new accounts were created. And now the focus is squarely on mobile. The newly re-launched smallworlds.com website features responsive design and provides the foundation for advanced mobile functionality. Nicole Scheid, Marketing Director elaborates, “Mobile is an integral part of our strategy. SmallWorlds has always presented an incredible opportunity for brands to connect with the formidable teen market. Our advertisers want to be on mobile and its rapidly gaining traction with our audience so it’s the natural area of focus for us.”
It’s full steam ahead for this fast moving company.