Disney's Toontown Online Expands with Launch of First Cog Headquarters
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 19, 2003--
New Advanced Area Includes Additional Environments, Console Style Gameplay and More Action & Adventure
Disney Online, part of The Walt Disney Internet Group, today launched the Sellbot Cog Headquarters (HQ), an advanced play area in Toontown, the award-winning, first massively multiplayer (MMP) 3D online game for kids and families.
Toontown, an online world where the Toons (players) live, is under siege by the Cogs, a bungling group of robots, who are trying to take over this happy, colorful cartoon world by turning it into a dark metropolis of skyscrapers and businesses. Toons join together to save their world from the evil Cogs by confronting them with gags, such as dousing them with seltzer or giving them a pie in the face. The game allows participants to play together, communicate in a safe environment, and undertake challenging quests.
With the addition of Sellbot Cog HQ, the action and adventure of the "Tooniverse" dramatically increases with an entirely new and more challenging neighborhood containing nothing but Cog office buildings and factories -- places where Toontown citizens are being held captive and await rescue by their fellow Toons.
"Our goal with Sellbot Cog HQ is to expand the Toontown world by providing players with an additional land to explore, with fresh challenges that appeal to both experienced players and those who are familiar with traditional console style video games," said Steve Parkis, vice president of subscription products, Disney Online. "This is one of the beauties of online games -- much like our Disney Theme Parks, they can change constantly, in ways both big and small, ensuring that we can respond to our guests with unending surprises."
Sellbot Cog Headquarters will challenge Toons to achieve a series of intermediate goals, including navigating through Cog factories where the robots are being assembled -- negotiating obstacles such as up and down elevator lifts, moving conveyor belts and heavy machinery, and gathering cog parts to assemble a disguise that is required for entrance into the main headquarters building. Once inside the headquarters, Toons head to the "Big Boss Cog's" office where the conflict culminates in a free-for-all battle with the Boss Cog -- with successful Toons rescuing a captive Toon and receiving powers that can be accessed later in the game.
"We're excited about the opportunity Sellbot Cog HQ gives us to develop and expand the Toontown story. Players will learn a lot more about the Cogs, and will encounter many things they have never seen in the game before," said Mike Goslin, vice president of Disney Online's VR Studio which developed the game. Among other story elements, Toons finally discover that all gags taken from defeated Toons are stored in the factories and that the Cogs walking the streets of Toontown taking over buildings are newly promoted Cogs being dispatched from Cog HQ.
Sellbot Cog HQ is the latest in a series of regular game and community feature enhancements offered to the subscriber base. Recent content additions include:
-- An all-new fishing career path and collecting game
-- Brand new catalogues every week containing virtual items to enhance your Toon's home, additional emotions for Toons allowing for greater in-game expressiveness, seasonal clothing items and special "Speedchat" phrases
-- The game's first-ever community fishing tournament for virtual in-game prizes
-- Recruit-A-Toon -- a reward system for players who refer new Toontown citizens
-- Monthly trading card and newsletter mailings to Toontown citizens
Toontown has continued to gain marketplace momentum since its launch in June 2003. It has attracted gamers of all ages and levels and received critical acclaim in the media. Gannet News Service touted that "Kid-testers of all ages consistently gave this game an enthusiastic thumbs up." Toontown also has been recognized with numerous industry awards including the 2003 Webby Award as the People's Voice Award Winner in the Kids Category, the All Star Software Award from Children's Software Revue Magazine and was nominated for AIAS' 2003 PC Massively Multiplayer/Persistent World Game of the Year Award.
Toontown is currently available for download at www.toontown.com, and as a subscription gift card with a CD-ROM included at DisneyStore.com and major retailers nationwide, for $9.95 per month. Both options offer a great value -- the $9.95 price represents a small upfront commitment and the average cost per hour of game play is a fraction of other entertainment alternatives. Longer-term memberships are available at reduced rates and for consumers who prefer to try before they buy there is a 3-day free trial period available at www.toontown.com.
Disney Online (www.disney.com) produces the number one kids' entertainment and family community destinations on the Internet that consistently reflects the magic that has come to be expected of Disney. Its "neighborhoods," specifically designed for each member of the family, include Disney's Blast (www.disneyblast.com) and Disney's Toontown Online (www.Toontown.com), both premium subscription services, as well as Disney Store, Destinations, Playhouse Disney, Kids Island, Entertainment, FamilyFun and Inside Disney.
Disney Online also produces FamilyFun.com (www.familyfun.com), the premier online family resource for great ideas, practical advice and fun stuff to do, and Movies.com (www.movies.com), a leading site that provides a broad array of reviews and information to help movie fans make the right choice on movie night.
Disney Online is a part of The Walt Disney Internet Group, which provides integrated strategic and operational Internet services for The Walt Disney Company's (NYSE:DIS) Internet initiatives. Disney's Virtual Reality Studio, now part of Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG), developed Toontown using its own PANDA3D proprietary network game engine. The VR Studio was established as part of Walt Disney Imagineering R&D, to drive the creativity and experience of the Disney theme parks into the online 3D world.
CONTACT: The Walt Disney Internet Group
mPRm Public Relations