New MMO games startup, Meteor Games, to target youth demographic

A new independent game development studio, Meteor Games, launched today with Adam Powell and Donna Williams at the helm — the two entrepreneurs who previously launched game company Neopets back in 1999 and then sold it to Viacom’s MTV Networks for $160 million.

The new company is working on a fantasy/sci-fi massively multiplayer online game — a stylistically animated world for children ages 8 to 18 in 2009. That age group is well above the target for Neopets (which has more than 45 million users).

“There is a gap between games like [Funcom’s] ‘Age of Conan‘ and [Disney’s] ‘Club Penguin,’” said Powell. And that’s exactly the gap he plans to focus on.

It’s certainly harder to start a new MMO today than it was back in 1999. There are dozens of companies trying to challenge Blizzard’s “World of Warcraft,” which has 10 million paying subscribers. Gaia Online, which described its own MMO today, will be more direct competition in the MMO space, though Meteor Games is going to shoot for higher graphics fidelity than Gaia Online, which could help the new company set itself apart. Runescape is another casual fantasy MMO that targets a younger crowd, though that game also appeals to a variety of ages.

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Published by Reinout te Brake

Reinout is a games investor and strategic business consultant specializing in the games industry. Reinout established his credentials through his own successful investments, start-ups, consulting and (advisory) board positions that led through time to strong bonds with key stakeholders in this fast paced industry. He is known for his outstanding results in the gaming industry. He has worked with many game studios around the globe and is therefore well known in the international gaming industry. Check out his games podcast;

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