SAN JOSE, Calif. - Oct. 22, 2008 Gaia Online, the world's most active online community, today announced its development team is making final preparations for the zOMG! Open Beta and will begin rolling out game access to Gaia community members on October 27th. 8,500 lucky Golden Ticket holders will be the first entrants, scoring exclusive early playtime in the casual MMO before the first wave of Gaians flood the game’s gates. zOMG! was created in response to requests from the Gaia community, and their feedback has been the principal driving element in every step of the game’s development. Fervent members participated in focus groups and closed beta testing sessions, and even held a contest to choose the game’s name. Now, the community is getting an opportunity to explore the zOMG! Open Beta before anyone else.
“We know users are anxious to get in and play, and we’re firing on all cylinders to ensure our servers can meet the incredible demand,” said David Georgeson, Senior Producer of zOMG! at Gaia Online.“We’re squeezing Gaians in as quickly as possible, but are 100% dedicated to delivering on our vision of a beautiful, immersive and entertaining casual MMO for players of all persuasions.”
Gaia has utilized Golden Tickets throughout the game’s development to increase community involvement and select participants for the zOMG! Beta program. Enthusiastic Gaians took part in booth promotions at NY Comic Con and Anime Expo during the Closed Beta, and purchased zOMG! Rumble Boxes in the virtual goods marketplace for a shot at Golden Tickets for the upcoming Open Beta. These dedicated virtual world denizens are thirsty for a taste of the action, and clamoring for the prestigious prize of first in-game access.
“We received over 120,000 applications for the Closed Beta from our virtual world community, but obviously couldn’t let them all in,” said Craig Sherman, CEO of Gaia Online.“Members complete hundreds of thousands of micro-transactions per day in the marketplace, and we think the Golden Tickets are a great way to choose which loyal users win this very cool opportunity.”
As Gaians begin lining up at the entry gates of zOMG!, the development team is busy making sure zOMG! can accommodate the rush of eager avatars. Everyone can’t possibly fit through the door at once, so seniority will pay off big-time for Gaians when zOMG! begins rolling out its Open Beta next week. After Golden Ticket holders, virtual world community members with the longest active accounts (4+ years on Gaia) get the first spot in line. The complete rollout schedule will be announced shortly, and general public access will be established once the Gaia community is safely in-game. zOMG! will likely be out of Beta later this year and will continue to grow and evolve over time, as members offer feedback and continue to shape their world.
Explore the epic adventure within the Gaia Online MMO,zOMG!. Discover interesting and beautiful worlds, engage in combat with monsters, interact and play with friends, and more in this casual online massively multiplayer game. Designed for the PC as a free to play game with no download requirements, the MMO is accessible and easy to navigate for everyone. More than a game, zOMG! incorporates elements of social networking and entertainment for community members. Featuring streaming music, a unique storyline and characters, and engaging gameplay, zOMG! is an open environment for people of all ages to play games, meet friends, and explore. Visit www.zomg.com for more information.
About Gaia Online
Founded in 2003, Gaia Online is the leading teen hangout on the web. More than seven million visitors come to Gaia every month to make friends, play games, watch movies in Gaia Cinemas, Gaia's virtual theaters, and participate in the world's most active online community. Gaia provides a fun, social environment that inspires individuality and creativity. With everything from art contests to discussion forums on poetry, politics, celebrities and more, to fully customizable profiles, digital characters and cars, Gaia is a place where teens can create their own space and express their individual style. For more information, visit www.gaiaonline.com.
Melissa Rische, Gaia Online
Kate Pietrelli, TriplePoint