FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif.– October 30, 2008– Disney Online today announced the one-year anniversary of Pirates of the Caribbean Online ( www.PiratesOnline.com), an immersive massively multiplayer online game (MMOG), which allows players to fully experience the untamed and action-packed Pirate world captured in the popular film franchise. Pirates of the Caribbean Online provides ever-changing, open-ended adventures with thousands of other players in a unique blend of action, strategy and role playing. To celebrate, Pirates Online will bring mayhem to the Caribbean with a haunting in-game event and contest on“All Hollows Eve.” Additionally, Walt Disney Pictures recently announced that a fourth installment of the hugely successful "Pirates of the Caribbean" films is officially in development.
Since the games launch in October 2007, players have achieved many milestones in world including:
• Ships Sunk– 121,602,136
• Hands of Blackjack Played– 19,815,360
• Number of Ship Repairs Completed– 33,829,645
• Tattoos Purchased - 288,547
“It’s been a great year for Pirates Online, thanks in large part to our active, growing community,” said Steve Parkis, senior vice president, Disney Online.“The feedback from our fans continues to inspire the Pirates team to create and deliver exciting new content and features that add to the authentic, rich and engaging world.”
Over the past year, a myriad of new features have been added to the game that expand the world and the overall game experience, including:
• Privateering (Player vs. Player Ship Combat) - In the quest to become a Privateer, players chose a side– French or Spanish– and assemble a crew for Pirate vs. Pirate ship combat on the high seas. Pirate "Lords" on both sides challenge players with quests to prove their worth. Completing these tasks earns gold and reputation points and a tattoo that will brand survivors as Privateering veterans.
• New Customization Options - Adding to the millions of possible player combinations available at launch– gender, body type, face, hair, clothing and names– several new customizations options have been added including tattoos, jewelry, additional clothing items (new pants, hats, coats and coats inspired by members of the Brethren Court), and new hairstyles.
• Shops - Tattoo parlors, jewelry stores, and tailor shops have been added to the game.
• Enhanced Lookout System - An in-game system was added to match players up with others looking to engage in the same activity. Players can now instantly see their percentage of finding a match (high, medium, or low) to help determine how long it will take before a match is found. Players can also now get more closely matched with other players that are at the same notoriety level as themselves.
• Emotes - With the addition of emotes, players can communicate with others through actions such as dancing, laughing, clapping, celebrating, crying, flexing, waving, and more.
• New Quests&Enhanced Quest Tracking System - A number of new quests for Unlimited Access Pirates have been added, including Pirate’s Life Quest, Clothing for a Pirate Quest, and Adoria’s Family. Each outfit is available for Pirates of varying Notoriety levels. In addition, enhancements to the Quest Tracking System were made so that when players are in the“return to townsperson” stage of completing a Quest, they simply follow the ray of light and the yellow arrow at their feet to return to their townsperson.
• Ghost Ships - Nightmarish forces of evil and danger, players must keep their eyes out for these ill-fated vessels that are sure to challenge skills and nerves. The undead sailors are doomed to skulk around the waters of Isla Cangrejos and Cutthroat Island in their ominous ships– Shadow Crow, Cerberus, and Blood Scourge.
•“Looking for Crew” Feature - Allows players to tell other Pirates that they are interested in crewing up by placing a“Looking for Crew” message above their avatar’s head.
• New Weapons– New level four and five weapons have been added, including different types and styles of voodoo dolls, daggers, voodoo staffs and pistols, which deliver more damage, faster reload rates and special effects.
To help celebrate the first anniversary and“All Hallows Eve,” Jolly Roger will cast a wicked curse on the populace of the Caribbean and stir up an epic in-game event. Starting October 31, the Pirates of the Caribbean Online world will permanently turn to night, and when the moon is at its fullest, any Pirate that doesn’t take cover will become cursed and turn into an undead skeleton. Chaos will ensue, and all of the cursed Pirates will be forced to attack the towns, and one another, all in the name of Jolly Roger.
In addition, a special anniversary contest will be held for all Basic Players and Unlimited Access members. The contest asks players to submit a short video documenting how much they love Pirates Online and demonstrating how they“Live the Pirates Life.” The contest will commence today and run through December 19, and the finalists’ videos will be posted on www.PiratesOnline.com. Players will have the chance to win exciting prizes including one grand prize: a chance to meet the Pirates Online crew and lead developer for a one-on-one Q&A and a lunch at Walt Disney Studios to see where the films are made. The winner will also receive a three-day trip to Disneyland and two nights stay at the Disneyland Hotel, with one night in the Pirates of the Caribbean Suite. A $100 shopping spree in the Pieces of Eight shop, MacBook and iPod Nano are also part of the loot.
About Pirates Online:
In Pirates of the Caribbean Online, players create and customize their own pirate, captain their own ship, and assemble a crew of their fellow rogues in an effort to become the Caribbean’s most legendary Pirate. The game is developed and published by Disney Online, is rated E10+ and features lower PC and Mac system requirements than most other games in this genre, allowing for easier access to a broader audience of players.
A portion of the game is available for free with the option to upgrade to an Unlimited Access subscription for a monthly fee of $9.95. New players can subscribe for $4.95 for the first month, continuing with a fee of $9.95 for each additional month. Game Cards that give players Unlimited Access for either 30 or 90 days are also available at select Target, Best Buy, CVS, and Rite Aid stores nationwide. Players can download the game directly and access additional information at the game’s Web site, www.PiratesOnline.com.
About Disney Online
Disney Online ( www.Disney.com), a member of the Disney Interactive Media Group, produces the No. 1 ranked kids' entertainment and family community destination on the World Wide Web. Launched in 1996, Disney.com is the online gateway to all of the company's Disney-branded entertainment initiatives, providing comprehensive access to, and information about Disney movies, travel, television, games, mobile, music, shopping and live events.
In addition, Disney Online develops and publishes a range of online products and services including Pirates of the Caribbean Online, Disney's Toontown Online, Playhouse Disney Preschool Time Online, Disney Game Downloads, Disney Game Kingdom Online, Disney Connection and Hot Shot Business.
Disney Interactive Media Group (DIMG) is an affiliate of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS).
# # #
360 Public Relations
Disney Interactive Media Group