Ubisoft announced plans to publish Petz World, a free-to-play MMO based on its popular virtual pet simulator franchise Petz, some time next year.
Originally introduced in 1995 as a PC game by PF Magic, the Petz series is now managed by Ubisoft. The publisher has released more than 30 titles under the brand since taking over the series in 2006, expanding its initial Dogz and Catz offerings to Horsez, Dolphinz, and many other animals.
Ubisoft points out that the series, which allows kids to care for and bond with a wide range of virtual domestic and wild animals, has sold more than 20 million units around the world to date, primarily on the Nintendo DS and Wii platforms.
Developed by Quebec-based Frima Studios (Littlest Pet Shop Online, Build-A-Bearville), Petz World allows players to adopt pets, explore and learn about exotic locations, and even save animals. The online game will receive updates that add new locations, unlockable animals, and more.
Though Ubisoft is traditionally known for its console and PC titles, the publisher has made a push into the free-to-play and social gaming space in recent months, putting out a number of releases on Facebook like Might & Magic : Heroes Kingdoms, The Settlers - My City, and Horse Saga (formerly Horse Gaga).
"Ubisoft is excited to be propelling its popular Petz brand into the MMO space. This game is a unique way for children and parents to play games together," says Ubisoft's Digital Publishing VP Chris Early.
He adds, "Petz World allows players to share their progress and adventures, helping each other to receive more coins, achievements and unlockables."