SOURCE: Animal Jam

Animal Jam

August 18, 2015 09:00 ET

WildWorks Brings Animal Jam, the Number One Social Network for Kids, to the iPad

Play Wild! Debuts, Giving Kids the Opportunity to Play and Learn on the Go

SALT LAKE CITY, UT--(Marketwired - Aug 18, 2015) - WildWorks, a leading developer of online worlds and free-to-play games, today announced the launch of Animal Jam - Play Wild!, a mobile version of Animal Jam, the online playground for kids who love animals and the outdoors. With more than 35 million users in 228 countries, Animal Jam is the number one web-based game and social network for kids in the world.

Similar to the web-based version, Animal Jam - Play Wild! features rich educational content developed in association with National Geographic; including videos, animal photography, and fascinating facts that will inspire kids to explore the natural world. The immersive online experience for kids allows them to chat with friends, play games, and learn about animals and the natural world around them. Players can also create their own content that will appear in the virtual world, including the customization of their animal avatars and dens, host in-game parties with friends, and more.

"Our success with Animal Jam suggests that there is an underserved demographic attracted to social networking; a demographic that Facebook and Google bar their doors against," said Clark Stacey, CEO of WildWorks. "Kids want to connect with their friends online, but parents want them to do so safely and with supervision."

The business model behind Animal Jam - Play Wild! is unusual among mobile apps for kids. At launch, players will be able to customize their favorite animal avatars and explore the entire game world for free. Whereas most free-to-play games base their monetization on the sale of a consumable in-game currency, in Animal Jam - Play Wild! unlimited currency can be earned by exploring the virtual world and playing the games found there. Instead, WildWorks will release new premium animal avatars every 4-6 weeks that parents can purchase in the app. Purchasing one of these additional animals will unlock an educational multimedia e-book about the corresponding real-world animal species.

"We believe Play Wild! will not only elevate the production values applied to apps for kids, but will revolutionize the way those apps are monetized; offering real, demonstrable value to both parents and kids," said Stacey. 

Following launch, Play Wild! will continue evolve, adding more lands, animals, mini-games and elements for customization of animals and dens. WildWorks also plans to localize Animal Jam - Play Wild! in nine additional languages this year, and will continue to offer live in-game moderation and support to ensure the protection of its players worldwide.

During the app's testing period, nearly 50,000 players requested access to a closed beta test limited to 10,000 accounts. Anticipation for the final release among Animal Jam's millions of monthly active users is therefore expected to be extremely high, and the team hopes to see download numbers in the millions despite having no plans for paid user acquisition.

Animal Jam - Play Wild! is available for free in the iTunes App Store for the iPad, and will be available on Android devices in coming weeks.

For more information, follow Animal Jam on http://www.facebook.com/PlayAnimalJam and http://www.twitter.com/AnimalJam.

About WildWorks
In August 2014, Smart Bomb Interactive changed its name to WildWorks, to reflect its continuing focus on children's entertainment that fuels curiosity about science and the natural world. WildWorks is a leading developer of online worlds and free-to-play games, with an audience of over 35 million kids from more than 200 different countries. Founded by game industry veterans in 2003, the privately held company has assembled a development team that includes internationally acclaimed artists, engineers, designers, educators, online safety experts, and other media professionals. Together they create cutting-edge interactive entertainment for families, from web-based playgrounds to immersive 3D titles for smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.

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