MTV Asia, GigaMedia to co-develop first SpongeBob SquarePants MMOG


MUMBAI: MTV Networks Asia and Asian online games company GigaMedia Limited will co-develop and jointly publish the first Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG) based upon Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants.

The game will be the first Nickelodeon television property to be developed as an MMOG, and Viacom’s first to be developed outside of the United States. The SpongeBob SquarePants MMOG will launch in 2011 in multiple languages for players in China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Southeast Asia and India.

The SpongeBob SquarePants creative team at the Burbank-based Nickelodeon Animation Studios will work closely with GigaMedia to develop the online environment and SpongeBob SquarePants avatars, allowing millions of players throughout Asia to create, customize and personalize the world’s first MMOG version of Bikini Bottom.

"Partnering with GigaMedia on the development of a SpongeBob SquarePants MMOG allows us to bring the residents of Bikini Bottom into a whole new world – one that is tremendously popular in Asia and presents unlimited creative and business opportunities for the franchise. SpongeBob SquarePants is Nickelodeon’s best known property within Asia and we’re extremely proud to oversee the development of the MMOG with local business partners. We look forward to working hand in hand with GigaMedia on bringing SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, Gary and Sandy Cheeks to life in an entirely new and incredibly popular online world," said MTV Networks Asia vice president of digital Jihee Nam.

"We are thrilled to join forces with Nickelodeon and MTV Networks International to bring the joy and delight of SpongeBob SquarePants to online game players around the world. SpongeBob SquarePants is unquestionably one of the world’s most popular animated television series, and we look forward to bringing SpongeBob and his friends to life in the virtual world for millions of online game players," added GigaMedia CEO Arthur Wang.

The SpongeBob SquarePants MMOG will be designed to appeal across various demographics within Asia, where online casual games are the most popular pastime for tweens, children and adults.