Disney Delays Pirates MMO Game

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Disney Online has announced that it is pushing back the release of its Pirates of the Caribbean Online game from summer to fall to allow them to cram in more development time and refinements. The massively online multiplayer game (MMO) is intended to let users live the life off a pirate, have adventures on the high seas, and sail out to meet their destiny.

Announced back in February, The game was originally slated to be available i late spring of 2007, neatly coinciding with the release of the third Pirates franchise film, At World’s End. Although the game has been in beta testing, the film launch has come nad gone—and will no doubt be hitting DVD in a little bit—with no game yet in sight.

In a statement, Disney said: "Our end goal is simple—make a great game! In order to achieve this we believe we need some additional development time and have therefore decided to move the launch of the game to this fall. This gives us some extra time to further enhance the game, respond to additional data we’ve collected during beta testing, and incorporate more of the input we have received from our players."

The game marks a departure for Disney’s game franchise in that it will be based on community-driven features—which, in addition to providing a customize experience, enable Disney to demographically profile the game players—and uses a virtual world to extend an existing franchise. Although the game will be subscription-based, users will be able to play a substantial potion of the game for free with advertising. Virtual worlds and immersive gaming environments like Second Life and World of Warcraft have garnered considerable market momentum, and will soon be joined by Sony’s PlayStation Home virtual world.

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