REDMOND, Wash. — July 18, 2007 — Whether they’re having another day at the office or enjoying downtime at home, members of the Windows Live™ Messenger network are just a click away from exploring a new virtual world as Microsoft® Casual Games partners with GoPets Ltd. to launch GoPets on Windows Live Messenger. Inhabited by pets that owners create and customize, the virtual GoPets world on Windows Live Messenger offers environments to explore, casual games to play, groups to join and countless ways to express individuality. The relationship between Microsoft and GoPets Ltd. brings about the unique integration of a virtual world into an instant messaging (IM) service. GoPets is exclusively available now via IM to the Windows Live Messenger network in the United States, Australia, Japan and Korea, with expansion planned to more than 30 countries by the end of 2007.
“GoPets on Windows Live Messenger takes instant messaging to the next level of 3-D interactivity,” said Chris Early, product unit manager for Microsoft Casual Games. “Teaming up with GoPets enables us to provide the Windows Live Messenger network with this new social networking experience.”
A Global Dog Park for the 21st Century
Imagine an office worker in China sending his bamboo-eating panda to surf the waves down under. Or a Texas housewife’s country-music-loving dog frolicking on the desktop of a schoolteacher in London. Much like a virtual dog park, GoPets offers users a great way to meet and socialize with others in the Windows Live Messenger network around the world. Curious and inquisitive, these virtual pets love bringing owners together who share similar interests, regardless of borders or language barriers.
“GoPets is an online community where anyone can adopt a pet, customize it to their liking and interact with other pet owners anywhere in the GoPets virtual world at any time of day,” said Erik Bethke, CEO and founder of GoPets Ltd. “With direct access through Windows Live Messenger, it will be even easier for pet fans to make friends all over the world through common interests and shared experiences, such as chatting and playing games on the Windows Live Messenger and GoPets platforms.”
With a growing user base of nearly 260 million active accounts worldwide, Windows Live Messenger is the world’s most-used IM service. Current Windows Live Messenger users in more than 30 countries can travel the world with GoPets by visiting http://games.msn.com/en/general/article/mgopmessengerlaunch.htm or by clicking the Games icon on the left side of the Windows Live Messenger window and selecting GoPets. New Windows Live Messenger users can visit http://messenger.live.com to connect and share instantly on the world’s most popular IM network.
About Microsoft Casual Games
One of the longest-standing leaders in the casual games space, Microsoft Casual Games (MCG) connects players and their friends with quick, accessible and engaging games on four high-performance game platforms: MSN® Games, Windows Live Messenger Games, Windows® Games and Xbox LIVE® Arcade. Reaching more than 125 million global game players each month, MCG is dedicated to providing an entertaining, rewarding gameplay experience through a diverse portfolio of widely appealing titles that range from favorite card and board games to the latest action and adventure titles, from brain-teasing trivia to quick-thinking puzzle games. MCG is also committed to soon providing a connected gaming experience through LIVE, a cross-platform service that will connect players to their games, friends and entertainment — anytime, anywhere.
GoPets Ltd. was established in Seoul, South Korea in 2004 and is a privately held company. GoPets, located at www.gopetslive.com, is a 3D virtual community of pets that interact with each other and other GoPets owners from around the world. Currently in an open beta phase in fifteen languages and eight territories around the world, GoPets recently surpassed 640,000 registered users. GoPets is free for a basic membership.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.mspx.