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Nickelodeon Expands Virtual Worlds; 'Hybrid' Choice of Ad-Support, Paid Subs Coming In '09

This story was written by David Kaplan.

As Nickelodeon continues its gaming and virtual world expansion, we have some more details about the three virtual world sites now in development and plans to introduce a choice of paid subscriptions and advertising for its existing 2.5D online city Nicktropolis.

Nick is creating a virtual world around its Neopets social net site that carries the working title of World of Neopia. Existing animated property SpongeBob SquarePants is getting its own virtual world this year, while the other planned community is tentative called Monkey World. To further drive home the increased significance of creating virtual environments, its NeoStudios is now the Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group Virtual World Studios.

In early 2009, Nicktropolis users will be offered a paid layer with premium items, avatars and games, in addition to the site's free-to-play mode. The new worlds from the Virtual World Studios will also operate under hybrid business models, with ad-supported free-to-play and paid subscription levels as welland will sell virtual goods.

By David Kaplan

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