Planet Michael – Will We Ever See It?

A Michael Jackson MMO? [long dead link removed]

No, really?

Planet Michael

Not Michael Jackson, but an Uncanny (Valley) Simulation!

I mean, I saw Lum do an excellent parody, but the reality is almost as funny.

Well, maybe not funny… perhaps mind boggling is the word.  The full press release is after the break below, preserved for posterity.

I was going to just let this pass.  After all, what can you add?  But I figured I had better mark the occasion.

And who will go to this world?  I mean, it is going to be like Graceland.  There will be no sense of humor allowed, so forget your ideas about a “Hall of Noses,” a court appearance simulator, or any mention of Lisa Marie Presley.

Still, one wonders… there are issues common across most MMOs.  How will they manifest themselves on Planet Michael?  And what, exactly, will the “game” aspect of this world be?


Immense Game World to be Themed Around This Planet’s Biggest Star

Will Feature Real-World Economy Along With Opportunities to Learn About and Contribute to Charitable Causes

LOS ANGELES  Sept. 21, 2010 – SEE Virtual Worlds, an entertainment company developing a virtual reality universe of connected planets tied to licensed franchises, today announced a collaborative deal with the Michael Jackson Estate to publish Planet Michael, a massively multiplayer online virtual world set to launch in late 2011. Planet Michael will offer fans around the globe an innovative, first-of-its-kind interactive gaming and social experience that truly celebrates Michael Jackson’s extraordinary life as an artist and humanitarian.

The new planet, currently under development and slated for launch next year, will be an immersive virtual space themed after iconic visuals drawn from Michael’s music, his life and the global issues that concerned him. Entire continents will be created that will celebrate Michael’s unique genius in a way that underscores his place as the greatest artist of all time. Michael’s longtime fans will feel at home as they find themselves in places that seem familiar and yet unknown at the same time, and new generations will discover and experience Michael’s life in a way never before imagined. At its core, Planet Michael is a massive social gaming experience that will allow everyone, from the hardcore fan to the novice, to connect and engage in collaborative in-game activities with people worldwide.

Planet Michael is one of the first themed-planets that will be published by SEE Virtual Worlds for the Entropia Universe, a vast dynamic 3D environment created and provided to end users by MindArk PE AB. The Entropia Universe features several existing planets and combines a revolutionary cash economy with cutting-edge graphics. Although Planet Michael is a free-to-download world without monthly subscription fees, the real world in-game economy features gameplay monetization that allows players to take on dozens of different occupations and in certain instances, contribute to a charitable cause at the same time.

“When we first approached the Estate and talked about creating Planet Michael, one of our primary goals was to build an interactive environment where fans from all over the world come together to affirm Michael’s life-long dedication to fostering global friendships,” said Martin Biallas, CEO of SEE Virtual Worlds. “In building a space worthy of those global connections, we envisioned a magical, enjoyable place that will capture that zest for fun and life that was at Michael’s very core. Throughout his extensive career, the King of Pop was well-known for his visionary contributions to music, dance, fashion, entertainment and philanthropy, and it was critical that we somehow incorporate all of those elements into the game.”

“No artist unified the world like Michael Jackson, so it is fitting that in Planet Michael his fans will be able to join together in such a unique way online to celebrate his music, his artistry and his devotion to helping those in need,” said John Branca, co-executor for The Estate of Michael Jackson.

“Michael was always exploring creative new ways technology could enhance the experiences of his fans, and for that reason we are thrilled to be working with SEE Virtual Worlds to build a global interactive experience that befits an artist as innovative as Michael Jackson” added John McClain, co-executor of the Estate.

What do you say to all of that?

I mean, besides, “Tim to cash in on Michael!  Again!”

And, of course, the quote that strikes terror into our hearts, “one of the first themed-planets.”

You mean there are more planned?

Who else, what person or group, should have a virtual world devoted to them?

The Beatles?  Frank Sinatra?  Teddy Roosevelt?  Winston Churchill?  Lady Gaga?

(Have those last four names ever appeared in the same line of print before ever?)

Elvis?  I mean, at least you could put Elvis in Vegas.  Him and the Rat Pack.

My prediction: Planet Michael will never go live.  It will get tied down with creative disputes for years and die a silent death.

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