Wizard101 has been on the scene for several years now and is one of the most innovative and successful family-friendly MMOs out there. Recently, Austin-based KingsIsle Studio launched its second title, Pirate101. Clearly KingsIsle is doing something right.
With Pirate101’s launch, however, small waves of concern have begun to ripple throughout the Wizard101 community. ‘What will happen to our game?’ ‘Are all of the developers now working on Pirate101 and leaving just a skeleton crew for our game?’
These are all fair questions and things that need to be answered. I had the distinct pleasure of talking with Wizard101 Producer Leah Ruben. Right out the gate, and without even being asked, she told me that Wizard101’s team is big, thriving and committed to keep the content coming for ardent Wizard101 players. In fact, Leah told me, the team is bigger now than it was at launch.
“Rest assured,” she said. “We’re still going strong.”
If the numbers are any indication, KingsIsle still has a winner in Wizard101. There are over thirty million registered players and the metrics indicated that over twenty million unique visitors per month check out the W101 site.
Going strong indeed!
What better way to prove just how committed KingsIsle is to its flagship title than with the announcement that Wizard101 will be seeing another world launching this year! That’s right. We have the inside story about the second major world addition to Wizard101 in 2012.
Called “Azteca”, the new world is one filled with dinosaurs. You read it right: DINOSAURS! Azteca is packed with thirteen separate zones and filled with quests enough to help players reach the astonishing new level cap of 90, up from 80 after Avalon’s release in May.
Azteca also comes with new epic high-level class-specific spells, and new Astral spells. The W101 team has gone back to making flashing awesome cinematic spells that have wowed players forever. But what makes these new spells even more incredible is that they will be themed to Azteca’s environments.
Players will have a dual purpose in Azteca: Morganthe is making an appearance there complete with her minions and monstrous hordes. Players will face off against the Hungry Dead, Morganthe’s Umbra Legion, and the dread Comet Xibalba. And if that’s not enough, we were teased with this comment:
“Somebody will be coming back to assist Morganthe. Players will recognize this character.”
What? Who could it possibly be? Leah wouldn’t tell me but rest assured that it will be surprising.
The secondary purpose players will be working to accomplish in Azteca is the rescue of the world’s residents: Aztecosaurs, Avians, and Jaguars. Aztecosaurs have been living underground for ten years, the same amount of time that it was thought that the Azteca world was lost to the ages. But with the threat of the Comet Xibalba, they have resurfaced and send a messenger to find help from others in the Spiral. The Aztecosaurs send out a Quetzal Messenger with their request for assistance and a key to reopen the world to other residents of the Spiral. They will need all the help they can get as the Messenger comes to request aid chased by Morganthe’s hordes.
Leah assured me that there will be plenty of things for players to do. There will be new epic Azteca-themed gear and housing decorations to find as well as the chance to face off against one of Wizard101’s meanest baddies, Morganthe…and her mysterious accomplice.
The best part about this entire revelation from Leah and KingsIsle is the announcement that Azteca will be placed on the Public Test Realm later this week! It may seem like short notice, but the team wanted to give players a completely unexpected surprise and boy have they!
It seems abundantly clear that KingsIsle is as committed as ever to Wizard101 with its unprecedented release of a second major world in a single year.
Will you be checking out Azteca? Let us know in the comments!