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Tricia Bennon Posted:
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World of Cars Online: E3 2009 Preview

Anxious to race the roads of a recent Disney movie? Check out World of Cars Online as Tricia Bennon did at E3.

Over the years, MMO gaming has become an activity that all members of the household participate in and enjoy. The challenge is finding a title that is not only fun but also appropriate for the younger members of the family. You might be enjoying the latest and greatest game released, but you aren’t sure you want your eight year old playing a game with a mature community. It only seems natural that Disney, synonymous with a fun and family-oriented entertainment experience, provides a safe and friendly MMO environment to our younger players.

Set to release later this year, World of Cars Online, is a free to play game based on the hugely popular and successful Cars ™ franchise. Working closely with Pixar, Disney targets this flash based, 3D game toward players aged 8 to 11. However, like the movie, World of Cars has an appeal that will draw car enthusiasts of almost all ages. (That would be all of you “gear head” parents out there!)

Players step into a world where Lightening McQueen has won the Piston Cup Championship and has returned to help build the once dying community of Radiator Springs. In addition to the social interaction with other players, racers will be talking to and helping familiar town residents such as Mater, Guido and Luigi as players complete quests and mini games. If your goal is to help Mater with a few tow jobs, hang out with your friends or to compete with other racers for the Piston Cup Championship, World of Cars offers something to satisfy all play styles.

In order to get on the road, players will create a racecar, complete with their very own NASCAR number. Several customization options are available to the player including different wheels and tires, paint, and the body shape of the car. Even though World of Cars Online is animated, Disney, in conjunction with Pixar Studios, has made the design as true to life as possible. Each element, from the type of rims and tires available to players to how the cars behave on the track, is designed to be authentic to capture the spirit of actually racing a car on a track.

Racing is by far going to be the most engaging feature of the game. World of Cars Online offers two different types of racing to accommodate players of different play styles: social/ environmental racing and the pro racer career option.

Interested in casual racing? Players can head out to the desert speedway for a few laps or test their tires on an ice track. Additionally, every player has their own patch of dirt where they can build a garage and have small parties with their friends. Eventually, the game will offer players the ability to bulldoze a track and invite a few of their friends over for some casual racing fun. For the competitive racer, players can embark on the pro racer career path. Players begin racing on dirt tracks and eventually work their way through the Piston Cup Championship circuit. The ultimate test of racing, this path will challenge players against each other for the coveted Piston Cup.

In addition to parental permission requirements for children to play their online games, Disney also takes a very active role to ensure the safety of its players through safe chat options including automated filters and live moderation. “Safety is very important to us,” says Rachel DiPaola, Executive Producer at Disney Online Studios.

While the game isn’t slated for release until later this year, racers can check out the test track now at World of Cars Online. Prospective racers can create cars, participate in races, and track their standings on leader boards. This game captures the fun and excitement of racing and presents it in a family appropriate venue that can only be delivered by Disney.

Players...start your engines.


Tricia Bennon