Walt Disney Internet Group will launch Pirates of the Caribbean Online, a new massively multiplayer online game based on the hit film franchise, this fall, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The subscription-based game is in beta testing with the original planned summer release pushed back to fall for additonal development time.
Pirates is designed as a game but even more as a virtual world in which players build their own stylized characters, form pirate communities and embark on ship- and land-based treasure hunts.
Characters in the movie franchise will exist in the Pirates Online world, with the addition of a new villain, Jolly Roger. While great effort was put into re-creating the world of the movie and capturing the elements that made the films successful, the game's design stresses accessibility.
Participants will be able to play the game a third of the way through without subscribing, though they will see ads. For unlimited access, players pay a monthly fee of $9.95.
To date, nearly 100,000 people have registered on the game's Web site, requesting information about the game as well as a chance to participate in its current beta status.