|Platform(s)||online and offline|
Fantage is a MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) involving a virtual world containing a range of online games and activities, developed by Fantage, Inc. Players are able to customize their cartoon avatars from hair color to clothes and explore a town-like virtual world. There are also special events, such as Christmas, Easter etc. Fantage was made available to the general public in April 2008 and has since expanded into a large online community —by January 2012, the world had over 16 million registered users. On December 18, 2014, Fantage had announced their victory of over 30 million registered users. Fantage has 3 currencies; stars, eCoins and gold. Stars can be earned by playing games, eCoins by buying, watching advertisements or daily check-in, and gold by buying or through a system called MyMall. The game was designed for the ages of 6 to 16. According to its founders, Fantage was focused on child safety, made possible by a three-tiered safety system. This safety system had several features, such as professional chat moderation, automatic word filtering, an in-game user reporting system, and varying chat options for parents. Even members in fantage are allowed to purchase fantage and become a premium member. Premium members are given more advantages than members.
History and development
Fantage.com, a flash-based MMORPG aimed for children ages 6–16, was founded in 2007 by David Hwang and Peter Bae. On December 9, 2008, Fantage released its first multiplayer flagship game Splash! .
In 2009-2010, Fantage received strategic investments from Nexon (a Korean Global Game Company, headquartered in Japan). These investments allowed Fantage to hire additional designers and key developers. The resulting site expansion and quality enhancement led to swift growth. In less than four months, from November 2009 to February 2010, Fantage completed the entire site renewal, involving upgrades of more than thirty mini-games, and successfully launched Fantage in Japan. Within a year, the user base grew from 3 million registered users to 7.7 million registered users.
Fantage.com developed and employed its own real time mass data processing technology which enables 20 million users to access site without any inconvenience. This database and server side program was created by Fantage’s key developers–Byungsoo Son, Frank Kim, Sungwon Um, and Dongpyo Lee. According to Fantage.com, the current user base reached 23 million in the U.S alone. The success of Fantage.com in U.S., Japan, and Europe is based on the creative games, server safety, and especially well developed interface for children. Fantage.com Inc. is currently headquartered in Fort Lee, New Jersey and run by Nexon.
Recently Fantage, Inc. has created several mobile applications such as, Fantage Bullseye, Fantage IDFone, and Fantage Fish Fish for the iPhone platform. Fantage has also created Fantage Bullseye and Fantage IDfone for the Android platform. Fantage Bullseye iPhone has accumulated nearly 300,000 downloads to date from the iTunes App Store. In 2014, Fantage released an iPad app called Fantage Comet which allowed players to access a limited area of Fantage on their tablet.
Fantage started out as a self-funded organization but received an infusion of capital by Korean online game company Nexon Corporation. Initial admission into Fantage is free and users can continue to use it as such; however, premium membership is required to access the full site including most clothing items, rare items, most gems, customization options, and most pets. Users also can purchase eCoins or Gold in bulk amounts for set fees to use in-game for micro transactions. eCoins and Gold can be used to purchase almost every item. Gold and eCoins can both be used to purchase items that only premium members could buy. Gold can buy you limited items, or items in MyMall (A place to sell your items to other users). eCoins can be used to buy houses and pet codes.
When users register with Fantage they are automatically given a basic home. Users have the option of opening their home to everyone, just their buddies, or nobody however the owner so that other users can access it. Premium Members may purchase more elaborate homes, and decorate their homes with items bought with virtual currency. Premium Members can have their homes displayed on the User Home Map, accessible from the World Map. Fantage currently consists of 16 areas for users to explore: Downtown, Uptown, Mt. Fantage, Castle, Carnival, Beach, Forest, Wizard’s Domain, Fantage School, Pet Town, User Home, Sea Breeze, Lighthouse, Hidden Meadow, Campground (only accessible in the summer) and the new Island. These areas house 45 games, 10 shops + vending machines, 11 specials, and a number of other features. Clothing for avatars and other customization options can be purchased at shops throughout the virtual world. The games are scattered about establishments in each town. Users may also opt to visit the Mission Center to play up to 7 missions which are quest-style adventures where the user has to complete a number of tasks assigned to the user.
Recent additions include the pet system (the ability to adopt a variety of fantasy-based pets)
Features and activities
Fantage has a selection of mini-games, some of which are multiplayer. Users earn a quantity of ingame currency, stars, from playing these games based on player performance. Many of these games can include the player's pets. There is also an area called Creature Arena, where users who have purchased a Creature in the Creature Shop (located right next to Creature Arena) can enter as the Creature and play with a variety of trampolines, cannons, etc., shooting themselves around and bouncing off the walls. Users can also collect stars in the Creature Arena. It is located in the forest. Users are able to use the daily spin once a day, giving them prizes such as ingame currency, clothes, and gems, which can be used to redeem clothing in Fantage Shops.
Premium Members may use the free virtual currency they earn from games (Stars) to purchase nearly any item in Fantage, with the exception of a few designated eCoin-only items. Non-premium users also can access a number of items in the world’s many shops without paying for membership, such as select clothing items, hairstyles, skin tones, lip gloss, and all stickers. Any user may choose to purchase items with eCoins. With eCoins, non members may purchase any item, and member items no matter the price for the clothing, hair, etc. The only items not available for purchase with eCoins are double star coupons and pet eggs (eCoin users can collect all of the pets by purchasing pet codes, also known as magic codes).Recently added in 2014 fantage has released a new store called MyMall where users can sell old items to each other for Gold,a currency used for mymall purchases, limited items and crazy combos spins. You can only buy gold with real money.
Users can collect pets by purchasing and hatching eggs or by using pet codes. Only Premium Members can hatch all pets using eggs. Non-Premium members can hatch two pets using eggs. Users who obtain eCoins are able to purchase Magic Codes to hatch a specific pet they want and at a faster rate. There are three magic code hatching times available 1 hour, 20 minute, or Instant. Sometimes, there are holiday pets that Premium members can buy for a certain amount of stars. Premium members also have the option to have their pets trail behind them as they explore Fantage and to let pets wander on the first floor of their home.
Users may add up to 200 ‘buddies’ and chat one-to-one through instant messenger or through a group chat where you can chat with many buddies at once. Users can also click on a player's avatar and click the button "ignore" so the player's chat won't be seen to the player who ignored the player. Users can delete a buddy any time. If any user is bullying or using inappropriate behavior, click on their Fantage IdFone and choose the Report Icon. The user may type in a report about what the user was doing along by giving the Fantage staff their username. There also is an open chatting system inside the world where users can chat with whoever is in the same room as them though if a users words come up red on their screen, others can not see them on their computers,meaning they have typed something fantage can not allow to be shown. Also added in 2014 all members may purchase ‘parties’ for a small amount of 50 stars and invite either everyone or just their buddies to their party. Users may also play games and earn free virtual stickers to add to their collection. Users can pick the party theme and have a piñata game in their home. In the pinata game whoever wins gets a rare gem to add to their collection. Members can also buy a change of music, for gold.
The Fantage School includes a variety of educational games ranging from math and chess to language arts and geography. The top floor includes checkers and the ability to join and/or host a private classroom. Users also may play "Off the Hook," a true-or-false trivia game testing student's knowledge on a variety of subjects, including Geography, Pop Culture, Mathematics, and History. Recently, "Art Smarts" has also been added to the main lobby of the school. This game tests your knowledge on famous works of art.
Fashion show is a game up to 10 people, and has three rounds. You could host or join fashion show, the host of the game could choose themes for the multiplayer. To start playing Fashion Show, the host needs at least five players. Once five have joined, it is up to the host whether to start the fashion show, or wait for more players to join for a larger fashion show. At the end of the fashion show, the winner, runner-up, and third-place winner all get stars and model points, while the judge receives judge points.If you don't like to spend time on different themes,you can use a daily allowance of battle coins to battle single competitors to a fashion challenge on a single theme.All wins and entries add up points that are put towards your medal,allowing your avatar to level up.
Fashion show is one of the most popular games in Fantage since its release in 2008, originally developed by Byungsoo Son and Frank Kim. In 2014, Fashion Show 2 & Fashion Show Beach version was released, developed by Byungsoo Son, James Smith, and Euri Choi.
Fantage received the Editor’s Choice Award from the Children’s Technology Review for excellence in children’s interactive media. Children’s Technology Review. Gaming sites including Gamer’s Info have lauded the world for its safe social environment  VentureBeat praised Fantage’s ability to double its membership in the midst of competition amongst kids’ virtual worlds during a recession, contributing its success to constant refining of the site.
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