|Developer(s)||Ubisoft Abu Dhabi[a]|
Ubisoft Pune (Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
|Artist(s)||Mike Hommel (2013-2017)|
Growtopia is a massively multiplayer online sandbox video game where players can chat, farm, add friends, trade, build worlds and engage in player versus player combat. The game was released for Android in November 2012, and has been released for iOS, Android, Microsoft Windows, macOS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
As of February 28, 2017, an Ubisoft acquirement of Growtopia was announced and was completed during Ubisoft's 2016-17 fourth quarter, with the original developers being design and general advisors to the game's continued development. Growtopia utilizes the freemium model.
Growtopia is a 2D massively multiplayer online sandbox video game based around the idea that most of the in-game items can be grown from seeds of trees. The game has no end goals or 100% completion, however, there is an achievement system and quests to complete from non-player characters.
A new player is sent to a private world called Tutorial, which teaches the basics of the game through reading tips with an item called the Growpedia. The player starts out with two basic tools: a fist for punching and breaking blocks, and a wrench for wrenching items and edit items' properties. After a player finished Tutorial, they are sent to Start for learning more about the game.
Players can visit other people's worlds or create their own worlds. When a player creates a new world, the world will be procedurally generated. Worlds in Growtopia have the same size, with the exception special worlds created by the original developers (such as the world Tiny). Players can break and build blocks, get seeds or gems from blocks, plant seeds, and harvest trees. Players cannot do these activities if the world or the area they are punching is locked by someone else.
Players can lock areas they want by using different sizes of locks: Small Lock, Big Lock, Huge Lock, and World Lock (there are also other types of locks such as Diamond Locks, which have the same function as World Locks). The game also contains some special types of locks which changes certain aspects of how the world functions. When a player has locked an area with a lock, the player can access other people to the lock or edit properties by wrenching the lock.
Production of Growtopia started in 2012, when designer Seth Robinson made six mockup screenshots outlining the premise of the game of which he originally called Buildo, and sent it to Mike Hommel to entice him into helping with the project. The game user interface started to take shape with Hommel's mockups. On October 22, 2012, Hommel uploaded a video on his YouTube channel showing the development of the game before its release.
During initial development, Robinson and Hommel brought in the help of composer Cory Mollenhour to produce Growtopia' soundtrack.
After three months of development, the game was released on Android as a free beta on November 30, 2012, under the name Growtopia. They moved the game out of beta and release the full version on January 9, 2013. The game has been updated since the release. On February 28, 2017, Ubisoft announced an acquisition of Growtopia. The transaction was completed during Ubisoft's 2016-17 fourth quarter, under the terms that the original developers would continue being both design and general advisors to the game's continued development. A North American community management and moderation team was set up after Ubisoft's acquisition. They handed responsibility of the game's future development over to their Ubisoft Abu Dhabi team. The team has been working continuously on Growtopia ever since.
The game can be played on multiple operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. The iOS version was released on January 11, 2013, after the initial release for Android on November 30, 2012. Following these mobile releases, the game was brought to computers; a Windows beta version was released on July 9, 2013, and a macOS version was released on July 27, 2013.
Growtopia was available for a period of time on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, from July 18, 2019, to July 30, 2020, before being discontinued in order to "allocate all resources back to support the Mobile and PC version". The decision to discontinue all console support was declared on April 27, 2020, and had followed from a previous announcement on January 19, 2020, which had notified the community there would no longer be major updates or annual events for the consoles platforms, as their team only had "limited resources available". An Ubisoft Abu Dhabi team member stated that since there were "many, many more players playing on Android, iOS, and PC", they were going to focus their resources back towards those platforms.
Jay Is Games described the game as "simple and easy enough to work on the mobile platform (and be fun for kids), but with enough room for customization and socialization". 148Apps gave the game a 4/5, saying "the crafting mechanic is unique". Pocket Gamer's Peter Willington scored the game 6 out of 10, said he dislikes the crude menus, the UI is bland and cramped and hates the character design. TouchArcade wrote "With online games like this that take place in persistent worlds where everyone can interact, you’ll no doubt get some people trying to destroy things and generally make life tough for everyone else".
- Massongill, Justin (July 12, 2019). "The Drop: New PlayStation Games for July 16, 2019". PlayStation Blog. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
- "Growtopia on Microsoft Store". Retrieved May 29, 2019.
- "Growtopia". Growtopia. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
- Kerr, Chris (March 1, 2017). "Ubisoft acquires massively multiplayer social game, Growtopia". Gamasutra. UBM Technology Group. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
- Robinson, Seth (June 19, 2013). "Two guys made an MMO: The Growtopia Postmortem". IndieGames.com. UBM Technology Group. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
- Polson, John (January 12, 2013). "Free Mobile Pick: Growtopia (Robinson, Hommel)". IndieGames.com. UBM Technology Group. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
- Hommel, Mike (October 22, 2012). "Hamumu Develog!!! #9". YouTube. Google. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
- "Growing into Growtopia". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
- "Growtopia®/Nintendo Switch/eShop Download". Nintendo website. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
- "The Drop: New PlayStation Games for July 16, 2019". PlayStation.Blog. July 12, 2019. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
- "Buy Growtopia". Microsoft Store. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
- "Growtopia - Walkthrough, Tips, Review". Jay Is Games. January 12, 2013. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
- "An Update About the State of Consoles". Growtopia Forums. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
- "Growtopia for iOS (iPhone/iPad) - Game Rankings". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
- LeFebvre, Rob (January 22, 2013). "Growtopia (iOS) Review on 148Apps". 148Apps. Steel Media Limited. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
- Willington, Peter (January 28, 2013). "Growtopia (iOS/Android) Review on Pocket Gamer". Pocket Gamer. Steel Media Limited. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
- Nelson, Jared (January 11, 2013). "'Growtopia' is a Free 2D Sandbox MMO that You Should Try". TouchArcade. MacRumors.com, LLC. Retrieved March 5, 2019.