Meteor Games

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Meteor Games
Private
Industry Computer and video game industry
Fate bankrupted
Founded California, United States (2007 (2007))
Founders
Defunct January 27, 2012 (2012-January-27)
Headquarters West Hollywood, California, United States
Key people
  • Adam Powell (Chief Creative Officer)
  • Donna Powell (CEO and COO)
  • Barry Collier (Chief Technology Officer)
Products
  • Serf Wars
  • Island Paradise
  • Ranch Town
Number of employees
100
Website meteorgames.com
Footnotes / references
[1]

Meteor Games was an independent online gaming studio formed in 2007 by Neopets founders Adam Powell and Donna Powell.[2]

According to a statement released by the company, its games will "cross the appeal of social networks, web-based casual games and traditional massively multiplayer online games."[3]

Company Overview[edit]

Meteor Games was an independent online gaming studio committed to developing "fun, immersive, and innovative games spanning the web, social networks, and mobile devices".[4] The company was founded in 2007 by the creators of the Internet phenomenon[5] Neopets and were headquartered in Beverly Hills, CA.

The headquarters was located in Los Angeles and had at its peak 100 employees.[6]

History[edit]

Meteor Games' first project was the MMO Twin Skies, with the first public demo of the game being shown at the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) in Seattle.[7] The game was originally planned to be in 3D, but was later changed to become a 2D Flash game.[8]

In the company's shift to the rapidly growing social gaming market[9] it released several games based on internal intellectual property including: Island Paradise which became a large commercial success,[10] Serf Wars, and Ranch Town.

Layoffs[edit]

In October 2011 26 workers were laid off and at the end of November 2011 it was acknowledged that all but those related to maintenance of the remaining games run by Meteor Games on Facebook were being let go.[11] Then somewhere around March or April 2012, the remainder of the Meteor Games staff were let go after Island Paradise was shut down around April. At the same time it was confirmed that then CEO Zac Brandenberg, who joined the company in 2010, had left in November,[12] leaving Adam and Donna Powell to oversee the site. Sometime in either 2010 (around when Zac Brandenberg left) or early 2011, Adam also exited Meteor Games, which left Donna as sole COO and CEO of the company.

Games[edit]

Twin Skies[edit]

Twin Skies was a planned flash game to be created through Meteor Games as their first gaming project.[13] Initial response to the game's announcement at the 2008 Penny Arcade Expo was positive.[14][15] Later reports stated that Meteor Games had scrapped plans to release the game as a MMOG, but moved to produce the game via flash due to economic issues.[16] The move was met with disappointment by gaming websites such as Kotaku,[17] who commented that it was "a pity" as the "original concept was extremely intriguing."[18] Gameplay was initially planned to include several elements such as social interaction and mini-flash games that would have directly influenced the world in the Twin Skies MMO.[19] Twin Skies was originally planned to enter beta testing in late 2008, with a projected full launch in 2009,[20] but was later cancelled due to massive layoffs at Meteor Games.

Serf Wars[edit]

Serf Wars encourages players to transform their land from a rotten borough into a thriving fantasy kingdom. Gamers play arcade-style minigames, train an army, raise their population, and take part in quests as they expand their domains. Players can ally with their friends or wage war against them. This game became discontinued around the end of late February to early March 2012 along with Ranch Town.

Island Paradise[edit]

Island Paradise was a social network-based application available on Facebook, where players create their own tropical island escape to play with friends, tend crops, plant trees and raise animals. In addition, players can visit other islands to help their neighbor's level-up faster – or to steal untended crops. Island Paradise was launched 25 August 2009. As of November 2009, Island Paradise had roughly 6.8 million monthly active users.[21] After two years the game continued to be a commercial success.[10] In the beginning of April 2012, the game went offline without releasing any message by the developers.

Ranch Town[edit]

Named one of the top gaining Facebook apps in early June 2010,[22] Ranch Town gives desperados a chance to live – and play – in the iconic Gold Rush era of American history. Using popular “farming” game mechanics, players start with their own plot of land, a lonely cow and a handful of mining nodes and can stake claim to, cultivate and mine for gold to grow their wealth. This game became discontinued about the end of late February to early March 2012.

Neopets: Treasure Keepers[edit]

In conjunction with Neopets, Meteor developed a new game based in the world Adam and Donna first created, Neopia. There was the ability to do quests on a board game-like map, sell items to NPCs in your shop, and earn achievements. These achievements sometimes come with a code for a free item on Neopets.

It was confirmed due to money losses and a plummet of users over the last few months along with laying off 90% of Meteor Games staff, Neopets: Treasure Keepers was shut down on Wednesday, December 14, 2011.[23] Upon closing, users of the game were given a code to use on the Neopets.com website for 10,000 in-game NP and 11 other virtual items.

Discontinued Games[edit]

  • Vikings, Pirates, and Ninjas
  • My Sweet Shop [24]
  • Little Rock Pool [25]
  • Neopets: Treasure Keepers
  • Serf Wars
  • Ranch Town
  • Island Paradise

References[edit]

  1. ^ Meteor Games, LLC: Private Company Information - Businessweek, retrieved 2015-09-16 
  2. ^ "New MMO games startup, Meteor Games, to target youth demographic". Venturebeat.com. 2008-07-01. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  3. ^ "Q&A:Neopets Creators Found Virtual World Dev Meteor Games". Gamasutra.com. 2008-07-01. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  4. ^ "Meteor Games". Meteor Games. 
  5. ^ "NeoPets invade the Internet world". Cnn.com. 2003-01-07. Retrieved 2011-06-23. 
  6. ^ "About Meteor Games". Meteor Games. 2010-10-29. 
  7. ^ Twin Skies at PAX 08
  8. ^ "Twin Skies to change from 3D to 2D Flash MMO". 2009-05-31. 
  9. ^ "Social Gaming Market to Surpass $1 Billion". 2011-01-12. 
  10. ^ a b "How an Older Social Game Keeps Making Money". The Wall Street Journal. 2011-02-24. 
  11. ^ "Meteor games staff being laid off". 2011-12-05. 
  12. ^ "CEO Zac Brandenberg leaves Meteor Games". 2011-12-14. 
  13. ^ "PAX08: Twin Skies interview". Joystiq. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  14. ^ "Twin Skies at PAX". IGN. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  15. ^ "Twin Skies at PAX08: Booth impressions". Joystiq. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  16. ^ "Twin Skies scraps their 3D MMO plans to focus on a F2P Flash game". Joystiq. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  17. ^ "'Twin Skies' Scales Back From 3D To 2D". G4TV. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  18. ^ "Innovative MMO Twin Skies Not Quite As Innovative Anymore". Kotaku. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  19. ^ "PAX 2008: Top Five Surprises (In a Good Way)". Escapist Magazine. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  20. ^ "Twin Skies : le MMO qui vous suit comme un siamois". Canard PC. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  21. ^ "Neopets Creators See New Success on Facebook With Meteor Games". Inside Social Games. 2009-11-24. 
  22. ^ "Madden Leads This Week's List of Emerging Facebook Games". Inside Social Games. 2010-09-24. 
  23. ^ "Meteor Games axes almost all staff, shutters social Neopets". 2011-12-14. 
  24. ^ "My Sweet Shop Will Close on June 30th". 2011-06-02. 
  25. ^ "Little Rock Pool Will Close on June 30th". 2011-06-02. 

External links[edit]