|Developer(s)||Jeff Kinney Group|
|Publisher(s)||Family Education Network|
|Designer(s)||Pete Amomaur, Jeff Kinney|
|Release||July 2007, September 2007|
|Genre(s)||Educational, Adventure, single-player with Massively multiplayer online game elements.|
|Mode(s)||Single and multiplayer|
Poptropica is an online role-playing game, developed in 2007 by Pearson Education's Family Education Network, and targeted towards children aged 6 to 15. Poptropica was primarily the creation of Jeff Kinney, the author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. As of 2015, he remains at the company as Creative Director.
In the game, players can go to different 'islands' (game quest scenarios), compete in multiplayer games, and communicate with each other. The islands all have various difficulties, but all center on a problem that the player must resolve by going through multiple obstacles or completing goals. All islands, upon finishing, award "Poptropica credits" which are non-negotiable but may be used to buy costumes and special effects in the Poptropica store.
In 2011, Poptropica was listed on Time magazine's list of "50 Websites that Make the Web Great", where it was described as "an inventive megasite for kids with a wholesome and slightly educational bent." In 2012, Poptropica had an Alexa Internet rating of 1,302 in the United States, and a ranking of 5,162 in the world. By 2012, the game had grown to have over 500 million registered users, with 35 million in the 15-25 age group. Versions of the game have been released on Nintendo DS, and iOS mobile devices. In May 2015, it was announced that FEN was sold by Pearson to the interactive-education venture capitalist Sandbox Networks, and that Poptropica had "over 3.2 million monthly unique users in 200 countries and territories."
When it first launched in 2007, Poptropica had three islands, Early Poptropica, Shark's Tooth Island, and Time Tangled Island. As of 2015, it has 40 islands to be explored. Each island has its own quest, for which a player can receive an island medallion as well as 150 credits to spend in the Poptropica Store. Starting July 6, 2011, Poptropica allowed players to replay islands, while still keeping all the Island Medallions they had already earned.
In addition to the available island quests, advertisers contract for temporary games that appear on the site, sometimes targeted to players of a certain age group or gender. Regular advertisers have included Disney, Kellogg's Froot Loops, Lego toys, and various animated movies and DVD releases. Games normally appear only during a two-week period. They show advertisements in between each stage, it is called an Ad-Stage. In the "ad-stage" the background is whatever the islands theme is, there is also a board linking to that advertisers website. In the "Ad-Stage" you can also run around in it just like a regular stage.
Island Creator Kit
In August 2013 an island creator kit was made available for purchase on Amazon. It is an activity book that walks the player through all the same steps the developers take when they make a new Island: Coming up with a storyline, creating characters, and designing puzzles.
Poptropica: Forgotten Islands
On September 5, 2013, Poptropica launched Poptropica: Forgotten Islands, an iOS game, which allows players to meet new characters, play mini-games, and discover story elements about Poptropica by finding artifacts littered throughout the game. It was also released on the Nintendo 3DS system through Ubisoft in 2014.
- Dossena, Tiziano Thomas (October 29, 2014). "From Lost Side Of Suburbia to Poptropica, An Exclusive Interview with Artist Kory Merritt". L'Idea Magazine. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
- McCracken, Harry (August 16, 2011). "50 Websites that make the web great". TIME. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
- Alexa ranking
- Brian Solis (2010). "Virtual Worlds". Engage. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-57109-5.
- Rosen, Judith (May 21, 2015). "New Owner for Poptropica and FEN". Publisher Weekly. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
- Dorbian, Iris (May 21, 2015). "Pearson sells Family Education Network to Sandbox Partners". Retrieved January 10, 2016.
- "Ubisoft and Poptropica partner to bring popular virtual world for kids to the Nintendo DS system". PRWeb. May 29, 2012. Retrieved January 10, 2016.