Business in Virtual Worlds, Virtual World Platforms

Micazook Aims to Bridge Virtuality, Google Maps

Micazook, a maker of 3D games based in the UK and Poland, will soon launch a beta of its “mirror earth” 3D virtual world, currently called Project X but soon to be launched under a proper name.

The company claims, despite having launched its site, that Project x “is probably the planet’s largest MMO virtual world to date.” It’s probably best to ignore that hyperbole and instead focus on what the world aims to do: “to make mirror earth possible as a viable world and to map the entire planet earth in 3D.”

According to the Micazook blog, the MMO will be PC and browser-based and its expansion, much like Second Life, will depend on how much content people contribute. The idea is for users to build buildings over top of the mirror earth: as the company says, “Think of it as a 3D Wiki earth.”

According to a January article in the Guardian, the product, led by company engineer Mike Fotoohi, “uses public resources such as US aerial maps, geographical data from and the wonderful” in order to build streets in three dimensions. The engine that the company has created converts the raw data into 3D spaces. Also, its avatars will be constructed of 7,000-10,000 polygons allowing for higher resolution.

The revenue model? Again, the Guardian states that there will be a three-tiered user model: homeless, visitors, and residents. As with SL, people will be able to purchase land and clothes, etc. and Micazook has even set up a virtual casino. The company also makes 3D games such as Cubico, Covert Ops 1943, Hillbilly Farm, and 4×4 Monster Trucks.

The company plans to launch its beta with three cities: New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.



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