Is digital sightseeing the next big thing for the tourism industry? UK virtual publisher, nDreams, recently launched a floating archipelago called Aurora within the fast-growing PlayStation® Home virtual world. It's free to enter and visitors can check out the views, play games, win rewards and even buy their very own floating island. In the first six weeks, Aurora has received over a million visits; more than the Taj Mahal and the London Eye combined.
Virtual destinations have many advantages; they don't require CO2-emitting jet flights, you can get there within seconds, they offer a more interactive experience, and they can evolve regularly in ways that aren’t possible with real tourist spots.
nDreams CEO, Patrick O’Luanaigh (@patrickol) said, “We’re very proud of Aurora and the success it has had so far. We certainly didn’t expect to have so many visitors in such a short timeframe. The space itself is still in a very early stage; we have so much more planned for Aurora, and we’ll be adding to it regularly. We’re huge proponents of virtual worlds and believe they offer a great way to escape from the stresses and strains of real-life without having to jump on a plane. And we believe that the next decade will see rapid growth in the number and the quality of virtual world experiences available online.”
As part of the launch, nDreams ran a competition called ‘Aurora War’ which pitted over 300,000 players from different countries and continents against each other. North America beat their European rivals in the battle of the Atlantic, but Portugal and Switzerland the top two individual countries, narrowly beating a spirited fight-back from Canada.
nDreams and Sony are currently offering a free Aurora ‘Orbrunner’ set as part of the PlayStation ‘Welcome Back Pack. You can visit Aurora by clicking on ‘PlayStation Home’ on the main menu of any PlayStation®3 console.
And the future? nDreams will be revealing more about the surprising history behind the floating archipelago, and they have new areas, games and events coming up in Aurora which will be constantly evolving. And they are looking into allowing visits to Aurora using a browser in addition to PlayStation Home, opening up their virtual archipelago to an even wider audience. So next time you want to visit somewhere different, maybe you won't need that suitcase after all...
For more information, please contact:
CEO, nDreams Ltd
+44 1252 375754
Twitter: @patrickol and @ndreamers
nDreams TV: www.youtube.com/ndreamers
Logos, screenshots, videos and Word versions of this press release are all available at:
nDreams are an independent digital developer/publisher based in Farnborough, Hampshire, UK. They were founded four years ago by former Eidos Creative Director, Patrick O’Luanaigh. Since then they have grown to a team of 20.
nDreams are focused on creating innovative games on new digital platforms; they are the second largest developer/publisher in PlayStation Home (the free virtual world on the PlayStation®3 console), and are one of Europe’s leading developer of ‘Alternate Reality Games’ (ARGs). They have also developed games for Facebook, PC and iPhone.
nDreams were featured in the Guardian’s Tech Media 100 last year, and also one of only three companies in the UK nominated for the Kemp Little award for the most innovative technology business. They have also been nominated for a Develop Award for the last three years as ‘best new studio’ and for ‘outstanding business development’.