LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Dracula, Wolf Man and other classic monsters who have appeared in movies from Universal Studios for the past eight decades are getting themselves a virtual playground.
Universal is set to announce this week that it has struck a deal with SEE Virtual Worlds to create a massively multiplayer online game where players become their own version of monster-hunter Van Helsing.
SEE, which stands for Special Entertainment Events, plans to build several virtual worlds -- what it calls “planets” -- based on entertainment properties. Last month, it announced its first, Planet Michael, devoted to deceased pop star Michael Jackson.
Planet Michael and the Universal Monsters project are due late next year.
SEE was formed in 1997 and made a name for itself creating “mobile theme parks” based on such franchises as “Star Trek” and “Pokemon,” and SEE Virtual Worlds is a division of that company.
The company partnered with MindArk, which operates the Entropia Universe where Planet Michael and the Universal Monsters will reside.
The Entropia Universe has nearly 1 million registered users in 200 countries who play in virtual worlds that use “real money trading,” or RMT, in lieu of subscription fees.
The RMT system allows users to play for free while depositing money to purchase virtual objects. Players also can earn, trade and sell items and withdraw cash from their accounts.
Some of the characters making up the Universal Monsters collection include Frankenstein’s monster, the Phantom of the Opera, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Invisible Man, the Mummy and the Creature From the Black Lagoon.