A small team of adventurous techies and gamers in Alberta have been quietly developing a massively multiplayer online game based on the real world.
EarthMMO is preparing to launch an augmented reality game that is akin in key ways to the wildly popular Pokemon GO but with a few notable distinctions.
First of all, there’s no Pokemon—players function in the game as a fantastical version of themselves. Second, there’s no app—the game is browser-based for maximum simplicity and accessibility.
The Calgary startup was founded by Rowan Sommerfeld and Thomas Vu, who want to turn the whole world into a live-action fantasy video game.
EarthMMO was showcased at Game Con Canada in Edmonton June and battle-tested more recently during Enchanted Okotoks, a fantasy-themed event hosted by the Okotoks Adventuring Guild that took place in September.
“This project has been in development for little over a year, we’ve been all over North America testing and meeting people,” Sommerfeld informed Brent Calver for Western Wheel.
More than 1,000 participants scanned nearly 9,000 QR codes as part of the Enchanted Okotoks event, data from the startup’s discord shows.
EarthMMO promises “hours of game play where people can really explore their own town through the fantasy lens,” Sommerfeld told the Wheel.
In terms of monetization, in-game quests can be tied to locations or brands, who can further blend reality by blurring the lines—for example, a bar can craft a real drink that also appears in the game for a quest, which reportedly occurred during the Enchanted event.
The game involves virtual combat, although the violence is mild and fantasy-based, the founders say. This decision keeps the game family-friendly.
As it contemplates world domination, EarthMMO is among the latest startups graduating from Alberta Catalyzer Velocity in Southern Alberta.
Taking place on the eve of Calgary Innovation Week, the Alberta Catalyzer Velocity South Showcase on November 14 kicks off the biggest week of the year for the Calgary tech ecosystem.
The Velocity showcase is the culmination of an eight-week program where entrepreneurs work with industry experts and coaches to take their business to the next level in establishing a strong go-to-market strategy, polishing their pitches, and working towards qualifying for scale-up accelerators.
Register online to attend the Alberta Catalyzer Velocity South Showcase.