*The Michael Jackson estate has entered a licensing deal with a Los Angeles company that will create an online virtual world based on the King of Pop called “Planet Michael.”
The planet will live inside the Entropia Universe, a so-called “massively multiplayer online” game that has about 100,000 active users and is run by the Swedish company Mind Ark, reports the Associated Press.
The estate will work with game publisher SEE Virtual Worlds to develop the game for release in late 2011. In it, fans will be able to collect and trade virtual Jackson merchandise, and earn credits by performing challenges related to his music and dance moves.
As in other virtual worlds, players can replenish their game accounts using real money. Martin Biallas, CEO Of SEE Virtual Worlds, said game play will focus on Jackson’s dance moves and adhere to his credo of nonviolence, a departure from other online multiplayer games such as “World of Warcraft.” The game will also allow for charitable contributions.
“With Michael Jackson, we’re aiming at different game play,” he told the AP in an interview.
John Branca, Jackson’s longtime lawyer and co-executor of his estate, said in a statement, “No artist unified the world like Michael Jackson, so it is fitting that in Planet Michael his fans will be able to join together in such a unique way online.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.