NEW YORK, April 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Can't get enough of Ellen DeGeneres on TV? How about playing games with her online? This week the star of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" announced that the social-good Facebook game WeTopia (http://apps.facebook.com/wetopia) will allow players to become "neighbors" with Ellen – not merely visiting a virtual property, but actually playing along with Ellen and working together to help charities in the real-world.
WeTopia already allowed players to be "neighbors" with their Facebook friends, shown as icons at the bottom of the game screen. By popular request, WeTopia has now made it possible for Ellen fans to include Ellen as a neighbor, too! Ellen announced a special code on yesterday's episode of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and concurrently posted it on her Facebook page: ELLENTOPIA. When WeTopia players see the new Ellen "quest icon," they can click it, fill in the code, and Ellen will be their newest neighbor, as displayed in the neighbor bar. Players are able to play along with her by visiting her WeTopia village to lend a helping hand to their new neighbor. Additionally, players will be able to complete Ellen-themed quests and even earn and buy Ellen-related in-game items, a process that will evolve over time.
"I'm a huge fan of WeTopia. I love the idea of a game where you can have fun and help people in the real world, and I'm so excited to be playing it now," said DeGeneres. "I love the idea of having thousands of new neighbors, especially the kind that don't steal my newspaper and play loud music really late, like after 8:30."
"We're thrilled that our players can now authentically become 'neighbors' with Ellen," says Lincoln Brown, founder and CEO of Sojo Studios. "It used to be that tourists would visit Hollywood and buy a Map to the Stars' Homes, but now at least you can hang out with Ellen DeGeneres in her WeTopia village from the comfort of your own home."
To date, WeTopia players have helped contribute more than 495,576 hot meals, 537,528 gallons of drinking water, 2306 multi-vitamin doses, 2,149 pairs of shoes, and 3,268 warm coats to projects in the U.S. and Haiti. The positive impact of their efforts can be seen in the game's "Reel World Theater" section. This in-game feature lets players visit projects like a school that they have helped build in Moline, Haiti, and a mobile health clinic that they have helped fund for homeless children in NY, through videos like this one from the field: http://youtu.be/RKsWjDnDpB4.
WeTopia encourages online gamers to Play for Good™. As they build and grow their WeTopia villages and help their neighbors, players earn currency called "Joy" which they can apply toward real-world projects: whether food, healthcare, education or other programs assisting children, both in the U.S. and other nations. Players can choose specific beneficiaries to receive their Joy and track their contributions through pictures, videos and in-game messages. WeTopia is free to play – players can also buy Facebook credits to spend in-game – but everyone can have a real-world impact simply by earning and spending Joy through game play.
Since WeTopia's private beta release, actual projects have been completed, including construction of a school in Haiti, distribution of meals and medicine to children in that country, and support of a summer literacy program in the Appalachia region of Kentucky. Among its initial nonprofit partners are such global organizations as Save the Children, buildOn and Children's Health Fund and local entities including Whitney Elementary School in Las Vegas.
About Sojo Studios
Based in New York, Los Angeles and Lexington, Kentucky, Sojo Studios is an entertainment company that creates social games where players can directly support improvement projects in the U.S. and worldwide, helping to create "social joy." All of Sojo Studios' projects are executed in the field by 501(c)(3) nonprofit partners. Established in 2010, Sojo Studios embraces the mission of leveraging the best aspects of team play in the virtual world in effecting positive and meaningful change in the real world. For more information, please visit www.sojostudios.com.
SOURCE Sojo Studios