Since beginning in 2007 Moshi Monsters has risen to become an online game and children’s social network with over 50 million members worldwide. There is a good chance that if you have children they probably have a Moshi of their own, as half of the country’s six to twelve year-olds are members.
As Moshi Monsters gets tipped to become one of the must have toys for Christmas 2011 we present you with ten things you probably didn’t know about the Moshi phenomen.
Before it went social Moshi Monsters was facing bankruptcy
Mind Candy, the company behind Moshi Monsters, hasn’t always had it so good. Speaking to The Independent, Mind Candy CEO, Michael Acton Smith said: “The real tipping point came in 2009 when we allowed kids to connect with each other and gave them a forum to discuss things. Until then, it had been a solo experience and we were on the edge of bankruptcy. It was when we added the social element that membership really took off.”
Education was the focus
When the game was built in 2007 the focus was on educating children. Acton Smith claims that teachers and parents loved it but kids just rolled their eyes.
Low subscriber numbers isn’t an issue
Only a “single-digit percentage” of Moshi’s users are paying members. But that is not a problem says CEO Acton Smith “Because we’ve got a relatively low cost base, you only need a few percent to be insanely profitable.”
Built for homework
A player’s ability to earn Rox (the virtual currency in Moshi Monsters) lessens after fifteen minutes since the game is optimised for short-term play. Mind Candy says this is to encourage children to do homework and play in other ways.
Breathing life into print
The Moshi Monsters magazine is the UK’s highest-selling kids’ publication. Its first issue, published in February this year sold out, despite printing over 80,000 copies. As well as comic strips, competitions, gameplay tips and other fun stuff it also has unique codes that unlock virtual items and other cool Moshi content.
A game by any other name…
Moshi Monsters was going to be called Puzzle Monsters but changed to Moshi Monsters to make it more suitable for a global brand.
In June this year one of Mind Candy’s original investors, Spark Ventures, sold half its stake in the company for $200m – 14 times what they money it invested in 2004.
A quick fix
The average game session is only ten minutes.
Class of 2007
Moshi Monsters was tipped for success by the Guardian in 2007. It was included in a list of hit websites to watch out for in 2008, alongside Twitter and Etsy.
Must have toys
Moshi Monsters and their babies (Moshlings) have made Hamleys coverted top ten list of toys for Christmas 2011. They sit alongside blockbuster film figures like Transformers and Cars 2 as well as festive staples like Barbie and Lego.