"The Twelve Days of Wizard: Day Six - Holiday Decorations," Game Updates, and Kingsisle's Expansion

Are you loving the celebration, but need something that you DON'T have to spend crowns on? Did you miss out on that free Color Light Strand? Can you not master that Christmas tree look? Need a snowy background to go with your decor? Don't worry, there's all that and more - now in the Crown Shop, and most of it available for gold! From snowmen to wreaths to presents, you now have all of the decorations you need for the perfect holiday party... or maybe just a warm, inviting house! It's time to head to the Bazaar and clear out your backpacks - there are 18 new holidays items for sale!

After a quick trip to the Bazaar, and lightening my load as far as Zafaria gear goes, it was time to stock up on these limited-edition items!

That’s right, these super holiday items are only available for a limited time, so even if you aren’t planning on decorating this season, stock up just in case you’re planning a party next year! Personally, with a Massive Fantasy Palace, I think I’d need about 100 of those Colored Light Strands. Wouldn’t it be neat to see one on every wall? I decided that I needed quite a few of these festive items, just in case I planned to decorate multiple houses, or more than one room. Most items were available for gold, but the wallpapers were crowns only – all of them! And 750 each. Of course, I tweeted about it:

@Wizard101 It's too bad that I don't have any wallpaper (that I can purchase with gold) to go with my decorations. ;)

Anyway, after a few purchases for the time being, I set up a smaller display of this new, holiday décor! I added a picture of the two wallpapers not shown.

People have also been selling their items to the Bazaar, too, but it's a glitch. You can't purchase them.

Definitely worth some of that spare gold! Here are the crown and gold prices for each item:

  • Big Holiday Tree, 1500 Crowns, 7500 Gold
  • Holiday Wreath, 750 Crowns, 3750 Gold
  • Snowman, 1250 Crowns, 6250 Gold
  • Color Light Strand, 375 Crowns, 1875 Gold
  • Milk and Cookies (interactive – you can eat them!), 1000 Crowns, CROWNS ONLY
  • Tree Wrapped Gift, 250 Crowns, 1250 Gold
  • Star Wrapped Gift, 250 Crowns, 1250 Gold
  • Snowman Wrapped Gift, 250 Crowns, 1250 Gold
  • Polka Dot Wrapped Gift, 250 Crowns, 1250 Gold
  • Polka Dot Wrapped Long Gift, 250 Crowns, 1250 Gold
  • Snowflake Wrapped Gift, 250 Crowns, 1250 Gold
  • Mint Hangee, 500 Crowns, 2500 Gold
  • Mint Standee, 500 Crowns, 2500 Gold
  • Large Snowflake, 750 Crowns, 3750 Gold
  • Small Snowflake, 500 Crowns, 2500 Gold
  • Snowflake Wallpaper, 750 Crowns, CROWNS ONLY
  • Holiday Striped Wallpaper, 750 Crowns, CROWNS ONLY
  • Night Snow Wallpaper, 750 Crowns, CROWNS ONLY

Wow! Remember, while some of these items are crowns only, they're only here for a limited time!

It seems that this morning, Kingsisle slipped some new updates in on us. Here they are:

  • The Chrismoose's lights now blink and his nose glows. Your cape is now draped over the side of the moose.
  • There are reports of no "cha-ching" sound when purchasing from the Bazaar
  • Jumping has been changed. Wizards in bunny costumes will enjoy.
  • The symbol for the Berserk spell has been changed
  • To accommodate for both male and female wizards, the title "King of the Jungle," has been changed to "Ruler of the Jungle."
  • It is reported that Tempest has bigger waves
  • When you leave Mirror Lake, you will now come out of the entrance instead of the Spiral Door
  • The Quagga Blade now gives only two Death dispels, and the cards have been arranged accordingly.
  • It is said that the darkest snow wallpaper is upside-down.

Interesting! Kingsisle also released this statement about Wizard101 and its expansion around the world:

Video game maker KingsIsle Entertainment continues to expand its Austin presence as its flagship game, "Wizard101," moves into overseas markets.

The company hired more than 40 full-time employes in Austin this year, bringing its local head count to about 165. Although KingsIsle is headquartered in Plano, most of its 180 employees work in Austin in development, marketing and other support departments.

Much of that growth is to support its all-ages online game that has morphed into a juggernaut.
In July, KingsIsle officials said "Wizard101" had picked up more than 20 million registered players in the United States since it launched in 2008.

Fred Howard, KingsIsle's vice president of marketing, credited the game's success to a number of factors, including that it can be played by children while also entertaining adults — a similar formula to that of successful Hollywood family movies.

"What we've found is our families play together," Howard said. That creates "a stronger bond, because now mom is playing with the kids, or kids are playing with the grandparents. And it becomes more of a family event."

The company had such strong response from the adult market that it launched new commercials on Monday with testimonials from parents.

"Wizard101" is now operating in six European countries: the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Poland and Italy. Next year, it will move into China, a potentially huge pool of customers. "All the focus (in China) is on the adult gaming market, and I think their market is... really ripe for a family entertainment property," he said.

As for Austin, Howard said KingsIsle is continuing to hire and expand. For 2011, KingsIsle more than met its internal target of increasing staff levels by 25 percent. The company has a "pretty aggressive growth plan for the next year," Howard said, without giving specifics. The company recently purchased adjoining space in its building at the Domain development to accommodate the growth.

KingsIsle staff members in Austin are also working on a second, unannounced project, but no details have been released.

For now, "Wizard101" still has years to go, Howard said. "It's certainly not showing signs of slowing now," he said.

By Brian Gaar

Be sure to tell me what you want to see featured in a post here at Swordroll's Blog! Thanks for reading and enjoy your holidays!

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