Franktown Rocks with 100k beta accounts

Music-themed virtual world Franktown Rocks (incidentally my kids favourite virtual world) has come out of beta with 100k registered accounts.

Here’s the press release:

Nashville-based Brainwave Studios has announced a successful completion of the beta phase for their music-based virtual world for kids: Franktown Rocks (

According to Brainwave President, , the website has garnered over 100k registered accounts over the last few months of live beta testing.

We have been thrilled with the interest in Franktown worldwide. We have kids from over 200 countries playing on the site, says Solberg. Next to the U.S., we have been seeing strong traffic from Turkey, France, Great Britain, Brazil and China. Whats really exciting is that this traffic has been entirely word of mouth between kids. We have not yet launched advertising campaigns in any of these territories.

Despite an ever-growing number of entries in the virtual world sector, Brainwave attributes its beta success to its unique content. A unique element to Franktown is that our characters are illustrated by hand, as opposed to the standardized avatar modules seen in most other virtual worlds. Our proprietary artwork, along with our focus on music education for kids, has allowed us a unique position in this sector, adds Solberg.

The virtual world sector is just one component in Brainwaves development strategy, according to Brainwaves VP of Business Operations, . We specialize in high-tech entertainment for kids, which in todays market also encompasses toys and animated content. Concurrent with the beta launch of Franktown Rocks, we have developed numerous toy designs as well as a cartoon pilot, which will allow us to expand quickly. We are not just building a virtual world, we are launching a global brand.

Brainwave initiated development on Franktown Rocks in April 2007 after raising $1.25 million in private equity. We are fortunate that we have been able to maximize content development within our initial round of funding. Most of our competitors have spent 3-5 times more to get to a similar development point, says Bach.

Franktown Rocks has entered full active launch status just in time for the holidays. Our design and development teams are having a blast with the holiday motif, adds Solberg, We have winterized the site with snow and have added fun winter accessories such as earmuffs etc. to our characters clothing inventories. We also hope to be unveiling our proprietary skateboard system in time for Christmas.

Franktowns commerce model is based on Free-to-Play, with revenue centers focusing on both subscriptions as well as virtual currency, which can be purchased ala carte without a subscription.

The country breakdowns for the beta accounts are shown in the graph right. Normally you would expect a US-based world to harvest at least 65% of accounts from the US during a beta (and using viral). In this instance the datapoint is 19%.

Referringback to typical beta country splits, outside of the US you would expect the UK (in the top 3), Germany, Italy, France, Brazil and Spain to feature. Again, there’s a different picture with China growing in ratio during the beta to account for almost 6%. Turkey and the Philippines are also in the top 10 – more about Turkey in a future post.