“Planeto takes quiz gaming to new heights. Now you can experience unprecedented quiz fun together with millions of players around the globe.”

Swedish startup Planeto is going after the wealth waiting in virtual goods and social gaming, besides from the modest goal of world domination in gaming. Planeto Quiz claims to be the world’s first Massively Multiplayer Online Quiz (MMOQ). The game is first to combine elements of online role-playing games such as World of Warcraft and Lord of the Rings Online with the accessibility and instant thrill of traditional quiz games.

Planeto’s been all hush hush from the beginning, even the names of the private investors of the company are still to be kept secret. But, as of today, we’ve got a little preview of what’s in the making!

Planeto.com screenshot 20091116

How does Planeto Quiz work
Planeto Quiz is a free-to-play service and will initially be available as a web game, mobile platforms and consoles coming later. The web game works standalone but is tightly linked with Facebook, thus recommended to use to gain the full gaming experience.

Players can decide to play without creating an account, or login with Facebook, MySpace, Google or OpenID account, as well as create an own unique Planeto account with Avatar, an online persona. Players can then decide to take on quiz challenges alone – playing against the game itself – or together with friends. Answering questions correctly gives each player a chance to receive items, equipment and action cards that can then be used to further enhance the quiz experience. This is also where the money’s to be made, in micropayments of additional game items and equipment. Planeto Quiz is not targeting any specific demographics, thus aiming to reach both male, female, young and old, worldwide.

Challenges of social gaming
To take upon the future challenges the company possesses notable, and well needed, domain competence, led by co-founder and CEO Martin Walfish. Martin himself is the founder and former CEO of Massive Entertainment, one of the world’s premier PC game development studios recently acquired by Ubisoft Entertainment. The team was also recently joined by Sweden’s own Internet guru Joakim Jardenberg as the CMO. If anyone, he gets the benefits of engaging in social networks and of transparency.

As the magic sauce recipe of stickniness factor still remains a secret, though, I’m eagerly waiting Joakim to drop the stealth mode sign, just as Eric Ries, Lean Startups, also recommends, and get into serious interaction.

The challenges, as well as opportunities, Planeto is facing in the world of gaming became very clear while listening to a wonderful panel discussion with Elísabet Grétarsdóttir, Global Strategy and Tactical implementation of EVE Online, among others at the SIME conference held last week. EVE Online  is a hugely successful science fiction-based massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) by Icelandic CCP (See also our previous coverage of CCP). She couldn’t stress enough the importance of embracing the fact that the games truly belong to the users themselves, thus empowering the grassroots marketing engaged in by the players throughout communities and social networks.

Planeto is at the moment doing the dating game as seeking venture capital, so if you’re triggered by success stories like Farmville, Mafia Wars, Stardoll, Eve Online or World of Warcraft, now would be a good to time to make the call.

A team of ten people is working as we speak to get us all hooked up when launching later this year. For now there’s no use of begging for beta accounts, a group of some 50 beta testers are taking care of that. Put in other words, join the Facebook Page and you know it’s time when your inbox is filled with friend requests to join the Planeto Quiz.

Be prepared of the wave.

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