Argentina’s MetroGames is launching is its its Coco Girl fashion game on Facebook today. The new game is a big departure from the title the company launched a month ago, AutoHustle, where your goal is to become a world-class criminal like in a Grand Theft Auto style game. The move shows that the company is testing out different strategies in the quest to make it big on Facebook and mobile platforms.
While it looks light and casual, Coco Girl is a pretty deep game that has been in the works for more than a year, said Damian Harburger, chief executive of Buenos Aires-based MetroGames, in an interview.
A team of 40 has built the game and equipped it with several thousand fashion items that players can buy from a couple of dozen mall-like stores. This is the sort of major effort that it takes to compete on Facebook, where big rivals such as Zynga and Electronic Arts have raised the ante.
“We want to take Facebook games to the next level,” Harburger said. “This is our biggest investment.”
Inspired by shows like Sex and the City, the game lets players create a unique virtual character, or avatar, and play dress up in a fairly sophisticated way. You can get your avatar’s make-up done, style its hair in a salon, and shop in an experience that resembles real-world shops. You can follow quests, where you can dress up for special occasions like the prom or a holiday dinner, or just socialize. You can show off new outfits every day. And you can send each gifts and unlock premium outfits over time.
Targeted at women in their 20s to 50s, Coco Girl is all about the competition to create the best outfits and combinations of clothes for all occasions. The community votes on the quality of the outfits. The game has a few mini games and several currencies based on various rewards and monetization. Each player’s entire outfit history is stored in the game’s diary.
To get Coco Girl out the door, Harburger said the company canceled other games and put more focus behind fewer titles. That’s the same kind of path the console game publishers have taken as competition has raised the bar.
The company has raised $5 million. One of its investors is Playdom, which is now owned by Disney. The company was founded in 2007 and has around 150 employees. Harburger said the company has the advantage of having low costs in Argentina and access to good talent and a fast-growing regional market.