GamesBeat

PixyKids launches 3D-animated characters for kids social network

PixyKids, which has created a social network for kids ages 6 to 12, announced today it plans to allow children to create their own highly realistic 3D-animated avatars. The avatars are part of the company’s plan to become a Facebook for kids.

Like the avatar, or virtual character, pictured above, the PixyKids avatars will be able to reflect kids’ authentic styles, personalities, and interests. PixyKids is creating the avatar platform in partnership with Frima Studio, a Quebec, Canada-based digital design and game studio. They are revealing a PixyKids 3D Avatar App today at the Digital Kids Conference in Los Angeles. Kids can use the app to create their own custom avatars.

“We are thrilled about our partnership with Frima Studio and are excited to introduce the PixyKids 3D Avatar App for the first time,” said Rajul Kadakia, chief executive and co-founder of PixyKids in Menlo Park, Calif. “The partnership pairs our vision to enable personalization as a digital expression of kids’ personalities, individual styles, and interests with Frima’s originality and expertise in creating engaging and realistic digital experiences.”

Frima, founded in 2003, has a lot of experience making game content for companies such as Electronic Arts and Activision. We wrote about PixyKids in March when it announced it had raised $3 million in funding from ATA Ventures and other investors. The company is trying to create a social network where kids can show off their achievements and express themselves through text chat, video chat, emails, and a community wall.

The goal is to transform family interaction online and to allow kids to express themselves in a safe, family-friendly environment. John Rizzo, former chief executive of Zeebo and current chief marketing officer at Jive Software, recently joined PixyKids’ board.

PixyKids has nine employees and was founded in December 2010. Rivals include Disney’s Club Penguin, Webkinz, and Moshi Monsters. PixyKids hasn’t yet disclosed what its mobile strategy will be, but the 3D avatars will be available on its web-based social network.


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