Tuesday the Estate of Michael Jackson revealed that a PC-based virtual realm dedicated to the King of Pop is scheduled to launch in late 2011.
Called Planet Michael, the massively multiplayer online virtual world is currently in production by SEE Virtual Worlds and will be part of MindArk's CryEngine 2-powered Entropia Universe. The virtual planet will be void of any monthly subscription fees, relying instead on a real-world, in-game economy as seen in Second Life.
According to the publisher, Planet Michael will be an immersive virtual space themed after iconic visuals drawn from Michael’s music, his life, and the global issues that concerned him.
"At its core, Planet Michael is a massive social gaming experience that will allow everyone, from the hardcore fan to the novice, to connect and engage in collaborative in-game activities with people worldwide," SEE Virtual Worlds said. "Entire continents will be created that will celebrate Michael’s unique genius in a way that underscores his place as the greatest artist of all time."
Planet Michael will join two other existing worlds within the virtual universe: Planet Calypso, a sci-fi themed planet, and Rocktropia, a rock music-themed planet. The King of Pop's dedicated planet promises to be a "magical, enjoyable place that will capture that zest for fun and life that was at Michael’s very core."
"Michael was always exploring creative new ways technology could enhance the experiences of his fans, and for that reason we are thrilled to be working with SEE Virtual Worlds to build a global interactive experience that befits an artist as innovative as Michael Jackson," said John McClain, co-executor of The Estate of Michael Jackson.
Currently it's unknown if fans will have access to a virtual renditions of Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch or Francis Ford Coppola's 3D flick Captain EO originally seen at Disney's Epcot Center (written by George Lucas), however early screenshots depict virtual recreations of scenarios presented in his Billy Jean and Thriller videos, as seen below.