Are in-game pets social Tamagotchis? MapleStory players think so

MapleStory Unicorns
We all know pets within online video games are popular. World of Warcraft has made millions off of them. But MapleStory creator Nexon wanted to find out why the digital companions are so damn popular (and lucrative). So, the now-public game company took the obvious route: It asked the players that collectively bought 800,000 pets (and millions of accessories) in the free-to-play MMO.

"I interact with my pets with love and care," Orange County, Calif-based MapleStory player Nancy said. "With all the hard work of picking up items after I obliterate monsters, I make sure my pets are well fed every day." The pets do provide players with advantageous bonuses--much unlike real pets unless you're a single dude in a dog park--but see how they're talking about the pets.
MapleStory Pets

"I always tell him (a White Tiger) I love him, but when he's being naughty I then tell him he's a bad boy," Natasha, a MapleStory player from Ontario, Canada said. "I also make him poop at least once a day; (I) gotta keep him healthy!" (Um, just ignore the first part of that quote. Yeah.)

Either these MapleStory fans are joking, or at least some players look at their digital game pets as maybe not real pets, but virtual stuffed animals. Better yet, remember those Tamagotchi things? Either you or your kids had one, admit it. Did it ever leave your/their side for the two years they were cool? Maybe, just maybe this emotional approach to the things is what drives a large part of these hundreds of millions of transactions. Maybe it's not all about being the cool kid on the block.

Do you own any pets in social or online games that you purchased with real money? (And yes, animals in FarmVille count!) Why do you think people are attracted to the little buggers? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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