Portalarium, the creators behind Ultimate Collector, a social garage sale game, has just become the latest of numerous companies to announce a partnership with Zynga. Zynga in the past was not known for bringing in outside game developers onto its site sans-acquisition, but recent deals with companies like Majesco and RocketPlay suggest this is becoming an increasingly popular trend for the company.
The shopping and collecting game was inspired by popular US TV shows like American Pickers, Pawn Stars and Storage Wars, which led to a growing, unserved interest in this area. Given that farming is one of Zynga’s most popular topics, however, it’s clear that pop culture relevance alone probably won’t play a major role in its reception.
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According to Richard Garriott, Portalarium’s co-founder and creative director, “Ultimate Collector is really three games in one”:
It’s a collecting game where players go on a major hunt for collectibles ranging from toys, gadgets, historical weapons, novelties and famous art and display those collections in their homes. It’s a shopping game where players can visit shops and stores in our game, some of them from national retailers, to purchase items and add to their collections. And it’s a world building game that allows players to outfit a home, show off their collections to their friends, sell virtual items to other collectors and make in-game money to upgrade their house and grow it even larger.
It’s noteworthy that this is not Portalarium’s first major partnership, as both Macy’s and Simon and Schuster have signed deals to bring real-life stores into the game.