WeTOPIA, Delivering "Joy" In a Real Way Favorite 



Nov 29 2011


Sojo Studios, a new entertainment company, made plenty of headlines this week with its first social game, WeTopia. The studio is gaining plenty of attention with news of its $8 million arsenal, a roster of partnerships with non-profits like Save the Children, Children’s Health Fund and buildOn, consumer brand advertisers, and Ellen DeGeneres as one its business investors and partners. 

Every company seeks its “secret sauce.” The newly launched entertainment company Sojo Studios is counting on the desire of social game lovers to feel driven to Play for Good ™.

Sojo’s business model is a hybrid that allows them to continually generate revenue, both through advertisers and sponsors (such as Mattel and Clorox) as well as players’ purchases of social goods in-game, with a mandate to donate 50% of the net profits (never less than 20% revenue) to its charity beneficiaries. As future games are created and published, additional causes and associated nonprofit organizations from around the world will be considered.

The business model evolved out of entrepreneur and founder Lincoln Brown’s own passion and involvement in causes, most recently Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. His vision for WeTopia and the company’s other games is not only to give people a powerful and fun way to give back, but to allow them to see where the money is actually going and to keep track of its real-world impact.

While WeTopia’s gameplay will be familiar to those who play building games (i.e., creating homes, making businesses thrive, farming for resources), its fund raising model is brand new. Some social games allow players to buy virtual goods with Facebook credits with a fraction of the cost going to aid programs. In WeTopia’s case, players gain a special form of currency called “Joy”. As players accumulate Joy by playing the game, they can spend it on individual, real world campaigns.

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