It’s been ten years since EA’s online casual game community Pogo.com launched as a start-up in 1999. Since then it has grown from a small selection of games with dozens of players to a global destination offering hundreds of online and download games to millions of users in North America, France, Germany, and the U.K.
In the past four years alone, Pogo.com players have logged more than 6 billion hours and 8 billion game sessions, according to EA.
"Whether you just have five minutes for a quick game break to escape from your busy day or a couple of hours to be immersed in Pogo’s rich community gaming experience, we are so proud that Pogo.com has been a pioneer in bringing online fun to millions of users worldwide for the last decade", said Michael Marchetti, Senior Vice President, General Manager of Pogo.com and Social Games.
The online community is also a major component of Pogo.com. Over the years, more than 2,600 players have arranged face-to-face meetings that have not only resulted in deeper friendships, but courtships as well – according to EA, 250 people have actually gotten married after meeting through Pogo.com.
Pogo.com kinship even saved a life this summer when a woman who happened to be playing the online card game Canasta came to the rescue of another player in the same chat room who started pleading for help after a chimney fell through the ceiling of her home and crushed her legs. According to local news reports, Nita Renee of Tulsa, Oklahoma called emergency assistance and was able to get authorities to help the injured 70-year-old woman, who was two states away in Auburn, Nebraska.
"Having been there since day one, it is amazing to reflect on the past ten years of Pogo.com," said Mike Riccio, VP and Chief Technology Officer of Pogo.com, Mobile and Social Games. "The site was an early participant and innovator and has significantly contributed to the growth and popularity of online casual gaming."
Some of the milestones of Pogo.com’s ten-year history include the introduction of:
- Chat during game sessions (2000);
- Paid subscription with Club Pogo (2003);
- Pogo Minis (avatars) (2005);
- Pogo Micro-transactions (Pogo Gems) (2006);
- Pogo in France and Germany (2008);
The next major feature to debut on the site will be the newly designed free Pogo.com homepage, scheduled to debut in later this month in October, 2009.