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August 26, 2021 / KingsIsle Community

The Ultimutt Coworkers

Every dog has its day, and today is that day! Back for a second time, we wanted to share some of KingsIsle’s fluffiest (and underappreciated) employees for National Dog Day. Trust us, you’re in for a treat!

Georgie

“My rescue dog – somewhere around ten years old, we don’t know how old specifically, but that’s the vets best guess. I’ve had him six years.

He’s around eight pounds, and we think he’s a havanese/miniature poodle mix.” – Brian


Athena

“This is Athena. I rescued her from the shelter the day before she was to be put down. She was scared of everything, mange and was not the ideal dog to anyone. I saw her pic and knew she was my girl. I spent years training her from her past fear to where she finally let me hug people again without attacking them. She had a nasty past, whatever it was, but now she is incredible, active, social and loves… Most.. people.” – Russell


Pici

“Pici (Peachy) is a super friendly 2 yo Malinois Terrier mix. She’s never met a human she doesn’t love and wants every dog to be her best friend too. Her hobbies include: de-stuffing all toys, sunbathing, learning new agility obstacles, and giving hugs to anyone human that comes in range.” – Anonymous


Shadow and Rev

“Shadow is an 8 year old German Shepherd/Akita mix. Don’t let her floppy ear fool you, she’ll hear you coming a mile away and come running for pets!

Rev is a 9 year old Havanese mix that thinks he’s more human than dog. He’s not the biggest fan of other animals, but you couldn’t ask for a better snuggle buddy!” – Kimberly


Bali

“Bali is the preverbal rescue dog that rescued me. We adopted Bali from the Williamson County Animal Shelter exactly 1 day before KingsIsle was sent home because of Covid. Since then she has been my constant office buddy. I don’t know if I would still be sane (well as sane as I can be) with all the craziness of the last year without her. We walk every morning to stay fit. Her favorite things to do (besides walks) are to chase flies, lay in the sun on a cool fall day, and watch the squirrels. Her name Bali is from the mythical island of Bali Hai from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical ‘South Pacific.'” – Karl


Samwise

“He’s just under a year old. He chews on EVERYTHING and doesn’t listen well. He’s also currently scared of a squirrel that moved into the back yard.” – Dreux


Clark and Tuna

“Tuna a cranky old lady, and Clark is the always clueless youngster, completely different but I could not imagine life without either.” – Tracy


Alice

“This is my doggo Alice! She lives with my family in Iowa!” –Mercedes


Addison and Peggy Sue

“Pictured left to right is Peggy Sue (aged 2) and Addison the Shepherd (aged 10). I’m forever grateful these gals found us and wiggled their tails/nubs into our lives. They’ve taught me empathy, patience and love on a level I’ve never experienced until I adopted them.” – Jenny


Sadie

“It’s Sadie! Loves to go hiking, very much needs to be prepared to step into water, and her favorite thing to chew on is knuckle bones. She’s 12 this year and is still full of energy when there are humans around.” – Renee


Radar

“He’s one yr old and his name is Radar.” – Adan


Iroh and Winston

“Winston and Iroh are essential members of the team whose duties include boosting morale, enforcing snack time, and maintaining a proper work/nap balance. When they are not moonlighting as security alarms, they promote wellness by forcing dad to go outside and “walkies around the blockies” with them. They are the perfect partners to have while working from home.” – Matthew F.


These adorable pals are all employee of the month in our book! Do you have a cute furry coworker you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!

Happy National Dog Day!

June 3, 2021 / KingsIsle Community

What Does Pride Mean To You?

KingsIsle takes great pride in our community supporting each other and making sure that everyone feels accepted for who they are. June is Pride Month where we celebrate the diversity of both our players and the KingsIsle team as one community.

We reached out to several of our team members and community leaders to share their stories of diversity and support. Here is what they had to say!


Renee Wooten, Producer (He/They) 

“Pride is much more than rainbow stickers, banners, and icons; It’s solidarity, comfort, and acceptance. People are meant to go through things together instead of alone. Celebrating Pride in who you are allows folks to know where the safe spaces are and encountering others that understand every journey is unique and challenging. It can also aid in someone’s self-discovery! 

I grew up thinking I was “broken” and there was no one else like me. Now I know that there is a spectrum of being Ace and that many folks do not even question their identity, so I’m finally embracing who I really am. By no means do labels need to control your journey, however, they can help understand how beautifully unique and yet still similar we all are.

I believe games and media in general are getting better at representation, but there is a LONG way to go with inclusion and diversity. I would love to see more authentic approaches like ‘Tell Me Why’ by DONTNOD Entertainment. They consulted folks with certain experiences to make sure there is accurate representation and had a trans voice actor portray a trans character. 

I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by friends and coworkers who support me for who I am as well. It’s important that representation is there for those that are loud and proud as well as those still discovering who they are or reserved. Your status is not all that you are, but it’s a pretty special part. 

Happy Pride everyone! ❤️” ~ Renee Wooten, Producer  


Mathew “Sparck” Anderson, Senior Community Manager (He/Him) 

“When I entered the game industry twenty years ago there were no LGBTQ+ friendly online games. Coming out to co-workers was practically unheard of and it was scary enough coming out to one’s own family and friends. Wizard101 and Pirate101 wouldn’t be made for another ten years, so I had no community to rely upon in a world I loved – games. I felt isolated and uncertain if this was the career path for me and if there would ever be a time when young folk like myself would find the support they needed. 

The game industry has changed since then for the better and I’m so glad to be where I landed. We’ve reached a point of immense support and respect for LGBTQ+ members both at companies and within our communities. Most importantly, we are seeing communities like for Wizard101 and Pirate101 that are built with inclusivity in mind, where players can come to escape the uncertainties of life and be with friends and supportive developers.

I’m proud of our players for seeing our games as a safe place to simply be themselves, and in seeing the KingsIsle team as a beacon of support. We have an incredible community that I am excited to help develop and grow, and that includes bringing the developers closer to the community in understanding. My personal mission is to ensure that everyone feels included, accepted, and respected. You can always reach out if you have questions about our community or need support in feeling welcome.

I am more comfortable being me at KingsIsle and in the Spiral than ever before in my career. Thank you all for making this community awesome!” – Mathew “Sparck” Anderson, Senior Community Manager 


TheArtOfWarlord, QA (Any) 

“I am happy that I work for a company where I can be open about who I am!” – TheArtOfWarlord, QA 


Kayly Ginsberg, Marketing Coordinator (She/Her) 

“When I look at the world today, it’s heartwarming to see how far we’ve come. Even just a few years ago we didn’t have a strong push for LGBTQ+ representation in media. While we still have a long way to go, I also think it’s important to recognize and appreciate that movies like “Love, Simon” even exist now. Representation is so important because it has the ability to resonate and inspire. It allows people who have felt broken their whole life to feel a little less alone.  

The world is changing and it’s been a long time coming. I want to see my friends and peers be able to be themselves without fear of being harassed or treated differently. So, what does Pride mean to me? 

Pride means progress. 

Pride means representation. 

Pride means acceptance.  

Pride means inclusion.  

Pride means being your true self and shining bright because of it.” – Kayly Ginsberg, Marketing Coordinator 


Amanda Rogers, Associate Producer (She/Her) 

“The story begins with the most marginalized members of our community pushing back against grave injustices and leads to visibility, marriage, and employment protections. While the crux of the celebration is a joining together as a community, and of course a parade, Pride is not about ignoring reality for parties. Pride at its core is a rebellion, an expression of love and openness in the face of hate. It is the time we take to remember our past and to look forward to our future.

Video games have often provided an outlet for its LGBTQ+ players. Whether you are coming to grasps with your own identity or have been out for ages, the ability to invent and reinvent yourself through video game narratives has been a key form of exploration for nonconformers for decades. While video games have not always been a willing participant in this, it is the reason so many of us have flocked to the industry either for our hobbies or our careers, and why there has been such a recent turnaround for genuine attempts at connecting with previously neglected groups.

Always remember, you do not have to identify as LGBTQ+ to support Pride! It is so important to just show up in support for the causes of others. We can always achieve more together than apart.” – Amanda Rogers, Associate Producer


Leah Ruben, Game Director 

“I’m proud to be part of a diverse and strong KingsIsle community that supports each other. Proudly be who you are and accept others as they are. We care for everyone in our community and want them to feel included, accepted, and part of something amazing!  

Let’s now talk about action. There are several ways we have planned to expand freedom of expression in Wizard101 over the next year and beyond.  

First of all, we’re evaluating chat and communications options. KingsIsle’s mission is to remain family friendly and a safe place for everyone to play, but we believe we can make some improvements in this regard and have some future plans to do so.  

Second, we are actively working on some new outfit options. Over the last two milestones, we’ve been developing behind-the-scenes tech to allow for a much larger color palette for NEW dyeable outfits (yes, this includes pink for boys, the burnt orange color for girls, and much more). These efforts have proven more complicated than expected but we are working on it! Sometime in the next year, we would like to roll out a few outfits as a test and then incorporate this new color wheel tech going forward. As we can allocate art and design time, we may retrofit some existing gear to use this as well.  

Speaking of art and design time, we are also looking to provide some of the early holiday gear (hello, Hallowe’en Robes!) as options for all wizards. There’s more in our long-term plans, but we want to take steps as we can to make sure that everyone feels as represented and included as possible in the Spiral!” – Leah Ruben, Game Director


Additional Team Support 

“Be proud of who you are and know there’s always those who will support and love you for it!” – Jason Brannon, QA Tester 

“A diverse workforce is an asset to any company.  Everyone should feel welcome and accepted and part of the KingsIsle family.” – Game Programmer 


COMMUNITY LEADER STORIES 


Mysteries of Ravenwood 

“Pride Month is a time where can show our true colors and be who we truly are, be defined by the things you love and not the things that you hate.” – Mysteries of Ravenwood 

“All humans are beautiful, regardless of race, gender, sexuality, disabilities, religious beliefs, etc. If you’re struggling with your identity, know that you are valid and beautiful, and you’re always allowed (and encouraged) to be yourself.” – Ambermeow 

Ambermeow is hosting a Pride Party this Saturday at 11am CST in the Commons, Realm Unicorn. Also mark your calendars for Visions of the Spiral’s Pride Run Event on June 26! 


Ravenwood Academy 

“We are proud of the diverse group of people that make Ravenwood Community one of the kindest, most supportive communities around. 

Ravenwood vows always to be a safe place, an ally, and a home away from home for all of our Wiz-fam. When you need a friend or a soft place to land, we are here, wands ready, Feints in hand.” – Ravenwood Academy 
 

Legends of the Spiral 

“Pride month is a time of celebration and reflection of the strengths and bravery of those in the LGBTQ+ community and its allies. We’ve come so far and faced cruelties beyond imagination. Every time someone strikes us down, we get up and dust ourselves off and ready ourselves for the next battle ahead. Pride is all about acceptance and understanding that love is love and that’s all that really matters.” – RyleeRoseThorn 
 
“Even with the world changing around us, don’t be afraid to always be yourself. Let everyone love you for you and not someone who everyone wants you to be.” – MichaelWildflame 


Wizard101 Folio 

“This world would be a lot better if we just made an effort to be less horrible to one another.” 

“Never be afraid to be the best you that you can be! Happy Pride Month!” – Kyle IceWielder 

The Trevor Project is an important lifeline for the LGBTQ+ community in times of need. If you are a KingsIsle community member or just happening across this blog post from us and are struggling with your own identity, please don’t hesitate to seek out support like through The Trevor Project. 

April 28, 2021 / KingsIsle Community

Challenge New Bosses and Reap the Rewards in Wizard101’s Spring Update

A major update for both new and experienced players looking to continue their adventures together in Wizard101

AUSTIN, Texas, Apr. 28, 2021 — KingsIsle Entertainment, a proven MMO hitmaker, invites gamers to experience their latest update to Wizard101. Players will find new bosses to defeat, new team-based events with special rewards to acquire for all participants, and new ‘Meet Your Fellow Wizards’ socialization features that make it easier than ever to find other players. 

“Wizard101 has always been about bringing players together of all ages to explore the worlds of the Spiral. We’re now enhancing the journey with exciting new boss fights that have awesome rewards and new ways for players to meet up.” said Leah Ruben, KingsIsle Game Director. 

In addition to expanding combat for adventurous PvE players, this update also further supports PvP balance and matchmaking – resulting in better quality matches that players get into faster and thus more easily obtain the lucrative event rewards and player status. 

“We’re constantly working directly with the community to fine tune combat balance and ensure an equally satisfying experience for both PvE and PvP participants.” – Ben Durbin, KingsIsle Design Lead.

A complete overview of the Spring Update is posted on Wizard101.com

About Wizard101 

Featuring four times as much content since it was first introduced in 2008, Wizard101 players keep coming back for engaging story-driven gameplay across 19 worlds, deep combat, pet systems, and passionate community. Over more than twelve years, Wizard101 has continued to evolve and entertain more than fifty million players. 

Wizard101 receives major updates on a regular basis in the spring, summer, and fall seasons. The game is available from Wizard101.com or on Steam. 

About KingsIsle Entertainment 

KingsIsle Entertainment, established in 2005, is a proven MMO hit-maker with 50+ million registered users across both our MMOs with vibrant and strong communities. Since its foundation, Kingsisle has devoted itself to family-friendly gameplay, and has built an audience that reaches from pre-tweens to their grandparents. Our award-winning game Wizard101 is currently in its 13th year and Pirate101 is in its ninth. 

About gamigo group 

The gamigo group is one of the leading publishers of online and mobile games in Europe and North America. The company’s diverse game portfolio includes free-to-play titles such as ArcheAge, RIFT, Trove and Aura Kingdom, as well as the recently launched buy-to-play game ArcheAge: Unchained. Counting more than 400 employees, gamigo is one of the largest German companies in the gaming industry. Besides its 5 german locations in Hamburg (HQ), Berlin, Cologne, Münster, and Darmstadt, the gamigo group also has branches in Warsaw (Poland), Istanbul (Turkey), New York, Redwood City, Austin, Bellevue (US), and Seoul (South Korea). In addition to gamigo AG, the group includes the subsidiaries WildTangent, Aeria Games, Verve, and Mediakraft Networks as well as the brands Infernum, Intenium, Looki, and Poged. The company strives to grow not only organically, but also through acquisitions. Since 2013, it has made more than 25 acquisitions, including titles, gaming and technology companies as well as individual game assets.