ZAM's News Team Looks Back at 2010

As 2010 winds to a close and we prepare for 2011, the ZAM news team decided to take a look back at this year's highs and lows, as well as share what we're excited to see in 2011. Our team has changed a bit recently, so we wanted to take the time to properly introduce ourselves and talk about about our favorite topic: gaming.

Over the next few pages, you'll get to meet Editor-in-Chief Darryl "Togikagi" Gangloff (yours truly), Senior Staff Writer Chris "Pwyff" Tom, Reporter Kayla "Reiyami" Smith and Staff Writer Paul "LockeColeMA" Cleveland. Keep reading after the jump for my personal thoughts on 2010 and then flip through the pages to hear from the rest of the team.

We'd love to know what you thought about 2010. Feel free to share your opinions in the comments section below, or contact us at You can also find our individual contact information on the staff list page.

Hello Kitty Players Donate to Toys for Tots

Sanrio Digital has announced a Hello Kitty Toys for Tots Winter event in which players can collect in-game items that will turn into real world donations. Players are asked to collect a specific set of items (see after the jump) that will count towards one donation to Toys for Tots.

Once a player has collected a full set of items, they can then hand them in to a GM. For each complete set that is handed in, players will receive an in-game Colorful Teddy Bear as a badge of honor, and Hello Kitty Online will make a contribution to Toys for Tots. Players can collect as many sets as they'd like for more contributions to the charity.

GMs will be in game to collect your sets at Sanrio Harbour on the following dates:

  • Sunday December 5, 2010 at 8 PM –12 AM (EST)
  • Tuesday December 7, 2010 at 9 PM –12 AM (EST)
  • Wednesday December 8, 2010 at 9 PM –12 AM (EST)
Players can also set up a personal trade time with a GM by simply PMing one between December 6-8.

Hello Kitty Supports Breast Cancer Awareness

Sanrio Digital has announced that two new limited edition in-game items have gone on sale in Hello Kitty Online to support breast cancer awareness. Players can purchase a virtual Ribbon Awareness Tee and Ribbon Research Wand for 240 Sanrio Cash Points each or as a bundle for 390 Sanrio Cash Points.

All proceeds from the sale of these items will be donated to Susan G. Kommen for the Cure. The organization works in funding breast cancer awareness and research. The organization has funded research that has touched every major breast cancer advancement in the past 27 years.

To show that breast cancer is an ongoing problem, Hello Kitty Online will have the new items on sale year round in hopes of raising even more money for the cause.

Hello Kitty Online to raise funds for more charity

Talk about your socially minded MMOs! Throughout the month of September, Hello Kitty Online is planning to kick off a unique online charity event for their players. This time around, players will take part in the "Chocolate Harbour Rescue" in-game event, when an offshore chocolate refinery spills tons of chocolate into the sea. Players will need to head down to Sanrio Harbour to mop up this choclaty mess with Mop-a-Chocs, where they will then generate donation points and virtual chocolate bags full of special rewards. At the end of the month, Sanrio Digital will add up the total donation points generated and will then donate that amount to both Oceana and UNICEF, with each receiving 50% of the total.

For those of you who don't know, Oceana is an international organization focused on ocean conservation (HKO is focusing specifically on the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill), while UNICEF is trying to drive charitable missions into Pakistan, which has been ravaged by massive floods. Unfortunately, UNICEF has just recently announced that its life-saving missions in Pakistan may be in jeopardy due to a shortfall in funding. Let's get to mopping up that chocolate in Hello Kitty Adventures, everyone!

Hello Kitty Begins Toys For Tots Charity Drive

Hello Kitty Online is celebrating Christmas a little bit early, as they are announcing the beginning of their "2009 HKO Toys for Tots Charity Drive!" During the event, which takes place from December 14th to the 16th, players will have the opportunity to gather in-game items and trade them in for an in-game reward that also translates into a donation to the Toys for Tots organization. One set of items to trade in consists of:

Short Sticks (x10)
Webley Webs (x5)
Shell (x5)
Bramble’s Comfort (x10)

And the time windows when GM's will be at the Sanrio Harbour next to Nyoko, ready to take in trades are on:

December 14th at 5, 6, & 7 PM server time (EST).
December 15th at 7, 8 & 9 PM server time (EST).
December 16th at 10, 11 & 12 PM server time (EST).

*If you cannot make it to a drop off time, please PM GMPirate or GM_MorningBell to arrange a trade.

You can check out the promotion in more detail at the Hello Kitty Online webpage.

Players Celebrate Hello Kitty's 35th Birthday

It might be hard to believe, but Hello Kitty turns 35 on Nov. 1. Yes, that white face has been adorning products from school supplies to clothing for more than three decades. As you might expect, Sanrio Digital has numerous events planned in Hello Kitty Online to celebrate the birth of the icon.

Starting today, players can earn birthday tokens by playing new mini-games and completing birthday quests. Participants who collect at least four limited edition birthday items will gain entry to an in-game party held in London on Nov. 1. Players who don't collect enough items will still be able to visit parties in Florapolis and Paris.

Hello Kitty Online Launches in Europe

Hello Kitty Online has officially launched in Europe for players who speak German, English, French, Italian and Spanish. The free-to-play game has received some additions since the open beta ended, such as a new housing system, an upgraded pet system, a farming system, and zones for Paris and Beijing.

If you'd like to play the European version of Hello Kitty Online, simply register for the Web site to download and install the game client. More information can be found at the European Sanrio Town page or in the announcement after the jump.

Beta Sign-ups Begin for NA Version of HKO

The cuteness of Hello Kitty Online has invaded North America! Aeria Games is now inviting players to join the beta on its new HKO sign-up page, which is certainly flashier than the rest of the NA site. Signing up for the beta requires you to register for Aeria's Web site with a username and e-mail address. The company also features MMOs such as Shaiya, Last Chaos, TwelveSky 2 and Dream of Mirror Online.

Also, you can check out the new American HKO trailer on the sign-up page or YouTube.

HKO Coming to North America Through Aria Games

Aria Games, the producer of such games as Dream of Mirror Online, Shaiya and Last Chaos, has partnered with Sanrio Digital to launch Hello Kitty Online in North America, according to an announcement that was made at the Game Developers Conference, which is currently under way at San Francisco’s Moscone Center.

According to a press release, "Aeria Games will manage North American online publishing and game service operations for Hello Kitty Online. Sanrio Digital will manage retail publishing of the game and operate SanrioTown, the Sanrio-themed portal and social networking site integrated with Hello Kitty Online."

Hello Kitty Online is set to launch in various territories throughout 2009. The game is currently in its beta testing phase.

HKO Event Will Donate Clothing to Orphanage

The current beta preview for Hello Kitty Online has been extended until 11 p.m. EST on Sunday, so you still have some time left if you'd like to check it out. Also, Sanrio Digital is hosting an in-game event for a great real world cause, so that's good incentive to sign in and play. The Helping Hearts event will start at 9 p.m. EST tonight, and players will craft virtual items that Sanrio Digital will convert into actual clothing for an orphanage.

Hello Kitty Online players will have to use teamwork and organizational skills to collect resources and craft specific virtual shirts and bags. At the end of the event, items crafted and submitted by players will be counted and Sanrio Digital will donate a corresponding number of real, limited edition Hello Kitty shirts and bags to an orphanage.

To join the beta or the event, sign up to SanrioTown and download the client from the Hello Kitty Online Web site. You can read the full press release below.