Jimmy Buffet's classic song MargaritaVille started out as just that -- a easy-listening '70s tune to belt out while waving a frosty Margarita over your head, preferably at some beachside bar teeming with bikini-clad patrons.
Over the years, MargaritaVille has turned into a multi-billion dollar franchise, complete with restaurant chains, hotels, branded food and drink -- and now its headed to Facebook and iPad in the form of MargaritaVille Online, a free-to-play online game that will actually let you create your own version of Buffet's fictional paradise.
"You can build a boat (and) you can build a bar. You gotta evade the pirates. You can have adventures," the singer says in this USA Today article.
In the game, which Buffet is creating with game developer THQ, players will be able to earn virtual dollars which can be used to buy decor for their boats/bars and have the option to spend real-life cash if they want the process to move more quickly. Characters and locations from Buffet's life, song and books will also make an appearance in the game, which is designed to be a wink and a nod to Parrotheads everywhere. Some examples of this are, according to the USA Today article, Captain Tony's Boats and Planes, which is based on a character ripped from Buffet's song 'Last Mango in Paris' and Joe Merchant's Trading Post, borrowed from his 1992 novel 'Where is Joe Merchant?'
And, yes, you will be able to listen to Buffet's music in the game (something we've been seeing more and more in social games, i.e. Lady Gaga in FarmVille, Dr Dre in Mafia Wars, etc), and players will be able to create their own virtual band. Eventually, players will be able to upload their own cover version of Buffet's songs.
It appears there will also be real life benefits for playing MargaritaVille Online. Buffet mentions something about buying virtual cheeseburgers and margaritas for friends "should earn you a real burger or beer at a restaurant." There are no details on how this will work at the moment, but offering real-world benefits for virtual activities is still a largely untapped feature in social games that we will probably see much more of over the next few months, years.
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