Former Microsoft Game Studios vice president Ed Fries and World of Warcraft
developer Blizzard have partnered to announce the official launch of FigurePrints, a premium service that allows WoW
players to create 3D statues of their in-game characters.
Fries left Microsoft in 2004 after helping to launch the original Xbox and was instrumental in overseeing a number of Microsoft Game Studios hits including Halo, Age of Empires, Mech Assault, Crimson Skies
and Project Gotham Racing
His new venture sees a reversal of recent online gaming trends which translates playing cards, toys and other items into virtual goods. FigurePrints will instead offer WoW
's 9 million subscribers the opportunity to create real-world figures of their online characters via the FigurePrints website.
Purchasers of the recently-announced Dell PS M1730 World of Warcraft
edition notebook computer will receive a "golden ticket" which will allow them to print a World of Warcraft
FigurePrints character at no charge.
Said Fries, “For the first time, we are taking this new technology and using it to bring objects out of a virtual world and into the real world through 3D printing. We are turning the actual characters that gamers play into something that is tangible and physical, no longer just online, and frankly we just think that is really cool.”