Teen pop sensation Justin Bieber is putting his money where his heart is and investing in Sojo Studios’ WeTopia, which launched late last year to produce social games with nonprofit beneficiaries in a Farmville-like Facebook game for developing countries (such as Haiti, as seen above).
Promoting WeTopia as a collective effort (replacing the implied 'you' in Utopia with 'we'), Sojo Studios encourages online gamers to ‘Play for Good,’ and its free-to-play, community-building game lets players create and nurture WeTopia villages, earn “Joy” currency, applicable to real-world charitable projects in the U.S. and abroad, and track the impact of their contributions.
Initial nonprofit partners include Save the Children, buildOn and Children’s Health Fund. Bieber, naturally, announced his involvement on Facebook and Twitter.
“A fan first showed me this and now I am Proud to be a part of WeTopia. When you play, you help kids in the REAL WORLD. Let’s all play this game and really MAKE A CHANGE. Thanks,” Bieber posted on Facebook.
The fan who introduced him to WeTopia, @MiKSHiNE, got a special shout-out on Twitter. “Playing online games is a lot of fun already, but WeTopia makes it better by helping children around the world. Some of these kids need to go to school or they need clean water,” said Bieber in Sojo's Dec. 20th press release. “I’ve been so lucky and blessed and that’s why I believe so much in giving back, and I know my fans will feel the same way when they play WeTopia.”
Bieber didn’t release details of his investment, but Sojo Studios site says it donates 50% of monies raised from advertising linked to its games to charity.
The company launched last year and “embraces the mission of leveraging the best aspects of team play in the virtual world in effecting positive and meaningful change in the real world.”
Bieber joins Ellen DeGeneres to provide social and entertainment marketing support, leveraging his personal brand and enormous clout as Sojo rolls out its slate of games, WeTopia being the first.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Justin Bieber, an amazing entertainer and someone who has emerged as one of the most prolific young philanthropists this world has seen,” stated Lincoln Brown, founder and CEO of Sojo Studios. “Justin is using his voice to inspire millions of fans around the world — including daughters and their moms — to give back. We can’t think of a better way to bring the generations together than on WeTopia, which lets players do good while having fun.”
For a worldwide entertainment phenom who made his name and fame via social media, who’s since sold over 11 million albums worldwide, amassed 2.2 billion plus video views on YouTube, 36 million Facebook fans and 15.6 Twitter followers, Bieber embodies the newest generation of humanitarian, leveraging his reach for social joy.