SpongeBob Town (lost build of cancelled massively multiplayer online game based on Nickelodeon animated TV series; 2012)
SpongeBob Town (also known as SpongeBob SquarePants Online) was an online multiplayer game developed by BlueArk Global and published by Gigamedia Limited in association with Nickelodeon. The game developed throughout 2011 and 2012, and had one open technical test between October 25th-27th, 2012, with the release set for sometime in 2013.
Despite the game being very far into development, the game was abruptly cancelled for unknown reasons and is now considered lost.
The premise of SpongeBob Town was formerly available on BlueArk's website, and it goes as follows:
"The Mayor's dark scheme has jeopardized the city of Plankton into a huge explosion. Mr. Krabs, seeing the big cash opportunity, gathers up people for a re-construction business. SpongeBob Online brings the world of SpongeBob to a MMO game experience. It's a social platform where many players can interact with each other while enjoying diverse games together."
SpongeBob Town was first announced on June 9th, 2010, due to a partnership with South Korean-based BlueArk Global and Nickelodeon Asia to create a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG).
Jihee Nam, Vice President of Digital for MTV Networks Asia, stated in the press release announcing the game:
"Partnering with GigaMedia on the development of a SpongeBob SquarePants MMOG allows us to bring the residents of Bikini Bottom into a whole new world -- one that is tremendously popular in Asia and presents unlimited creative and business opportunities for the franchise."
Rumors of a SpongeBob SquarePants MMOG have circulated since at least 2005, with many people believing that the world of SpongeBob SquarePants would make a good fit for the genre.
The game was planned to release in various parts of the world, including China, Korea, Japan, India, Russia, Latin America and Europe.
The game was developed throughout 2011 and 2012, with the game taking shape as SpongeBob Town (known in development as SpongeBob SquarePants Online). The game was meant to bring the world of Bikini Bottom to life, combining it with the popular genre of MMOG's such as Club Penguin and Toontown.
The game would stay in development until October 25th, 2012, when a closed technical beta test was held for three days until October 27th. During this technical test, it was shown that the game was very complete, with most gameplay videos and images showing SpongeBob Town in a near complete state.
SpongeBob Town follows the various adventures and antics of SpongeBob SquarePants characters living in a city. The gameplay is very similar to other MMOG's of the time, being a virtual world where you can play games and have fun with friends.
You are able to dress up your character in various ways at the Pearl Department, play various games and have fun at your own farm, and build the city to your liking.
Racing is also a large part of the gameplay, with players being able to customize their car to their ability. You are then able to race with players around the world on various courses and being able to use wacky items like Mario Kart.
Sometime after the technical test of SpongeBob Town, the game was abruptly cancelled for unknown reasons. No official statement was ever given by BlueArk, Gigamedia, or Nickelodeon on why the game was cancelled, as more development was planned for the game (such as the aforementioned second technical test).
The game has not been seen since the first technical test and has been considered lost. Attempts have been made to find SpongeBob Town, however due to the companies moving far away from the project and language barriers with Nickelodeon Asia, the game has not been retrieved as of the writing of this article.
Despite this, several images and videos of SpongeBob Town exist, mainly from the technical test of the game. These range from images/videos of actual gameplay (including a gameplay series of the first technical test uploaded to YouTube by user ultimatespongebob101,) images/videos used for promotional reasons, and other SpongeBob Town material. The original homepage for the game is also archived, though it does not function.
In 2019, a Discord server has been made for the search of the game titled SpongeBob Town Hunt, with the leader of this search being YouTube user spongeis5. Around the same time, a "rewritten" project for SpongeBob Town was announced by YouTube user IrlHavoc, however it is unknown what has become of it.
- A Day With SpongeBob SquarePants: The Movie (unproduced unauthorized direct-to-DVD mockumentary film; 2011)
- Astrology with Squidward (found series of "Spongebob Squarepants" animated shorts; 2000s)
- SpongeBob: Re-Hydrated (partially lost "SpongeBob SquarePants" animated short; 2003)
- SpongeBob SquarePants (partially lost deleted scenes of Nickelodeon animated series; 1999-present)
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Ain't Life a Beach (partially found Nickelodeon press kit; 1999)
- SpongeBob SquarePants and the Nicktoons Gravjet Racing (lost build of cancelled Xbox Live Arcade racing game; 2009)
- SpongeBob Cartoon Creator (partially found original version of Flash game; 2008-2013)
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Happiness Squared (lost video game based on SpongeBob SquarePants; late 2000s)
- SpongeBob SquarePants "Sailor Mouth" (lost uncensored version of animated series episode; existence unconfirmed; 2001)
- SpongeBob SquarePants Saves the Krusty Krab 3D (found computer game; 2002)
- SpongeBob SquarePants "Shanghaied/You Wish" (lost English audio from alternate "Patchy the Pirate" segments; 2001)
- SpongeBob SquarePants "SpaceBob InvaderPants/Krabs' Army" (unfinished episodes of Nickelodeon animated series; 2015)
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Underpants Slam (found Xbox Live Arcade game; 2007)
- SpongeBob SquarePants "War Blowers" (found full version of animated series music; 1999)
- SpongeBob's Truth or Square (found Nick Arcade party game; 2009)
- Encyclopedia SpongeBobia page on SpongeBob Town. Retrieved 05 Feb '21
- Google Drive folder of SpongeBob Town media. Retrieved 05 Feb '21
- Spongebuddy Mania forum post about SpongeBob Town. Retrieved 29 Jan '21
- Reddit post on r/lostmedia about SpongeBob Town. Retrieved 10 Jan '21
- Blueark's website with information on SpongeBob Town. (archived) Retrieved 18 Jan '21
- The press release from Gigamedia Limited announcing SpongeBob Town. Retrieved 28 Jan '21
- MMORPG forum thread about a possible SpongeBob SquarePants MMOG, c. May 2005. Retrieved 31 Jan '21
- Video Gamer article on SpongeBob Town coming to Europe. Retrieved 28 Jan '21
- The SpongeBob Town Hunt Discord server. Retrieved 31 Jan '21
- NickALive! Blogspot page for Vailskibum94's SpongeBob Town YouTube video. Retrieved 31 Jan '21
- The SpongeBob Town teaser trailer. Retrieved 01 Feb '21
- The official Plurk page for SpongeBob Town. Retrieved 05 Feb '21
- The playlist of ultimatespongebob101's gameplay of SpongeBob Town's technical test on YouTube. Retrieved 05 Feb '21
- Weebly page explaining ultimateespongebob101's gameplay videos. Retrieved 05 Feb '21
- The original page SpongeBob Town was hosted on (archived). Retrieved 05 Feb '21
- The YouTube video by IrlHavoc announcing SpongeBob Town Rewritten. Retrieved 04 Feb '21