Petz (Dogz and Catz) is a series of single-player video games dating back to 1995, in which the player can adopt, raise, care for and breed their own virtual pets. The original Petz has sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide and the brand has grown to over 22 million copies since coming under Ubisoft.
|Developer(s)||PF Magic, Mindscape, Ubisoft|
|Publisher(s)||PF Magic, Mindscape, Ubisoft|
|First release||Dogz and Catz|
|Latest release||Petz Beach|
October 14, 2014
The original Petz games were developed by P.F. Magic. After earning revenues of $8 million in 1997, P.F. Magic was acquired by The Learning Company for $15.8 million in 1998. In 2001, Ubi Soft (since 2003 Ubisoft) acquired the entertainment division of The Learning Company, granting Ubisoft exclusive publishing rights to 88 titles, including Dogz and Catz. After Ubisoft acquired the series, some games that were actually Japanese in origin were localized under the Petz name. For example, Petz: Hamsterz Life 2 on Game Boy Advance is a localization of Hamster Club 3, and distinctly different from its DS counterpart, although both DS Hamsterz games were also Japanese-developed but published in English territories by Ubisoft.
The player starts at the Adoption Center, where they may choose a Dogz or Catz to adopt of a Breedz and gender of their choice. Once the player has found a Petz, they can adopt and name their new Puppyz or Kittenz. After around three days (real time) the Petz become adults. Adult Petz can then breed and have Kittenz or Puppyz of their own in Petz 3, Petz 4, and Petz 5. Cross-breeding can create different types of petz, called 'Mixed Breeds'.
There are a number of Toyz, food and water bowls, and Treatz available. Petz can learn tricks with positive rewards such as petting and Treatz, or trained not to do something using the punishment (water) spray bottle. Petz must be looked after properly; abused or neglected Petz may run away.
Players may share their Petz with others who have the game via an email. Each version allows the importing of Petz from all earlier versions. There is also a camera feature, permitting snapshots of Petz to be taken and saved as .bmp files.
Other animals include Pigz and Bunnyz. Later versions of the games included a Petz Web Fun Pack, Petz Publisher and a Petz Player web browser plug-in, allowing players to publish their Petz online in playable webpages. The Petz Publisher does not work anymore, due to the fact that the website has been remodeled with the newer Petz games by Ubisoft.
Users learned how to reverse-engineer the system, and began producing additional Breedz, Toyz, playscenes, clothes, and developer tools for the games, as permitted by PF Magic, Mindscape, and Ubisoft.
|Catz and Dogz I: Your Virtual Petz||P.F. Magic||P.F. Magic||Virgin Interactive Entertainment||1995 (Dogz), 1996 (Catz)|
|Dogz: Your Computer Pet||P.F. Magic||P.F. Magic||Virgin Interactive Entertainment||1995 (Dogs)|
|Oddballz: Your Wacky Computer Petz|
|Catz and Dogz II: Your Virtual Petz||P.F. Magic||P.F. Magic||Mindscape||1997|
|Catz and Dogz 3: Your Virtual Petz||P.F. Magic||P.F. Magic||Mindscape||1998|
|Catz and Dogz 4||P.F. Magic||Mindscape Entertainment||Mindscape||1999|
|Catz and Dogz 5||Studio Mythos||Ubi Soft||Ubi Soft||2002|
- Dogz (1995) for PC - GameFAQs
- Catz (1995) for PC - GameFAQs
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- "Ubisoft 2010-11 H1 Earnings Presentation" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 November 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
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- "Catz II: Your Virtual Petz Release Information for PC - GameFAQs". www.gamefaqs.com. Retrieved 2015-11-09.
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- "Catz 5 for PC - GameFAQs". www.gamefaqs.com. Retrieved 2015-11-09.
- "Catz: Your Computer Petz". EW.com. Retrieved 2018-11-03.