Hello Kitty Online: I have no mouth, and I must scream [Updated]

Some of you have anticipated it. Some of you have dreaded it. Some of us have been threatened with it, when we've been naughty bloggers ('Follow the style guidelines or we'll make you play it!'). Whatever your reaction to the news, it's finally happening: Hello Kitty Online is currently in closed beta, and will launch sometime in the latter half of 2008.

So, what can we expect from HKO? Appearances from other Sanrio characters: check. Cute explorable zones like the Flower Kingdom: check. Combat system: che -- wait, what? Combat system, guilds, extensive crafting system ... this is an actual MMORPG, not just another cutesy virtual world like Club Penguin or Webkinz!

Color me curious; I've already signed up for the beta. More news as it comes. Keep an eye on Massively for all your superdeformed, facial orifice-less, kawaii character needs.

[Updated: Closed beta actually begins on April 23rd.]

This article was originally published on Massively.