Do you like MMOs, but hate all the wizardy fantasy half-orc junk? Do you wish for something a bit more ... astoundingly, face-meltingly cute in which to meet virtual friends? Sanrio Digital and Aeria Games have just announced that they're launching Hello Kitty Online in North America. Aeria will operate the game, and Sanrio will run the SanrioTown online portal.

The game, which was so great it caused WoW Insider to temporarily change its focus, is a free-to-play MMO that emphasizes crafting and resource gathering over combat -- but does include combat! Players don't directly control Sanrio characters, but rather make human avatars that can interact with Hello Kitty, Badtz-Maru, Keroppi and other Sanrio favorites.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.