Game On: ESPN Arcade Relaunches
Casual games site introduces new titles, more advertising opportunities than ever before;
Bud Light named as multi-platform sponsor for the new ESPN Zoom: Freeze Frame edition franchise
ESPN today unveiled the new ESPN Arcade, ESPN.com’s destination for casual games online, introducing new games and more advertising opportunities into the marketplace. The relaunch also marks the debut of ESPN Arcade’s popular ESPN Cameraman game under a new franchise titled ESPN Zoom, available online and coming soon to the iPhone and iPod Touch devices. Beginning today, ESPN Zoom will feature Sportscenter’s weekly Freeze Frame photos of the day in a special ESPN Zoom: Freeze Frame edition, both online and in a free mobile app, sponsored by Bud Light.
With today’s relaunch, ESPN Arcade is adding new opportunities for engaging and bolder advertising options. Marketers will have the flexibility to sign on for traditional ad units, expandable rollover ads, video ads, branded ad “skins” on the ESPN Arcade page and in-game advertising including video pre-roll ads, dynamically served ads outside of game play and contextual ads within the game for many of the games on the site.
New Games and Features
All casual games currently available for free and in development are hand picked by the ESPN Arcade team to be the best of the best. By collaborating with multiple developers, ESPN Arcade has collected and will continue to grow a library of the most entertaining and challenging casual games across multiple genres. New casual games and returning favorites include ESPN Arcade Baseball, Air Hockey, Craps, Vector Runner, Ping Pong, MTX Devils, Day Drive, Trick Hoops Challenge, Speed Back and Club 300 Bowling.
Community features, promoting competition on the site, include comprehensive individual and game-specific leaderboards and high scores, a trophy system that allows players to earn and accumulate trophies based on scores, Game of the Month and user rating tools.
The relaunch comes on the heels of growth for ESPN Arcade. According to comScore, over the past three months, total minutes are up 110 percent compared to last year, and unique visitors and average minutes spent per visitor are up 21 percent and 45 percent, respectively. To date in 2009, fans spent an average of 7.7 million total minutes per month on the site.
Like the overall casual games market, ESPN Arcade is enjoyed by a contemporary and more female audience. According to comScore, the median age of ESPN Arcade users is 28 compared to the total Internet audience at 32 years of age. Of the total minutes spent by all users on ESPN Arcade, 33 percent are female users compared to ESPN.com’s 23 percent.
Since its launch in June 2007, ESPN Arcade has nearly doubled its library of free, online casual games and now houses over 70 games, including sports games (football, baseball, basketball), card and puzzle games (craps, blackjack, concentration), game room titles (air hockey, ping pong), driving games (car, bike, truck and ATV racing) and more. It has also released mobile app titles to the iTunes App Store.