Playdom, in collaboration with ESPN Games, today launched a sports-themed social game on Facebook titled ESPNU College Town. Fun, engaging and easy to play, ESPNU College Town gives sports fans a chance to create and run their own virtual college campus, build an elite athletic program, and compete against their friends for bragging rights.
Sports fans in the game are given all the tools to create their own university, complete with academic buildings, major athletic venues – including football stadiums and basketball arenas – and ESPN-branded assets such as an ESPN College GameDay set and production truck. Other buildings and campus must-haves include dorms, a fraternity/sorority row, student unions, restaurants, libraries, walkways, streets, parking lots and more.
Also, fans can play the role of Athletic Director by recruiting fictional star athletes to build a top sports program ready to go head-to-head against other ESPNU College Town teams. Fans compete for points and bragging rights by matching up against other friends in the game.
To make each ESPNU College Town their very own, fans have access to authentic assets from more than 60 real universities, including iconic campus buildings, nationally recognized stadiums, mascots, logos and more. As fans gain points and move up levels, sports venues can be upgraded from simple fields with bleachers to state-of-the-art domed stadiums with lights, Astroturf, JumboTrons, box seats and more.
“College sports fans have a voracious appetite for their teams and we are doing what Playdom does best by leveraging our expertise in the social games space to create an immersive game experience for a dedicated audience,” said Mike Rubinelli, Playdom Vice President of Studio Operations. “We are extremely proud to be working on this game with ESPN, they have been an outstanding partner.”
|For downloadable screenshots of ESPNU College Town
Facebook users can play the game at: http://apps.facebook.com/espnucollegetown/
“ESPNU College Town presents a huge opportunity for us to reach a broad audience of both casual and hardcore sports fans, and we look forward to rolling out other social games within the sports category,” said Raphael Poplock, vice president of games and revenue strategy & development, ESPN Digital Media. “The possibilities are endless when it comes to the creative, sports-themed social games we can produce, and this is only the beginning of what we have in development with Playdom.”
Online social games are the fastest growing category in the games industry – having recently surpassed email as the second most popular online activity – behind only social networking sites themselves – and are projected to be a one billion dollar industry by 2011, according to Nielsen.
ESPN Games has a history of successful collaboration with leading developers, bringing fun and entertaining games to sports fans across all game platforms, including console, casual and social. ESPN Arcade, ESPN’s casual games brand re-launched in 2009, logged 95.5 million minutes of total time spent on ESPN.com last year, according to comScore. Most recently, ESPN Games announced an agreement to deliver to Xbox 360 ESPN3.com’s live events and ESPN.com’s video-on-demand clips and sports highlights, as well as other interactive features.
Playdom, the social games product group of Disney Interactive Media Group, produces a diverse portfolio of casual games for the rapidly-growing platform of social networks. Playdom’s hugely popular properties, including, Sorority Life, Social City, and City of Wonder support approximately 50 million monthly users on Facebook and MySpace.
Disney Interactive Media Group is the interactive entertainment affiliate of The Walt Disney Company (NSYE: DIS).