NBA Digital and Playdom today announced the launch of NBA Dynasty, a new social game on Facebook that will allow NBA fans to create and manage their ultimate dream team by choosing from more than 9,000 player seasons from 1946 to present. The new game marks the first for Playdom with a professional sports league.
Throughout the year, NBA Dynasty will provide fans with the opportunity to compete in games against NBA stars, NBA championship teams, and head-to-head with their friends for the all-time best record.
“With NBA Dynasty, we wanted to create a realistic coaching and managing experience while giving players the opportunity to build their ultimate fantasy team,” said Playdom’s Co-Chief Operating Officer, John Donham. “Players will finally find out if their childhood heroes can beat those of their friends.”
NBA Dynasty will feature more than 1,200 video clips of NBA highlights from the 2010-11 season. Individual video clips will play when an NBA player performs well in the social media game. Fans can directly affect the outcome of NBA Dynasty games by setting their starting line-up, calling time-outs, and substituting players in real time. By building the best fan base, NBA arena, and coaching reputation, fans can boost their franchise to dynasty status.
NBA Dynasty further emphasizes the NBA’s use of social media to enhance the game experience for fans around the world. The NBA is the No. 1 sports league in the U.S. on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, with the most fans, followers, and videos viewed, respectively.
“Social media takes sports gaming to new frontiers,” said Bryan Perez, senior vice president and general manager of NBA Digital. “The combination of our industry leading social audience with Playdom’s social gaming expertise will give fans an entertaining new way to engage with the NBA.”
Playdom today announced the launch of ‘Gardens of Time,’ a hidden object game re-imagined with social elements on Facebook. ‘Gardens of Time’ provides the artistic and game play depth of a downloadable hidden object game while setting a new standard of social game play within the genre.
In ‘Gardens of Time,’ players join the Time Society, an elite group of time-traveling detectives who explore vibrant hidden object scenes to solve the mysteries of time. By finding hidden objects scattered around the world, players collect ancient artifacts, personalize a historical garden, and unravel the mysteries of time as they embark on epic quests to correct the course of history.
‘Gardens of Time’ provides hundreds of hours of free content at launch, including more than 40 re-playable hidden object scenes and four distinct modes of play. Players can also engage friends by challenging them to beat a high score, sending them gifts and hints, and visiting friends’ personal gardens to help with quests.
‘”Gardens of Time” redefines the previously solitary experience of downloadable hidden object games by adding a variety of social features so players can share the excitement and challenge with their friends,’ said Playdom’s Senior Producer for Gardens of Time, John Hsu. ‘We want to give players the opportunity to collaborate, compete, and show off their achievements.’
‘Gardens of Time’ can be accessed at http://apps.facebook.com/gardensoftime
Playdom today announced the launch of Deep Realms, the first game to bring the classic RPG experience to social gaming.
In Deep Realms players explore a rich fantasy world, making strategic choices that result in different but equally viable experiences. Players explore lush, detailed scenes and engage in turn-based combat against increasingly dangerous foes. By integrating social elements, such as avenging friends in player-vs-player combat and real-time cooperative boss battles, Playdom evolves the social RPG to the next level.
“We wanted to make a social game for core players, a game that we, as developers, would want to play,” said Playdom’s Executive Producer for Deep Realms, Alex Ou. “Deep Realms introduces the depth of console RPGs to social gamers with elements of interaction that go beyond those in the current generation of social games.”
Deep Realms can be accessed at http://apps.facebook.com/deeprealms.
Playdom and ESPN Games Launch ‘ESPNU College Town’ on Facebook Featuring Assets from Dozens of Real Schools
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.
“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.”
Facebook users can play the game at: http://apps.facebook.com/espnucollegetown/
Advancing on its goal of bringing consumers its well-known stories, characters and brands in ever more engaging ways, The Walt Disney Company has agreed to acquire Playdom Inc., one of the leading companies in the fast-growing business of online social gaming.
Playdom shareholders will receive total consideration of $563.2 million, subject to certain conditions, and a performance-linked earn-out of up to $200 million.
In just two and a half years of operation, Playdom has established itself as a pacesetter in building popular games for social networks enjoyed by consumers around the globe. Through well-known titles like Social City, Sorority Life, Market Street and Bola, Playdom engages an estimated 42 million active players each month.
By acquiring Playdom, Disney will strengthen its already-robust digital gaming portfolio, acquire a first-rate management team and provide consumers new ways to interact with the company on popular social networks like Facebook and MySpace.
“We see strong growth potential in bringing together Playdom’s talented team and capabilities with our great creative properties, people and world-renowned brands like Disney, ABC, ESPN and Marvel.” said Robert A. Iger, President and CEO, The Walt Disney Company.
“This acquisition furthers our strategy of allocating capital to high-growth businesses that can benefit from our many characters, stories and brands, delivering them in a creatively compelling way to a new generation of fans on the platforms they prefer,” Iger added.
“We are at the start of a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the way people of all ages play games with their friends across devices, platforms and geographical boundaries,” said Playdom Chief Executive Officer John Pleasants. “Disney is an incredibly forward-thinking company that shares our vision and is the ideal partner to further our mission to bring great entertainment to people around the world.”
Playdom, which has 15 game development studios, will remain headquartered in Mountain View, California. Pleasants will become an Executive Vice President of the Disney Interactive Media Group (DIMG) and General Manager of Playdom, reporting to DIMG President Steve Wadsworth.
Disney expects Playdom’s expertise in social gaming software tools, business intelligence and rapid innovation to broadly benefit DIMG, which already has a substantial global presence in online, console and mobile gaming.
The transaction, which is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and certain non-U.S. merger control regulations, is expected to close by the end of Disney’s 2010 fiscal year.
ESPN Interactive today announced that it has reached a two-year agreement with Playdom, one of the leading social gaming companies, to develop ESPN-branded sports genre games for social media platforms. The first two in development are slated to launch this Fall.
“Our deal with Playdom marks ESPN’s first major presence into the social gaming space,” said Raphael Poplock, vice president, games and revenue strategy and development for ESPN Digital Media. “The sports genre for this category of games has gone virtually untapped thus far, and through this agreement, we have an opportunity to be in front of a highly engaged audience and at the forefront of what is currently the fastest growing games category out there.”
“While new brands have been created in the social gaming category, we, at Playdom, believe working with existing intellectual property will become increasingly important over time and are pleased to be incorporating ESPN’s brand and vast library of content into several new social games that are in development,” said John Pleasants, CEO, Playdom.
The games will launch to popular social media sites like Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Tagged and Hi5 in addition to ESPN.com and Playdom.com. Additionally, mobile extensions from ESPN and Playdom will also be available.
The U.S. and U.K. alone represent roughly more than 100 million social gamers. Of that audience, 95 percent play multiple times per week and 68 percent play every single day.
ESPN Interactive has developed a successful history of collaborating with the leading gaming companies across all platforms, including console, casual and now social. Its long-standing relationship with EA continues to expand, with deeper in-game integrations such as full broadcast treatments in titles like NBA Live 10 and NCAA Basketball 10 in 2009. The Emmy award-winning EA Virtual Playbook also extended to new sports, including NBA and college football. ESPN Arcade, ESPN’s casual games brand which relaunched in July, averaged 461K unique users per month on ESPN.com last year, with total time spent on the site up 90 percent to 95.5 million minutes, according to comScore.