ESPN Interactive announced today that it’s teaming up with Playdom to develop ESPN-branded sports games for social media platforms. The first two games in development as a result of the two-year agreement are slated to launch this Fall.
The games will launch on social media sites including Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Tagged and Hi5, as well as ESPN.com and Playdom.com. Additionally, mobile extensions from ESPN and Playdom will also be available.
Playdom is a leading developer of Facebook games with a roster of titles that includes Mobsters 1 and 2, Social City, Tiki Farm, Wild Ones, Big City Life and Sorority Life. ESPN’s deal with Playdom marks ESPN’s first major move into the social games space. On the console front, ESPN Interactive has a long-running partnership with EA that includes involvement with videogame titles like NBA Live 10 and NCAA Basketball 10. ESPN also runs ESPN Arcade, the company’s casual games brand which relaunched in July.
“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,” said Raphael Poplock, vice president, games and revenue strategy and development for ESPN Digital Media.
Playdom CEO John Pleasants said his company would be incorporating ESPN’s brand and vast library of content into several new social games that are already in development.
“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,” he said.