If being a virtual farmer or make-believe mobster is not for you, Michael D. Eisner hopes that playing the role of a movie star in a digital version of Hollywood will have its appeal.
On Monday, Mr. Eisner, the former chief executive of the Walt Disney Company, will announce a new Facebook game called FameTown in which players will be virtual aspiring actors trying to make it big.
FameTown, which is modeled after popular Facebook games like FarmVille and Mafia Wars, is the latest effort by Hollywood to capitalize on the soaring popularity of social games. Those efforts include Disney’s acquisition of Playdom, the third-largest maker of social games, for as much as $ 763 million in July.
“We think there is an exciting business here,” Mr. Eisner said in an interview.
FameTown, which will be released on Nov. 1, is being introduced in an increasingly crowded and competitive field, with hundreds of social games vying for the attention of Facebook users.
The goal of FameTown is for virtual actors to move from the D-List to the A-List. Players can pick which make-believe movie star they want to be and then earn points by completing tasks like meeting the cast and director. They can also improve their social standing by attending the right parties or charity events, and they can hire assistants, agents or publicists to help their virtual careers.
Like many social games, FameTown will make money through the sale of virtual goods; most of what can be earned by playing the game can also be bought with real cash.
Mr. Eisner said the social dynamics of FameTown were not far off from those of Hollywood.
“Half the people who work in the movies worked in the mail room or as waiters,” he said.
FameTown was created by a start-up in Los Angeles called Diversion. Mr. Eisner, through his investment firm, the Tornante Company, is the sole investor in Diversion. He declined to comment on the size of the investment.
The project was brought to him by Shawn Fanning, the founder of the music-sharing company Napster, who became friends with some of the founders of Diversion by playing online games. Mr. Fanning is an adviser and shareholder of Diversion.
Mr. Eisner is not the only Hollywood mogul paying attention to the popularity of social games. During a recent conference, Jeffrey R. Katzenberg, the head of DreamWorks Animation, said that if he were starting his career all over, he would want to be Mark Pincus, who is chief executive of Zynga, the maker of FarmVille, Mafia Wars and other social games. It is the industry’s leader with nearly 220 million people playing its games.
Funny pictures on Facebook – les photos les plus drôle sur Facebook.
News and What’s happened on facebook.
Nouvelles et ce qui s’est passé sur facebook.
Week 16 January – 23 January 2014
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