Endemol USA, the North American division of the Dutch television production company behind TV franchises like Deal or No Deal and 1 vs. 100 has announced the formation of a new U.S. based casual games group to be led by former advergaming developer Bottle Rocket founder Eric LaVanchy.
The group, says Endemol, will develop casual games content based around both new and existing Endemol programming, as well as original content.
LaVanchy has previously served as managing director of The Ritz Club London Online as well as his role as founder and VP of Bottle Rocket. In 1995, says the company, he created football trivia game Two Minute Warning
, as well as "the first Web-based advergame," sponsored by Goodyear Tires, for the NFL.
Endemol USA currently has produced a number of casual games for its online animation site, JoeCartoon. In April of 2007, the company's home division announced a partnership
with EA to produce Virtual Me, aimed at bridging “the divide between traditional TV and video games”.
Said digital entertainment senior VP Jon Vlassopulos, “With the formation of a casual games group, we have an opportunity to expand our digital media business into a new and exciting growth area where we will create engaging entertainment experiences for fans worldwide. We are excited to have a seasoned executive like Eric lead the team. With more than 15 years of experience designing and developing casual games, he will definitely be a valued asset to the company.”