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ESPN, Playdom To Release Social Games, ESPNUville

ESPN announced a two-year agreement with Mobsters developer Playdom to release branded sports games for several social networks, including a FarmVille-like title called ESPNUville.
ESPN announced a two-year agreement with Mobsters developer Playdom to release branded sports games for several social networks, including a FarmVille-like title called ESPNUville. Playdom is working with ESPN's Interactive division to create a series of social games, the first two of which are in development and scheduled to launch this fall. One of the branded titles in the works is ESPNUville, the cable sports network's take on Zynga's popular FarmVille, according to a report from Eric Fisher of SportsBusiness Journal. Though Playdom has popular titles on Facebook like Tiki Resort and Social City, it's stronger on MySpace, where it currently runs seven of the top 15 most popular apps. It plans to launch its ESPN-branded games on Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Tagged, Hi5, ESPN.com, and Playdom.com. The developer also intends to create mobile extensions. "Our deal with Playdom marks ESPN’s first major presence into the social gaming space," says Raphael Poplock, vice president of ESPN Digital Media's Games and Revenue Strategy and Development. He continues, "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."

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