USA Network has announced the launch of its casual gaming-focused USA Character Game Lounge, which features 20 original casual games themed around its television property characters.
As part of the launch, USA Network has partnered WeeWorld, home of the WeeMee avatar-based social network. USA Character Game lounge users will be able to create personalized WeeMee avatars and icons, which will be visible when registered to the site.
Additionally, USA says it is working with WeeWorld to integrate the WeeMees into future gameplay, including creating specific items so that Game Lounge users can express fandom of a particular show or design WeeMees that look like USA Network characters.
USA plans a multi-phase roll-out of the game lounge in 2008, and adds it plans to double the casual game offerings through original development and licensing deals. Social networking elements, like IM-based chat functionality, multiplayer gameplay and an affinity-based rewards program will also be added.
USA brand strategy and marketing senior vice president Chris McCumber said, "Over the past two years, USANetwork.com has had great success with original series-themed and advertiser-integrated casual games. Now, USA is capitalizing on this growing sector by making a strategic commitment to this mass-appeal genre."