Disney’s Facebook-based AVENGERS ALLIANCE game is a new direction for them, Variety writes, as they are putting more effort into these lucrative, reliable social media games as opposed to the volatile console game market:
“The Avengers” is the first Marvel film Disney is distributing itself since acquiring the comicbook company. The superheroes are also now starring in the Mouse House’s first Facebook game since it purchased social gamemaker Playdom for $763 million two years ago.
“Marvel: Avengers Alliance” assembles today on the social networking site, after spending two months in beta mode.
Game is expected to be the first of several high-profile properties Disney will launch as its interactive group focuses more on making casual games for online platforms rather than pricier titles for videogame consoles. Facebook has more than 800 million members, providing a sizable audience for such titles.
Many factoids from the story:
• The storyline was written by Alex Irvine (Iron Man: The Rapture) and will unfold over two to three years.
• The art sports a new “filmic” style based on the comics AND the movie. “Authentic enough for the hardcore Marvel fan, but accessible for a mass audience.”
• The game targets males 20 to 40, but is designed to appeal to more casual fans and female gamers as well.
• Disney’s Interactive Media Group is not yet profitable…but maybe by 2013 thanks to this kind of thing.
• People spend LOTS of time and money on these games, as if you didn’t know. Casual games—Farmville, etc—were a $4.5 billion business last year.
An estimated 126 million Americans, or 87% of the 145 million U.S. gamers age 10-65, play games on social networks or casual gaming dot-coms, according to research firm Newzoo. Online casual and social gaming reps 39% of the 215 million hours spent on gaming each day in the U.S. and 29% of the coin spent on gaming. Facebook dominates the social gaming space in the U.S. attracting 60% of gamers, 41% of the time spent gaming and 38% of the money spent on games.
And yeah, we’re playing, so send us your gifts and papaya patches or whatever it is—IF we get past that Sentinel armed only with a popgun, that is.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.