Building on Early Success, USA to Expand its Casual Gaming Site
New Site Features to Include More Game Development, New Ad Sales Offerings
and Social Networking
NEW YORK, March 26 -- On the heels of a successful foray
into casual gaming this past November, USA Network's casual gaming site,
CHARACTER ARCADE (formerly the Character Game Lounge), will expand its core
offerings to position the site for growth and deeper ad partnerships. New
features to include 20+ new games, enhanced ad offerings, community
features and an affinity program. The CHARACTER ARCADE can be found at
http://www.characterarcade.com and currently features over 25
character-based flash games - a combination of show-themed applications
(e.g. Monk-shui and Psych In Training) and original takes on popular online
games (e.g. Character Sudoku and Character Solitaire). The announcement was
made today by Chris McCumber, executive vice president, marketing, digital
and brand strategy.
USA has capitalized on the growing casual gaming sector with great
success. The CHARACTER ARCADE has generated 30 million+ page views since
its launch -- growing +304% in its first three months to 14.3 million page
views in February. The CHARACTER ARCADE was ranked by comScore as one of
the Top 50 Gaming sites in February and already has 165K+ registered users.
"CHARACTER ARCADE has exceeded our expectations in such a short time,"
said McCumber. "With this additional content and features, we expect to be
a Top 25 casual gaming site by July. The site will be coveted by
advertisers who want to reach a targeted and engaged demographic."
Developed and built collaboratively with design agency Glow
Interactive, the CHARACTER ARCADE currently houses 25 character-themed
games with plans to double the site offerings by year's end. New offerings
will include new twists on classics, holiday themed games and multiplayer
games. Launching this week is BLACKJACK, the classic casino game with
helpful tutorials for novice players; and BLACKJACK CARD COUNTING TRAINER,
for advanced players brave enough to learn the notorious art of card
Among the expanded features of the CHARACTER ARCADE will be a focus on
integrating social networking applications to the site. The CHARACTER
ARCADE will offer gamers a way to create personal profiles, make friends
with fellow players, track the performance of elite gamers and friends,
send direct challenges to rival gamers, and "talk smack" to anyone at the
Arcade. By 3Q08, CHARACTER ARCADE will also gain a presence on the popular
social networking site Facebook by allowing users to play embedded
CHARACTER ARCADE games right on their profile page.
To encourage repeat gameplay and increase the stakes for playing, USA
will allow users to earn points for winning challenges, setting high scores
or just for trying new games on the site. Initially points earned will be
for vanity but by year's end, players will be able to redeem them for
virtual and/or hard goods such as coupons, advertiser products and USA
In addition to customary ad banners, advertising offerings on the
CHARACTER ARCADE include presenting site sponsorship, product integration,
custom game development, branded rails, full-screen branded canvas before
games and mid-game interstitials. All sponsorships include a companion
on-air presence to create a full 360 offering.
The CHARACTER ARCADE will expand to the mobile space by 3Q08, as gamers
will be able to play the site's most popular games right on their mobile
USA NETWORK is cable television's leading provider of original series
and feature movies, sports and entertainment events, off-net television
shows, and blockbuster theatrical films. The #1 network in basic cable, USA
Network is seen in nearly 94 million U.S. homes. The USA Network Web site
is located at http://www.usanetwork.com. Characters Welcome.
USA Network is a program service of NBC Universal Cable a division of
NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies
in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and
information to a global audience.