Social Media Trends: A New Game In Town

There’s a new game coming to town on November 1 and it is called FameTown and has the potential to a big social media trend. Michael Eisner, former CEO of the media juggernaut Walt Disney Company has invested a total of $300,000 in social game developer Diversion, and Diversion is launching FameTown on Facebook.

The social dynamics of FameTown are not far off from those of Hollywood and the aim of the game is to allow gamers to become virtual actors, where they move up the Hollywood pole, from the D to the A-List. Players can pick which make-believe movie star they want to be and then earn points by completing tasks like meeting the cast and director. They can also improve their social standing by attending the right parties or charity events, and they can hire assistants, agents or publicists to help their virtual careers; until they become superstars. Like many Facebook titles, FameTown will be free-to-play and will reap an income from selling virtual goods, a popular social media trend. I predict that Michael Eisner’s bet on this new game will pay off big-time (as it did with Zynga’s FarmVille and Mafia Wars) after all it sounds a lot more fun hiring an assistant and agent than watering crops. This is a game that we will want to play, which will engage our fantasies about how we would make it big in Tinsel town.

I believe FameTown has the potential to be big news, a big social media trend even though it is being introduced in an increasingly crowded and competitive field, with hundreds of social games vying for the attention of Facebook users. The dynamics of FameTown are not far off from those of Hollywood and Mr Eisner hopes that playing the role of a movie star in a digital version of Hollywood will have its appeal. He says, “We think there is an exciting business here. Half the people who work in the movies worked in the mail room or as waiters.”

FameTown is modelled after popular Facebook games like FarmVille and Mafia Wars and is the latest effort by Hollywood to capitalize on the soaring popularity of social media trends and games. Those efforts include Disney’s acquisition of Playdom, the third-largest maker of social games, for as much as $763 million in July. FameTown was brought to Mr Eisner by Shawn Fanning, the founder of the music-sharing company Napster, who became friends with some of the founders of Diversion by playing online games and is also an adviser and shareholder of Diversion.

Mr Eisner is not the only Hollywood mogul paying attention to the popularity of social trends and games; it is a money-making machine with nearly 220 million people playing its games, as Mr Eisner says, "You can imagine the confluence of the social networks, the real world, the PR world, the bit-part world, and the promotion world." It is game on.

Photo Credit: Marcus Vegas