Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.
First launched back in November 2010 by social games publisher We R Interactive, I Am Playr came out of beta in October this year, and is now notching up more than 250,000 monthly active users. Today, it has announced a deal that will see it rolled-out to MSN UK users too.
If you’re new to I Am Playr, it sells itself as “the first ever point-of-view social football game that lets users play the life of a professional footballer, pitting themselves against their mates and the rest of the world.” You can watch a preview video here, starring former professional footballer Teddy Sheringham:
The game proposes a new platform for brand advertising and brings user engagement to new levels. Initial I Am Plary partners include brands such as Nike, Red Bull and Alfa Romeo – in fact, more than 1m cans of Red Bull and 250,000 Nike football boots have been purchased virtually through the game. Furthermore, I Am Playr was voted the best football game in 2011 by EPL Talk.
Thus far, the game has only been available on Facebook and through the I Am Playr website, but now it has announced a deal which will see it run on MSN Sports in the UK too. It’s essentially the same game, but they will receive some additional bespoke content, based around the footballers that feature in I Am Playr.
You will still have to connect with your Facebook credentials too, as it uses this data to personalize the game as much as possible. For example, when you sign for River Park FC, your name appears in the contract and also in features in the game’s newspaper, called ‘The Line’.
“We are excited about the user-experience that MSN offers in this new guise”, says David Rose, CEO, at We R Interactive. “It makes this partnership a natural first step in our strategy to further drive I Am Playr’s reach by distributing it across multiple platforms.”
We R Interactive was founded in June 2010, and it aims to merge the different disciplines across the games, film and TV production sphere, to create what it believes will be the next generation of social games. The company is backed by a number of high-profile figures from film, music, finance and advertising, such as Eric Fellner, co-founder of Working Title Films, Elio Leoni-Sceti, former CEO at EMI Music, Paul Fitzsimons ex-media sector partner at Apax Partners and Peter Mead, founder of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO.
Further titles and product announcements are in the pipeline, ones that they hope will build on the success of I Am Playr.
This is a great deal for the UK-based We R Interactive. With almost 30m unique visitors a month, MSN UK is a massive publishing brand and will open the doors to many more potential customers, ones that may not already be active Facebook gamers.
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