Casual social gaming is a boom market. Its estimated that 25% of US Internet users aged 16 to 64 are engaged in social games, around 40 million of them. Revenue is predicted to rise from $726M in 2009 to a staggering $2.1B in 2014, with direct paying gamers far outweighing revenue from advertising.
However, in terms of design and game play the social gaming arena still lags far behind its glossy console counterparts.
That said it looks as if that is all about to change with the introduction of I Am Playr, a new interactive POV gaming experience from ‘We Are Interactive’ and ‘Big Balls Films’, the company that created last summer’s interactive music festival murder mystery ‘Who Killed Summer?’ for Vodafone.
The game is billed as “the first game to let you experience the life of a footballer, through the eyes of a footballer” and will enable players to experience life as a new signing for the fictional Riverpark FC. This will involve training, playing matches, raising your media profile and the requisite clubbing surrounded by gorgeous wannabe Wags.
The game utilise a choose your own adventure style of game play, with each of the videos ending with a dilemma that viewers must response to in order to steer the course of the narrative.
In addition the game - much like its other social gaming counterparts - will have an in-game currency, where players can earn money to buy virtual goods in order to enhance their performance and their lavish football lifestyle
The game, which is apparently aimed at males between 14-30, is being sponsored by Nike (although the fictional team is actually sponsored by Ginsters) and will feature former Manchester Utd and England star Teddy Sheringham among a host of other celebrities that will pop up for cameos throughout the course of the game.
"We are combining the very best talent from the two worlds of online film and game. I Am Playr marks the start of a new era of interactive entertainment, “ said David Rose of We Are Interactive (previously an Eidos and PlayStation executive, responsible for the Championship Manager franchise)
I Am Playr launches in private beta in December with a full launch in January.