US cable network Bravo is to launch a social game associated with its Real Housewives reality series franchise this summer, according to Lisa Hsia, executive vice-president, digital media at Bravo.
The goal of the game would be to attract people interested in gaming to the show, she told attendees at the MIPCube event in Cannes on Friday. The game will enable viewers to participate in the Real Housewives lifestyle virtually.
Hsia said that TV networks needed to team up with game companies to develop games applications. However, the so-called ‘gamification’ of brands faces challenges, she said. Using games to generate loyalty points had to be associated with tangible rewards, she said.
Speaking on the same panel at the MIPCube event, Nathon Gunn, CEO of Social Game Universe told attendees that social games associated with TV would take time to bed in and should be supported over a number of years. “Games are a different beast than TV,” he said. One of the main differences was that users controlled the outcome, which was difficult for TV producers to deal with, he said.
Gamification programmes that provided loyalty points to audiences had to bring real rewards to users, said Gunn. Points should be redeemable against discounts on products or other tangible benefits, he said.
Social Game Universe recently created a social game associated with the movie Dirty Dancing for content provider Lionsgate. Gunn said the company’s games generated about US$18 (€13.50)per paying viewer. Games also provided realtime data on usage.
Social games often have bigger audiences than primetime TV, said Gunn, citing the example of social gaming company Zynga, which is expected to turn over US$1 billion this year.