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Nickelodeon is launching a cross-promotion network for the iPhone, dubbed the AddictingGames iNetwork.
AddictingGames iNetwork will let the company and others publish games on the iPhone with built-in social features that can help the game and other games spread. The features include high scores, reviews, player-matching for multiplayer games, and upselling. Outside developers can sign up to make games for the iNetwork. In that sense, AddictingGames is inviting indie game developers to benefit from the brand name. Nickelodeon also launching three games based on AddictingGames titles in July.
The games will be based on properties from Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV and other divisions of MTV Networks will also be part of the AddictingGames iNetwork. Nickelodeon is also promoting its games on primetime TV on the Nickelodeon channel through various shows.
The first AddictingGames titles that will be available on the iPhone are: Park It, based on the popular Parking It game series on AddictingGames.com; 50 States, a geography game; and the strategy game World Wars. More titles are in the works.
As big companies launch networks on the iPhone it seems likely that the indie developers will take a back seat. They don’t have the marketing budgets, the brand names or the multiple franchises to compete on the same level. The best tool the indies have to fight back is creating great games that get a lot of buzz.
Nickelodeon will likely be a big player in this space because it already has an extremely popular set of properties and a big casual games web site. AddictingGames drew more than 11.9 million unique visitors in May (comScore says).