Adult entertainment company Playboy Enterprises revealed plans to launch a video game label by the end of the year, as well as a partnership with Bigpoint for the release of free-to-play MMO Poisonville
Playboy hasn't disclosed a name for the planned label, or how much of its staff/cash it's putting behind the venture, but the firm did describe the backing as "significant". It also intends to target 18- to 35-year-old men with its the new label's games, predicting an overlap with the audience of its current properties.
The company says it sees gaming as "a growing, mainstream area", one into which it wants to extend its brand. "One of our core competencies involves using our brand to present quality content," said Playboy's New Digital Ventures managing director Paul H. Lee, according to a report
As part of its deal with German online game publisher Bigpoint, Playboy will help create and distribute titles through its Playboy.com site, starting with browser-based MMORPG Poisonville
. Bigpoint has so far spent €2 million
($2.5 million) on the gang-filled title, which launched its open beta yesterday.
"We’re looking for quality developers and the time I spent looking at Bigpoint showed me that they fit the bill for what we needed to get started," said Lee. "Previously, Playboy’s gaming interests included a few licensing deals and some editorial in the form of gaming reviews. But there was no clear, over-arching strategy in place. With Bigpoint, we’ve established a clear path in terms of where we want to go."
Playboy didn't mention any other developers it's talking to regarding the new games label, but the company says it's actively looking for opportunities to work with other studios, and has considered eventually investing in partners along with establishing working contracts.