Atom Entertainment Launches Satire Games Channel

Viacom's Atom Entertainment today will launch its first new channel on the game property AddictingGames.com, acquired last November.

The new channel will focus on "newsgames," or games that poke fun at current events. A few existing games will be moved to the new channel, including "Cheney's Fury," which lets players take control of the vice president's straying shotgun, and "The Zidane Headbutt Game," where players take control of the red-carded French footballer Zinedine Zidane, and try to headbutt as many opposing players as possible. Some of the channel's games are professionally produced, but many of them are the work of amateur flash designers.

Dave Williams, Atom Entertainment's chief marketing officer for games, said that the site is seeing an upswing in games that have political or social opinion built in. "We have been watching for some time a trend where game designers, or anyone who's got flash design skills, are starting to take the skills and build them into fun little games with social comedy in them," he said, adding that games are becoming "a form of social commentary."

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The channel will launch with 12 titles, one of them a new release--"Airport Security," which mocks ever-changing baggage guidelines--and will add one new game every month. The new games will either be user-created or designed by Persuasive Games, a company specializing in current-events-focused titles. AddictingGames.com has established a partnership with Persuasive Games to create titles for this channel.

The channel will include display ads, and pre-play spots will run with several of the games. Williams said the channel was not specially pre-sold, but the company is hoping that the content will appeal to marketers. "Advertisers are very interested in connecting their brand to things that are current," Williams said.

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