Fall is a make or break time for TV shows where new shows need to quickly make an impression and old shows have to fight to maintain their market share. TV networks are increasingly focusing their marketing budgets on Facebook and social game tie-ins in order to engage viewers even after they’ve left the couch.
Whether you prefer comedy, drama, reality, fantasy or game shows, there is probably a Facebook game for you. Join us for a quick look at the titles that tie into this fall TV season.
TV Title Facebook Games
Based on CBS’ new comedy about two poor waitresses working in a Brooklyn diner to make ends meet, the Facebook version of 2 Broke Girls takes its lead from Diner Dash, asking players to control the main character Max as she buses tables, pours coffee and racks up tips. Players earn points they can use to upgrade their equipment and menus, allowing them to earn even more during their shifts. 2 Broke Girls currently has just over 4,000 monthly active users and was developed for CBS by Game Salad.
Anyone who has ever wanted a taste of the hard-partying G.T.L (gym, tan, laundry) lifestyle espoused on MTV’s popular reality TV show Jersey Shore are no doubt big fans of Jersey Shore for Facebook. The game lets players live out their trashiest fantasies by completing missions based on events from the TV show and fighting other players for control of the boardwalk. The Jersey Shore game allows players to purchase clothing, accessories and energy drinks for their virtual guidos and guidettes. While the game’s user base is dropping from the 1.7 MAU it boasted this March, more than 360,000 people still log in every month.
One of the most popular TV related games on Facebook, CSI: Crime City still boasts more than 1.7 million MAU just under a year after it launched. Developed by Ubisoft and Area/Code (now Zynga New York), the game challenges players to solve murder mysteries by gathering evidence and getting it back to the lab for analysis. Players can purchases their own lab equipment, or use equipment their friends own, which adds a cooperative element to the game.
Weeds Social Club - this game was also developed by Ecko Code along with Mytopia but is much less connected to the plot of the game, instead following the lead set by other TV social games and bringing in subtle connections to the series. The the game, players are brought into the “business” by Andy Botwin and must learn the ins-and-outs of marijuana, collecting different strains, raising crops and then selling them on the black market. Weeds social club currently has more than 147,000 MAU.
Unlike many of the TV tie-in games on Facebook, Ecko Code’s Dexter: Slice of Life stands apart from the field, thanks to its stealthy gameplay and close ties to the TV show. Each Monday the Facebook game updates with new content based on the episodes that aired on Sunday night, allowing players not only to recreate the events of the episode, but to explore them in even more detail. Currently Dexter: Slice of Life has just under 100,000 MAU.
While based on gladiatorial combat, the game is actually a management sim. Players train and equip their own stable of gladiators, and then send them into battle. Players can’t control combat or the outcome, but they can cheer for their gladiators (and boo the competition), which may help convince the crowd to spare a defeated gladiator. An important distinction, because if a gladiator is killed in the game he remains dead. The game can be rigged in the player’s favor by using Influence, which can be bought for Facebook credits.
The History Channel has also jumped into the Facebook game arena, releasing Pawn Stars: The Game as a promotion for their popular reality TV show Pawn Stars. The game lets players set up their own pawn shop, and allows them to haggle, bribe and negotiate with customers in order to get the best deal they can. Players can use Facebook credits to purchase premium appraisal services, which offer more information than ones purchased with the free in-game currency. Pawn Stars has reached nearly 900,000 MAU.
Reality TV is also well represented in the TV tie-in Facebook game genre. Discovery’s Deadliest Catch The Social Game puts players in charge of their own boats, sailing the dangerous Bearing Sea in a quest for crabs, dollars and domination of the game’s leader board. Players can either upgrade their boats, equipment and staff the hard way – catching and selling crabs – or by using real money to buy Crab Coins, a premium currency that unlocks specialty items and deckhands from the show.
One of the newest TV games on Facebook, The Vampire Diaries: Get Sucked In casts players as a new high school student in the strange town of Mystic Falls. Players help out characters from the show and uncover the town’s mysteries by finding objects, completing mini-games and answering trivia about the show. The game was developed for Warner Bros by Arkadium and while still in beta has still racked up an impressive 118,000 MAU.
Fans of Extreme Makeover who have always dreamed of designing a home for a family in need can finally get in on the action, with the Facebook version of Extreme Makeover. The game ties directly into the show, allowing players to build the a dream house for both virtual and real families. The focus of the game is clearly on the act of designing a virtual house — everything from the floor plan to the kind of furnishings can be customized. Premium decorations can be bought with Facebook Credits.
A collectible card game in the vein of Magic: The Gathering, Mystic Warlords of Ka’a gives fans of The Big Bang Theory a chance to play the same game the show’s main characters enjoy. Featuring many of the cards mentioned on the show, Mystic Warlords of Ka’a is a strategy game where players attempt to win a game by out maneuvering their opponents in card duels and battles. While the game is a light take on collectible card games with simplified rules, players can still customize their decks by trading for and purchasing new cards.