It’s no wonder advertisers love social gaming. Facebook is the perfect platform to unleash games that not only feature commercials but are not too different from commercials themselves. Weeds Social Club is a new Facebook game loosely based on the Showtime drama that features a drug-dealing suburban housewife.
As in the TV show, you’ll need to save your house by selling illegal drugs. You’ll unlock various strains of weed to keep your customers inordinately happy and unusually hungry. Actor Justin Kirk appears in the game, portraying his TV character Andy Botwin. He’ll give you tips on how to um, diversify your portfolio, so to speak.
TV shows and movies are using Facebook to promote upcoming and current projects. Cars 2 and Mr. Popper’s Penguins have Facebook games promoting them. Action film star resurrection project The Expendables featured one of the better examples of this relatively new genre. Rather than a clone of FarmVille or other Facebook hits, it drew inspiration from Contra. Konami’s shooter classic and its numerous imitators were going for the feel of those ’80s era action movies, so it was a nice homage.
Marc Ecko’s game studio Ecko Code is responsible for this offering. Not only is he aware of how controversial this could be, he’s counting on it to gain publicity and players. Ecko told Business Week he thinks the Facebook market is ready for an edgier game. He compared the current Facebook-gaming climate to “Hallmark cards” designed not to offend anyone. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals respectfully disagree that most popular Facebook games are inoffensive.
Should Ecko be right, Social Club could have a second built-in audience. Lovers of the TV show will likely already have some interest. Interestingly, a game called Pot Farm walked the same very green path but Facebook pulled it. (Note to Pot Farm: Get a pay cable network to support your game with advertising.)