October 6, 2016 — SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Today, Sparcade, the world’s first app where players can compete for money in the biggest game franchises of all time within a vibrant, trusted community, launches for free on the iOS App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Sparcade’s collection of games features new, competitive mobile versions of four beloved brands: PAC-MAN™, SCRABBLE®, TETRIS® and Wheel of Fortune® with more games and features rolling out in the coming months. Players who enter a real-money match now through October 31, 2016 will earn an exclusive limited-edition Fan, an in-app reward item, only available during this period.
Players can compete for free in Token matches to sharpen their skills, and then join real-money matches when they’re ready. To level the playing field, each player competes against opponents of a similar skill level and is given the same exact game board, turns and time limits. Wrapped around Sparcade is a trusted, social community framework in which players climb the ranks, accomplish goals, earn achievements and amass Fame on the way to becoming a Sparcade legend.
The company behind Sparcade, Sony Pictures’ GSN Games, has been creating skill games for more than 15 years, with a reputation for trust and reliability. Sparcade is led by GSN Games’ Greg Canessa, a games industry veteran and creator of Microsoft’s Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA).
“There are several factors that make now a perfect time for us to introduce Sparcade: casual games have become a permanent fixture in our everyday lives, the energy and enthusiasm around eSports has never been higher, and multiplayer, competitive gaming on mobile is beginning to take shape,” said Greg Canessa, senior vice president at GSN Games and Sparcade’s general manager. “We know players will enjoy playing competitively for free or for real money in some of the biggest and most popular game franchises of all time, and we can’t wait for them to experience the rich social layer, community features and additional games that we have in the works. With the launch of Sparcade, we’re excited to give players a chance to compete and build their skills in the first wave of games while we add even more iconic franchises and new features in the coming months.”
Each game in Sparcade is specially designed for quick, asynchronous competitive matches, and skill-adapted to remove elements of luck. Players can challenge friends in one vs. one matches, or play against the community. Real-money matches start at $1, and players can safely and easily deposit funds and withdraw winnings at any time.
PAC-MAN in Sparcade offers a new take on an arcade favorite, pitting players to score the most points in four-minute matches where each participant gets the same mazes and obstacles as their opponents. SCRABBLE® features quick, five-minute matches where each player is given the same exact game board and five turns to score the highest number of points. In Tetris Burst, the first-ever Tetris branded game playable for money, Tetriminos (the Tetris playing pieces) fall at the same speed and in the same order for all opponents, as they attempt to rack up the most points possible. Players spin the big Wheel and compete to solve the same puzzles faster than their opponents for real money in Wheel of Fortune®. Rounding out Sparcade’s collection of games is a competitive version of GSN Games’ Solitaire TriPeaks, a tropical, tournament-style reshuffle of the classic card game. To help create new, skill-adapted versions of these titles, the Sparcade team partnered with renowned game development studios, including Joju Games, which led the development of PAC-MAN.
“With Sparcade, GSN Games offers a brand new, competitive way to enjoy PAC-MAN™ on mobile, while honoring the legacy and integrity of the PAC-MAN brand,” said Jeferson Valadares, general manager and vice president of product at BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. “That’s why we’re so excited to have PAC-MAN be part of Sparcade’s launch lineup. We’re always looking to give players new ways to experience PAC-MAN. Sparcade reinvigorates the competitive spirit of the classic arcade PAC-MAN leaderboard while preserving the soul of a franchise that has been an important part of millions of people’s lives.”
“The Sparcade team has put a fresh spin on Hasbro’s classic crossword game that even the most traditional of letterati would enjoy,” said Mark Blecher, senior vice president, digital gaming and corporate development at Hasbro. “By turning SCRABBLE® into a quick-session competition where players are given identical boards and letters to work with, they’ve created another test of skills for SCRABBLE fans.”
“For the millions of fans who enjoy playing Tetris and new fans to come, we’re excited to introduce Tetris Burst as one of the premier games on GSN’s Sparcade app,” said Maya Rogers, President and CEO of Blue Planet Software, sole agent for the Tetris brand. “Making Tetris a part of this unique platform where players can use their skills to compete for cash prizes really ups the stakes and adds a new level of competition among the Tetris community.”
Players who join Sparcade now will not only hone their skills, but those who participate in any real-money match through October 31, 2016 will receive a limited-time-only Fan, a reward item that provides special bonuses in the app.
Sparcade is available exclusively on the iOS App Store in the United States and Canada at https://itunes.apple.com/app/sparcade/id1116239165. While Sparcade is free to download and play for everyone, certain locations have restrictions on real-money matches. For players in a state or province that does not allow real-money matches, free Token play will be available. Learn more at http://sparcade.com, and visit Sparcade community channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
SCRABBLE is a trademark of Hasbro in the US and Canada only.
Tetris ® & © 1985~2016 Tetris Holding.
©2016 Califon Productions, Inc. “Wheel of Fortune” is a registered trademark of Califon Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
About GSN Games:
GSN Games delivers social casino and skill-based games designed to fuel every player’s inner winner. Founded in 1999, the company has evolved into one of the world’s top game publishers and creators. Its collection of social casino games includes GSN Casino and Bingo Bash, both top 10 grossing iPad apps, as well as Wheel of Fortune® Slots: The Ultimate Collection, Solitaire TriPeaks, Mirrorball Slots, Fresh Deck Poker and more. GSN Games is the maker of Sparcade, the world’s first app where players can compete for money in skill-adapted versions of the biggest game franchises of all time within a vibrant, trusted community. Owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment and AT&T Entertainment Group, GSN Games operates eight locations worldwide across Boston, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Washington, D.C., London, Barcelona, Bangalore and Zaporozhye, Ukraine. Learn more about GSN Games at www.gsngames.com.
About BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc.:
BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc., part of BANDAI NAMCO Holdings Inc., is a leading global publisher and developer of interactive entertainment for all major video game consoles, iOS, Android, and online platforms. The company is known for creating and publishing many of the industry’s top video game franchises including PAC-MAN®, GALAGA®, TEKKEN®, SOULCALIBUR®, and ACE COMBAT®. BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. is the premier publisher in the Western hemisphere for anime based video games including NARUTO SHIPPUDEN™, DRAGON BALL Z®, and ONE PIECE®. More information about the company and its products can be found at http://www.bandainamcoent.com or www.facebook.com/BandaiNamcoUS.
Hasbro is a global company committed to Creating the World’s Best Play Experiences, by leveraging its beloved brands, including LITTLEST PET SHOP, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, MONOPOLY, MY LITTLE PONY, NERF, PLAY-DOH and TRANSFORMERS, and premier partner brands. From toys and games, television programming, motion pictures, digital gaming and consumer products licensing, Hasbro fulfills the fundamental need for play and connection with children and families around the world. The Company’s Hasbro Studios and its film label, ALLSPARK PICTURES, create entertainment brand-driven storytelling across mediums, including television, film, digital and more. Through the company’s commitment to corporate social responsibility, including philanthropy, Hasbro is helping to build a safe and sustainable world and to positively impact the lives of millions of children and families. Learn more at www.hasbro.com, and follow us on Twitter (@Hasbro & @HasbroNews) and Instagram (@Hasbro).
About the Tetris® Brand:
The Tetris® brand is one of the leading and most distinctive video game brands and franchises in the world. For over 30 years, the brand has been loved globally by people of all ages and all cultures. Billions of Tetris games are played online every year, and over 500 million Tetris mobile games have been downloaded to date. Working with Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Sega, Sony/GSN Games and many other licensing partners, the Tetris franchise continues to be one of the most widely recognized video game brands of all time. Tetris Holding, LLC is the owner of Tetris rights worldwide, and The Tetris Company, LLC is its exclusive licensee. For the latest information about the Tetris brand and Tetris products, please visit www.tetris.com.
About Wheel of Fortune:
Reaching nearly 27 million weekly viewers, Wheel of Fortune is the most watched* program on television. Trademarked as America’s Game™, it has earned seven Emmy Awards including a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Game/Audience Participation Show. Wheel of Fortune is produced by Sony Pictures Television, a Sony Pictures Entertainment Company. It is distributed domestically by CBS Television Distribution and internationally by CBS Studios International, both units of CBS Corp.
*Nielsen NPower, Q2, 2016 (3/28-6/26/2016); Live+7 avg weekly reach; P2+ (000); 6+ min qualifier