Move over Kongregate, there's a new player in town, and it seems to have brought bunnies with it.
In the same way you might claim that you only read Playboy for the articles, soon you'll be able to say you only visit the Playboy website for the games. As part of a strategy to make its brand more mainstream, Playboy Enterprises will create an online gaming label and has partnered with German online gaming giant Bigpoint to create and distribute content.
Paul H. Lee, Playboy Enterprise's managing director for new digital ventures, said that the company had found that a lot of visitors to the Playboy site also visited online gaming sites, and that one of the company's strengths was using its brand to "present quality content." Lee wouldn't reveal how much money Playboy Enterprises was putting into the venture, but said that the investment was "significant." It's not all going to be what you might think of as traditional Playboy content either, as one of the first games to appear on the site is the browser-based crime MMO Poisonville. Lee says that the company will avoid a lot of overt branding, although the familiar bunny will pop up here and there.
Playboy's previous dalliances with gaming have been limited. There's been the occasional licensing deal, as with Mafia 2 or Dead Rising 2, and the less than amazing Playboy: The Mansion, but this is a very different proposition. The combination of a very well known brand - although admittedly not well known for games - and a proven provider for the content would suggest that this new venture is off to a very good start.