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Eisner's FameTown Will Be Huge

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 19, 2010 at 7:16AM

I am as guilty of wasting time playing Flixster movie games on Facebook as anyone else. And I am forecasting here and now that ex-Disney chief Michael Eisner's bet on the new social game FameTown (Napster's Shawn Fanning brought him into the start-up Diversion) will pay off big-time (as it did with Zynga's FarmVille and Mafia Wars). The FameTown game launches on Facebook November 1 and will reap income from selling virtual goods.
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Thompson on Hollywood

I am as guilty of wasting time playing Flixster movie games on Facebook as anyone else. And I am forecasting here and now that ex-Disney chief Michael Eisner's bet on the new social game FameTown (Napster's Shawn Fanning brought him into the start-up Diversion) will pay off big-time (as it did with Zynga's FarmVille and Mafia Wars). The FameTown game launches on Facebook November 1 and will reap income from selling virtual goods.

Why am I so bullish? Because I want to play it. It reminds me of the way The Sims pulled you into another world. In this case, it's Hollywood. You pick an avatar of an aspiring actor and try to make it as a star, hiring an agent, going to the right parties, etc. The game engages our fantasies about how we would play the game better than all those idiots trying to make it as Tinseltown celebs. Why is Ben Affleck a rich Oscar-winning movie star married to Jennifer Garner and we aren't?

FameTown will be huge. The dynamics of FameTown are not far off from those of Hollywood, Eisner told the NYT: “Half the people who work in the movies worked in the mail room or as waiters."

This article is related to: Moguls, Web/Tech, Players, Facebook


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.