11 Aug 2010View Comments
Car Town, launched yesterday on social media site Facebook, is a social game centred around, unsurprisingly, cars.
The game allows users to perform tasks such as washing cars, joining a race and delivering pizza in order to earn virtual currency, which can be exchanged for cars, accessories or upgrades to your garage.
But there is a business plan behind the fun. Developer Cie Games said: "Car Town provides automakers with a new way to leverage gaming, social media, online advertising, customer interaction and product placement."
The cars featured in the game are stylised versions of real models, and car manufacturers earn a small fee each time a player buys one of their virtual vehicles.
Honda has gone one step further, and plans to insert a virtual car showroom and billboard into the game to promote its imminent CR-Z sport hybrid.
"Introducing the CR-Z to Car Town allows Honda to connect with customers at their point of passion," said Steven Center, vice president of national marketing operations at American Honda. "With Car Town, participants can engage with and experience Honda in a fun and casual environment that is not overtly commercial."
Other Car Town licensing partners include Dodge, Ford, Fisker, Nissan, Opel, Ram Truck, Scion, Lotus, Mazda, Vauxhall, Land Rover, McLaren, Toyota, Volkswagen, DeLorean, General Motors, Lamborghini and Mercedes-Benz.
"Car Town provides a virtual case study for the way brands can use social media to engage consumers," said Justin Choi, president and CEO at Cie Games. " We are providing brand interaction in a social and entertaining way. We expect Car Town to become a major automotive media property."
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