Tuesday May 18, 2004
Exclusive interview with Sarah Haney Director of Entertainment Licensing of Playboy
Playboy: The Mansion is the ultimate lifestyle game, allowing the gamer to "Play Hef" and live the good life. The player is in charge of running the Playboy Empire, and must put out a magazine each month. In order to generate content for the magazine, the Virtual Hef will throw incredible parties with celebrities and rockstars in town. The social management of the parties will enable the player to acquire content for the magazine, including the unique, sexy Photo Shoot feature which the gamer will use to get his or her cover shot. With a broad depth of gameplay, and a simulation experience of the ultimate lifestyle, Playboy:The Mansion lets a gamer Play Hef, build the dream and live the good life.
Over 80 Playboy Playmates will be part of the Playboy: The Mansion video game. All Playmates will be presented in a "timeless" fashion, looking as they did when appearing in the magazine.
Today LadyDragon will speak with Sarah Haney Director of Entertainment Licensing from Playboy.
LadyDragon: How did the idea of the game Playboy: The Mansion came about, Did it come from Hef or Christy?
Sarah Haney: The entire concept sort of came about when Jim Perkins from Arush and John Walsh of Groove came together and met with me a couple of years ago with the concept for this particular game and it seams like a logical step based on the demographic and readership of the magazine and just a general direction that our consumer products business has been moving in, it seams like a logical expansion of the brand for us. So we jumped on the opportunity to partener with these great guys. Its been about 2 years in the process now and I think we've got a great game to show for it.
LadyDragon: I beleive it is a new way for your consumers to enjoy your brand of Playboy don't you think ?
Sarah Haney: Yes, absolutely. It is interesting to know that last year alone Playboy readers spent 350 million dollards in video game softwares so I think that we are entering this arena at just the right time.
LadyDragon: Did you get some feed back from your shareholders?
Sarah Haney: Yes of course, Christy actually mentioned the game last week at our board of directors meeting and I think everybody is really exited to see the game it the shelf and then whatching it take off. Obviously all of the input we gotten so far have been excellent.
LadyDragon: Putting a video game on the market creates a new source of revenue for Playboy right ?
Sarah Haney: Yes, absolutely. Again Playboy readers are already spending significant amount of money on video games so it would hold to reason that this game will also generate significant revenue for us.
LadyDragon: Advertising Placement in a video game is quite popular these days have you been approached for that ?
Sarah Haney: I know that Arush had conversations with various companies and am not sure at this stage if they have finilized any deals but it is certainly something that we have discussed in the pass.
LadyDragon: So the game is supposed to be release this November through Hip for North America and through Ubi Soft in Europe right ?
Sarah Haney: Yes, that is correct.
LadyDragon: Are you going to launch it in Asia like Japan also?
Sarah Haney: Probably we are still discussing that, the timing might be a little bit different though but yes that is the plan.
LadyDragon: Why did you choose Hip Interactive to distribute your game in North America ?
Sarah Haney: Actually, Playboy partnered with Arush and Groove and it was Arush and Groove that brought Hip to the table as the distributor of the game and with Hip vast experience in this arena it seams like a logical steps for us.
LadyDragon: How involve is Hef in the game, is he looking at the game, is he giving advice?
Sarah Haney: Yes, Hef has been an active participant through out the process. We have been checking up with him periodically and showing the game has it moves through the development process and yes Hef is so enthousiastic and incredibly supportive about the project plus he has opened is own personal archive for the people that are developing the game at Cyberlore.
LadyDragon: About Christy what does she think about about the game?
Sarah Haney: She loves it, we have been also keeping her in the loop and showing her the game periodically and she has been extremely supportive as well plus she is trilled about the way the game is progressing.
LadyDragon: Are you planning to have a spin off of that game?
Sarah Haney: There will be Expansion packs that will follow after the release of the game in the course of the next year or 2.
LadyDragon: Are you planning to do other type of games like one with only Playmates or something?
Sarah Haney: I do not know yet our first priority is to get the game out on the market and make sure it is a success. We are concentrating on this one for now if other oppotunities arise later on, we will then evaluate them.
LadyDragon: I spoke with a few of the Playmates that will be in the game and they are very happy to be evolve, are you getting the same feed back from them ?
Sarah Haney: Yes we do, they are all so excited to be in the game plus also I think that the players and the fans of Playboy will be exicited has well since the game has many true life elements and the Playmates are one of those aspects.
LadyDragon: In the game you will have over a 100 playmates that will be featured, I noticed that you even have included Playmates as far back as 1956 they must be trilled that you have thought them even though it has been a long time right ?
Sarah Haney: Yes they are, it is criticall to us has we promote their brand to emphasise the longevity of the brand and this year we are celebrating our 50th Anniversary. We certainly find it valuable and important to keep the Playmates from the early days has envolve has possible and this is great opportynity to do that.
LadyDragon: Personaly, I beleive that the making of this game where Hef can actually participate in the making of the game is actually historical for his fans don't you think?
Sarah Haney: Yes, it is, I think all fans of Playboy will love to see Hef immortalized in this game.
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