Ultimate big game hosting, virtually

Tuesday, ESPN Games and Playdom officially launched their highly anticipated sophomore social game release on Facebook titled ESPN Sports Bar & Grill presented by Samsung.

The game gives fans a virtual destination to run their own sports bar and grill, win over loyal customers, decorate walls with sports paraphernalia, show simulated live and on-demand games via flatscreens, get real-time scores and news, interact with friends and their sports bar and grills and more.

Facebook users can open their ESPN Sports Bar & Grill now at: http://apps.facebook.com/espnsportsbar/.

Raphael Poplock, Vice President, Games and Partnerships for ESPN, talks to Front Row about some the highlights.

FR: It’s easy to call ESPN Sports Bar & Grill just another management simulation, but it really has a lot more to it. The early reviews have given it a lot of buzz, particularly how much there is to dig into. Can you get into some of the highlights?

RP: Sure, there is a ton of depth in Sports Bar & Grill. The overall goal is to create the most popular bar amongst your friends. There are many ways to do this — outside of the core food and beverage serving mechanic, fans create “buzz” for their bar and grill by programming TV’s with simulated live and on-demand games, in addition to decorating their bar with unique assets, such as ESPN The Magazine covers. Bar and grill popularity is also generated by successfully completing missions and achievements, obtaining unique collection items, as well as proving their knowledge in our Game Predictor pick ‘em game. Sports fans’ competitive spirits are in full display via Leaderboards, viral smack talk to Facebook walls and newsfeeds and more.

And sports fans don’t have to worry, because all of this can be done while staying connected to the real sports world. While fans are managing their bar and grills, live sports scores, news and information are being integrated via a 24/7 live ESPN Radio stream and an ESPN-branded Ticker.

FR: What do you personally love most about the new game?

RP: I love beating my friends at any game, and Sports Bar & Grill offers numerous ways to compete and show off your fandom.  Furthermore, having the ability to stay connected with the real sports world while getting fully immersed in this very fun and entertaining game is huge.

FR: Got any tips for leveling up faster?

RP: Well, I’m not going to lie, if you put down your credit card, you’ll certainly have an advantage. All joking aside, inviting and continuing to play with your friends are a staple of any social game, and Sports Bar & Grill is no exception. Outside of this, the depth in features enables many different ways for fans to level up faster, but our Missions system provides helpful guidance throughout the game.

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