Bigger and better is the game plan for Hasbro Sports, the new business unit of Hasbro Interactive, says Hasbro Interactive president Tom Dusenberry. The company that brought classics Monopoly and Scrabble to PCs is launching a line of co-branded interactive products this fall, including NASCAR titles, just in time for NASCAR’s 50th birthday. New titles from the Grand Prix 500 licenses are also streeting in the fall.
‘We’ve always coveted sports because it’s the biggest and strongest category,’ Dusenberry says. ‘We’re going after motor sports racing on a global basis because it’s the fastest growing sport.’ Dusenberry is optimistic about the interactive sports division’s future, given the parent company’s
track record with sports-related properties. ‘Hasbro has a US$1-million sport business between Starting Lineup (action figures), Nerf and other lines, and establishing relationships with leagues like the MLB and NFL,’ he says.
Trivial Pursuit NASCAR streets in September for US$29.99, and is geared to older teens and adults. Grand Prix 500, a motorcycle sim game streets in October for US$39.99, and is targeted at males ages 12 and up. NASCAR Digital Camera comes out in November for US$99.99 and targets children ages six and up. Plans for a NASCAR version of Monopoly are also in the works. The game will be aimed at ages eight and up, and will launch sometime in 2000.
The new interactive line includes NFL and NASCAR Em@il Games, which streeted in July for US$14.99 each. ‘They combine the best of what a computer is all about-e-mail and games,’ Dusenberry says. He explains that e-mail games must be turn-based. ‘That’s easy with football,’ he says. ‘You set your offense in one turn, and your defense in another.’
Dusenberry has a slew of plans for the new sports arm of Hasbro Interactive. ‘Using NASCAR as an example, we can do PC, video, handheld games and traditional games,’ he says. The fledgling division is starting out strong with a five-year, multititle, multiplatform deal with Formula One. Hasbro Interactive has also inked a deal with racing sim game developer Geoff Crammond, who will work on the Formula One properties. Hasbro Sports division officially launched on June 15. KB