Where Alien vs. Predator meets Israel’s gaming industry

Where Alien vs. Predator meets Israel’s gaming industry

Herzliya-based Plarium is teaming up with Twentieth Century Fox to enhance its popular Facebook game Soldiers Inc.

A screenshot of Plarium's popular Soldiers Inc. on Facebook (Courtesy)
A screenshot of Plarium's popular Soldiers Inc. on Facebook (Courtesy)

With 150 million users a month and 1,000 workers worldwide — half in Israel — Herzliya-based Plarium has become one of the biggest and most influential companies in the Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) game business.

Every day, millions of active gamers play one of Plarium’s seven titles, spending hours online competing against others around the world. According to Facebook, it’s the biggest hardcore game platform on the social network.

Now, Plarium is teaming up with Twentieth Century Fox for the rights to their franchise Alien vs. Predator (AVP) – a crossover of the two iconic blockbusters Alien (1979) and Predator (1987). The partnership will lend the themes and experiences from AVP into Plarium’s hit Facebook game, Soldiers Inc.

This is a good example of the innovation needed to stay on top in the gaming industry, said Plarium’s Deanna Dweck. “You have to have sophisticated storylines, because the players are very sophisticated themselves,” she said on the sidelines of Casual Connect, one of the gaming industry’s biggest events, which took place in Tel Aviv this week.

Plarium specializes in MMO games for Facebook, with users entering its games via a link on their own or other FB pages, and entering the cloud-based play area. Sharp graphics and dynamic storylines keep users coming back, said Dweck.

“We have developed numerous stories that are unique to our games, and these keep players coming back. Many play for free, but many others opt for the upgraded experience, where they pay a monthly fee for access to more resources and higher game levels,” she said.

One of Plarium’s biggest games is Soldiers Inc., which was listed in 2013 as one of the “best new games of the year” by Facebook and remains one of Plarium’s most popular titles, with 85 million total players. It’s through the game, said Plarium, that themes and experiences associated with AVP will be inserted as part of the deal with Fox.

In Soldiers Inc., players run missions to defend turf against invaders and other groups. The AVP campaign within the game will be fully voiced and is an entirely separate experience from the original, where players must investigate a temple of unknown origin and extract assets before a thermonuclear detonation. New AVP-associate features will include main missions and side missions based on the movies, rewards, collectible in-game “goodies,” and promos and prizes themed around the Alien vs. Predator experience.

This is Plarium’s first such licensing partnership, and the company said it plans to expand its partnership efforts to encompass more games and other studios.

“Soldiers Inc. has the perfect mixture of thrilling and engaging gameplay that is perfectly in step with the Alien vs. Predator franchise,” said Mike Doyle, VP of Interactive Games at Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products. “We look forward to bringing fans the ability to immerse themselves in a game experience that incorporates the franchise’s high-octane excitement and takes it to another level.”

“Plarium is thrilled to work with Twentieth Century Fox to bring such an iconic franchise to social gaming,” said Leonard Frankel, Head of Business Development for Plarium. “This exciting partnership aligns with Plarium’s overall vision to bring the most engaging experience to our audience by enhancing every minute that players spend with us.”

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