US Jockey Club unveils online games

The Jockey Club has launched two interactive online games— Major League Horse Racing, combining the skill of fantasy sports with social media, and Thoroughbred World, a game focused on the breeding, owning, and training aspects of the sport. Players can access both games through Facebook. Major League Horse Racing is also available at MajorLeague- An Apple iPad version of Thoroughbred World is coming soon. Both games were developed as part of a wide-ranging fan development initiative that was recommended in the comprehensive 2011 economic study of the Thoroughbred industry commissioned by the Jockey Club and conducted by McKinsey and Company. “These games complement our fan development strategy and will be heavily promoted through our America’s Best Racing platform and our television programming,” said Jason G. Wilson, the Jockey Club’s vice president of business development. “Free-to-play online games have been successful in teaching consumers how to play other games, such as online poker, and they attract fans.” “Social gaming has become a major entertainment platform, as evidenced by (Facebook game) FarmVille’s 85-million ‘farmers,’ 30-million of whom play daily,” Wilson added. “A game like Thoroughbred World that simulates the Thoroughbred owner experience for casual and dedicated fans should build racing’s brand and relevance.” In just over one week since its release, Major League Horse Racing has attracted more than 1,200 players. Thoroughbred World has attracted 2,000 players since it was launched and promoted on August 16. The game had more than 20,000 players during beta testing in Asia this summer.

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