The producers of Showtime's Weeds have partnered with Marc Ecko to build a digital platform that could eventually alter the show's story
After hours and hours spent mastering FarmVille, you're ready to upgrade from corn and soybeans to a real cash crop: marijuana. Weeds Social Club, a new game for Facebook, lets you grow and sell pot (and potted) plants online.
Launched on Monday, June 27, to complement the season premiere of Showtime's Weeds, the game is just the latest brand extension for Hollywood producers who have already mastered action figures, TV shows, DVDs, apparel and more. "Social games played on Facebook are the new frontier for film and television tie-ins," according to Businessweek's Douglas MacMillan. "This summer, two movies -- Disney's Cars 2 and Fox's Mr. Popper's Penguins -- and a popular Showtime series will attempt build buzz and some extra revenue by featuring their characters in Facebook games."
Without Jim Carrey's comic stylings or Pixar's anthropomorphic four-wheeled friends, though, Weeds is by far the most controversial project we've seen enter this space. Showtime -- and, like it, HBO -- can often get away with racier material because the content they produce is locked behind subscription models and shielded from the eyes of (most) children. While Facebook doesn't officially allow kids under the age of 13 access to its network, we know there are millions with profiles anyway.