Starz Turns Facebook Into a Roman Empire Arena

Starz Entertainment will enter the social-media-gaming arena with a Facebook game to help promote the Jan. 21 debut of six-episode original series Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, and the premium cable network said the game, Gods of the Arena, will be available to the first 10,000 fans who register on Facebook starting Jan. 6, Multichannel News reported.

Gods of the Arena puts players in charge of their own gladiator schools, where they must assemble and train teams of up to nine gladiators, with the eventual goal of placing their fighters in the Roman Empire’s top arenas, according to Multichannel News.

Starz also announced the launch of an iPad app Jan. 17 that will offer screenplays from Spartacus: Gods of the Arena and Spartacus: Blood and Sand (Gods of the Arena is the prequel to Blood and Sand), with the app available for free download with the script to the first episode, “The Red Serpent,” and additional scripts available for $0.99 apiece after the installments debut on Starz, Multichannel News reported.

Starz Media senior vice president of digital media Marc DeBevoise told Multichannel News:

We went out to build a kick-ass gladiator game that would also build our brand. It’s a game that we think can last not only for the run of the show, but longer. I call it “marketing that pays.”

We felt that putting a bunch of video [in an iPad app] would be a waste — we wanted something different.