Network launches two new gaming divisions

Nickelodeon is looking to capitalize on the time that the company’s target aud is spending online by launching two gaming divisions.

The company’s Nickelodeon Kids and Family arm has tapped Dave Williams to head up the Games Group, which will oversee all paid and subscription-based gaming initiatives, self-publishing and licensing businesses across all platforms.

Based in San Francisco, he will look to grow the company’s educational gaming site and Shockwave’s subscription services. He’ll also work with Nickelodeon’s consumer products division to create games around “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “iCarly,” as well as Shockwave’s “Carrie the Caregiver.” He will also continue to manage Shockwave and AddictingGames.

Williams was most recently senior VP of Shockwave and AddictingGames and, before that, Atom Entertainment’s chief marketing officer and general manager before Atom was purchased by MTV Networks in 2006.

Meanwhile, the Virtual Worlds Group will be headed by Kyra Reppen, who will manage the company’s virtual worlds and multiplayer online games efforts, including Nickelodeon’s online playground for kids, Nicktropolis and upcoming “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Monkey World” destinations.

Reppen, based in Los Angeles, will continue to manage Neopets, which she has grown to a user base of 45 million.

Reppen previously helmed as VP and general manager and was the creator behind the ParentsConnect brand. Reppen created and launched Nick Jr. Parents TV, a broadband video service for parents.

Both Williams and Reppen will serve as senior VP-general manager, reporting to Steve Youngwood, exec VP, digital media.

Moves come after Nickelodeon recently said it would add 1,600 new games in 2008 to its library of 5,000 and invest $100 million in the casual games space.

Nickelodeon Kids and Family digital ranks as one of the top kids and family destinations with more than 27.2 million unique monthly visitors, according to comScore.

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