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Hasbro clicks Sony Online for Pursuit

Popular board game headed for Station debut

Toymaker Hasbro Inc. has teamed with Sony Online Entertainment to launch its popular Trivial Pursuit board game on the Station, Sony’s gaming Web site, Hasbro announced Monday.

The deal marks Beverly, Mass.-based Hasbro’s first online venture, through its recently launched interactive division. It’s also the first board game property to appear on the Station, which already includes online versions of “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

But according to Sony, the multiyear-agreement gives SOE the exclusive worldwide rights to produce and distribute the popular ’80s trivia game online. The deal covers generic as well as special themed versions of Trivial Pursuit.

Sony thus gains another powerful lure to its gaming site, which competes for ad dollars with Microsoft’s Internet Gaming Zone, online gaming company Mpath, and gaming sites on portals America Online, Yahoo! and Excite.

The Station recently inked advertising deals with 18 companies, including Universal Pictures, Rolling Stone Network, USSB, Lego, CDnow and America Online to push their products on the Web site.

Featuring original games and interactive gameshows, the Station has more than 2 million registered members. With 750,000 games of “Jeopardy!” played each week, the online game is among the most popular on the Internet.

Trivial Pursuit is skedded to debut on the Station (station.sony.com) in mid-1999.

Online players will initially get free play on Trivial Pursuit, but will have to pay for certain games sometime next year. They will compete against the clock and other online competitors.

“Sony has obtained incredible success in the online entertainment arena providing first-rate interactive games to the mass market,” said Tom Dusenberry, prexy of Hasbro Interactive.

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