Thanks to the growth of the web, our pop culture celebrities seem closer to us regular folk than ever — we can tweet to them, see their personal snapshots on Instagram, access their performances and behind-the-scenes outtakes at any time on YouTube. Now, a brand new startup called PLAOR (pronounced player) wants to extend our celebrity interactions to another popular online realm: Online games.
And the company is getting its start with poker, a game where the celebrity angle has been tried-and-true. PLAOR’s first title that launched this past week is “Hollywood Poker,” and it has lined up a stable of celebrities who will be on deck to play online poker games with regular people, with much of the proceeds going to the charity of each star’s choice.
It’s a pretty cool concept, so it was great to talk it over a bit with PLAOR’s founder and CEO Mark Caldwell, an executive with years of experience both in entertainment and gaming — previously he was the VP of engineering for Disney and Playdom. Watch the video embedded above to hear about how this idea came about, why they’re starting with Hollywood Poker, and PLAOR’s plans for future star-studded game products.
And to find out more about what exactly is in it for the celebrities, it was great to talk via Skype with Kevin Pollak, an actor and comedian who is one of PLAOR’s first show business ambassadors. Watch the video embedded below to hear him talk about why Twitter has been a bit of a disappointment for some of its celebrity users (though he is still on the site), how the growth of the web is impacting the entertainment industry (he’s been an early adopter to tech compared to many of his peers, with things like his online show Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show), why he teamed up with PLAOR, his tips for people who plan on challenging him to poker, and more:
PLAOR is an emerging new social games publisher with an exciting and unique catalog. PLAOR is led by industry visionaries from Playdom, Disney Interactive Group, XBox, EA, Microsoft, Sony Online Entertainment, and THQ. PLAOR offices are in Boston and San Diego, California. PLAOR will change the game.
Mark is an Entrepreneur and Gaming veteran who has created and won awards for games on platforms from the Apple II to the Xbox 360 and as been working in Social games for the last year and a half. Formerly the VP of Engineering for Playdom and Disney (DIMG), Mark has previously been the CEO and co-founder of several gaming companies over the last 25 years, including New World Computing, Rapid Eye Entertainment, and Pacific Beach Digital. He has won...