San Francisco Giants catcher and rising pro baseball star Buster Posey has become the first major leaguer to launch his own mobile game with the release of Buster Bash for iOS.
Like the other small handful of athlete-themed mobile games (Mike Tyson, football star Chad Johnson and soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo have all launched their own over the past two years), Buster Bash doesn't play like a traditional sports video game. Out are dramatic announcing and gameplay meant to simulate actual sports action. In are cartoony graphics, a whimsical premise and Angry Birds-style simplicity.
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To play Buster Bash [iTunes link], you swipe the screen of your device with a finger to launch homeruns against a virtual pitcher. As you increase in level, you trace Posey's career path from a Wiffle Ball-belting tyke in Georgia to high school All-American and all the way through college to the pros.
Posey's agent, Jeff Berry of CAA Sports, told Mashable in an email that his client becoming the first baseball player to have a self-branded mobile game resulted from a confluence of several complementary factors.
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"Buster is an emerging face of the game with broad appeal across a large fan base, and he plays in the tech-savvy Bay Area market," Berry wrote. "We knew that Buster loves to play games on his phone, so when we talked to him about the idea of creating his own several months ago, he jumped at the chance. Plus, his life story had all the makings of a good game theme."
CAA plans to market Buster Bash largely through social media -- Posey has more than 50,000 Twitter followers and 300,000 Facebook fans. In addition to the game's official site, it has Facebook and Twitter profiles of its own. The game is monetized on a freemium model, with the initial download being free but players having the option to buy additional goods and rewards. Posey sponsors Under Armour and Toyota are also incorporated into the game, further boosting its branding reach.
Mobile games have become a slick way for athletes -- now including Posey -- to enhance their digital presence. But, ever the understated Southern ballplayer, the Giants' young star says his agenda with Buster Bash isn't so complicated.
"I think it's fun more than anything," he told Mashable in an email. "I don't really have any goals or expectations about the game other than I hope people really enjoy playing it."
Have you downloaded Buster Bash? Tell us what you think of it in the comments below.
This story originally published on Mashable here.