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Jay-Z Launches New “Empire” Game on Facebook

Some unexpected news on the gaming front: Hip-Hop mogul Jay-Z has launched a beta of his own Facebook game called “Empire,” meant to emulate his own rise from the streets of Brooklyn.

Outside of advertising, Facebook makes about 15 percent of its revenue from apps and games that run on the site. Zygna, the publisher of the infamous “FarmVille,” controls approximately 12 of that 15 percent. Jay-Z’s game, developed by Happy Giant Media, has been in production for nine months, and just launched its first public beta test. Like similar titles such as Crime City and Mafia Wars, the game allows for Facebook users to interact with each other via the game and earn in-game cash and rewards. A karma meter records choices and implements them in a morality system. Players can rob a store for some quick cash, but they’ll lose “cred” over time. And of course, players can write rhymes and challenge one another to rap battles in the game, without having to pick up a mic themselves. The game also uses a Spotify playlist to play Jay-Z’s music in the background during play.

Empire currently has 1,000 daily users, and no doubt Facebook hopes that the game catches on even further. With its own IPO quickly approaching, having a name like Jay-Z producing software for the social media network is nothing but good news.

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