Starz Digital Media is alerting fans that Starz will begin showing Spartacus: Vengeance on Jan. 27 using a new Facebook game and showings of the initial episode online and on demand.

Spartacus: Vengeance The Game launches the same day the franchise returns to television, although viewers who watch the video teaser can “like” the game and sign up to indicate their interest. Some of those viewers will be invited to play the currently running closed beta, and all of them will receive an invitation to play when it goes live.

As with its predecessor Spartacus: The Game, this new game was developed by Starz Digital Media in partnership with Large Animal Games. At its peak, the first game had approximately 4 million registered users and more than 1.2 million monthly active users.

Spartacus: The Game helped change the landscape for branded Facebook games based on media properties and was very successful,” said Wade Tinney, chief executive officer of Large Animal Games. “Its mix of visceral action, evocative graphics and long-term gladiator development remains unlike any other game on the market. With Spartacus: Vengeance The Game, we intend to amp up all of the things our players and the show’s fans love.”

It is not necessary to have played the first game to enjoy this second one. Players in the free-to-play Spartacus: Vengeance The Game take on the role of a recently escaped slave, who must overcome a series of challenges and command his own band of warriors in order to thrive outside of the arena. Successful players follow the action from Capua to Vesuvius, paralleling Spartacus’s own achievements in freeing locations from Roman control by building and equipping an army, liberating slaves and other prisoners, acquiring fighters and engaging in conspiracies.

“We are thrilled to present a teaser video of Spartacus: Vengeance The Game on Facebook in advance of the official game launch and the highly anticipated second season,” said Mara Winokur, senior vice president, digital media, business development and strategy, Starz Media and lead executive for Starz Digital Media. “The teaser video gives users a good overview of the new Spartacus: Vengeance The Game, which takes on a greater level of sophistication by adding new elements such as improved visuals, multi-fighter battles, a more robust game economy, advanced game progressions, and more varied strategic options.”

The first episode of the TV series will be available for free in more than 61.1 million U.S. pay TV homes beginning Jan. 20 from Comcast’s Xfinity TV, DirecTV, Dish Network, Charter Communications and other participating Starz affliates. Starz also will show the first episode on its Facebook page, as will AT&T U-verse, Comcast’s Xfinity, Charter and DirecTV on their respective Facebook pages, and it will be viewable via the Xfinity iOS app.

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