Late Actor John Belushi Makes His Video Game Debut in New Social Game

Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Gamers will be able to play as John Belushi in a series of new “Retro World” online games from Entertainment Games

New social games publisher Entertainment Games is focusing on the fastest-growing segment of the Internet, gamers 40 and older. The company is partnering with Hollywood icons to connect with this older gaming demographic. In the new Retro World free-to-play social game, players will be able to purchase avatars of famous Hollywood icons from the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s.

Comedian John Belushi is the latest Hollywood celebrity that will be available as a player avatar in the new online game, which launches next month. He joins Elvis Presley and other soon-to-be-announced celebrities that will be available in the game world on Facebook, Google+ and mobile devices. Entertainment Games has also inked deals with Getty, Corbis and Spiegel to bring photographs and styles from these decades to the game world.

The rights to use the name and images of John Belushi were licensed through CMG Worldwide, a leading agency representing many of the most recognized names in sports, music and entertainment.  John Belushi burst onto the comedy scene in 1975 as an original cast member of Saturday Night Live.  He also starred in box office hits like Animal House (1978) and The Blues Brothers (1980) that established him as a predominant cultural icon of his era.

PHOTOS: The Hollywood Reporter's 80th Anniversary: 'The Legends' Issue

“Everyone remembers the comic genius of John Belushi,” said Gene Mauro, President of Entertainment Games.  “He brought laughter to the world, and it’s truly exciting to cast him in new roles and feature him on virtual goods in our new social game.  We’re honored to be associated with CMG Worldwide and John Belushi and look forward to announcing more of our game’s celebrity cast members as we approach our product launch.”

According to eMarketer, consumers 40 and older spend more time and money online than any other demographic. Over 50 percent of online adults over 40 use Facebook, according to Forrester Research. And over 60 million 40+ consumers are on Facebook, according to internal Facebook advertising.

Mauro said that while game companies like Zynga attract gamers 40 and older, no one has designed casual games specifically for this demographic. Retro World, which includes adventure games and mini-games, has been designed to bring the decades these gamers lived through back to life. Moving forward, the company will be bringing games based on classic Hollywood TV shows to Retro World, along with additional celebrities.