- Associated Press - Thursday, July 8, 2010

NEW YORK (AP) - Viacom Inc.’s MTV Networks said Thursday it bought Social Express Inc., a developer of online social games, marking its first entry into this increasingly popular space.

Social games _ think Zynga’s “Farmville” or “Pet Society” by Electronic Arts-owned Playfish _ are a fast-growing category played by tens of millions on Facebook and elsewhere online.

MTV said it will integrate Social Express into Nickelodeon Digital, and create games based on Nickelodeon and other MTV Networks brands. MTV also owns the game websites AddictingGames.com, Shockwave.com and others, along with businesses such as Comedy Central, “Rock Band” developer Harmonix and Spike.

San Francisco-based Social Express includes former executives and developers from Apple, Yahoo, AOL and Zynga, MTV said.

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