Sony PlayStation Network, the game console’s online entertainment hub, has signed on Ford, Electronic Arts, and the U.S. Air Force to sponsor the second season of The Tester, PlayStation’s original online reality series in which gamers compete for a job at the company as a professional video game tester.
According to Mediaweek, the Playstation Network has had a 60 percent increase in ad revenue this year, due to original series such as The Tester. The series’ second season, produced again by 51 Minds (the Endemol company behind VH1’s Rock of Love), will feature a more traditional television style format. Episodes will be extended to 25 to 30 minutes long with scheduled commercial breaks—a change from the shorter and more experimental format of season one.
Susan Panico, Senior Director of PlayStation Network, told MediaPost’s Online Media Daily “about 2.5 million viewed the show last year, and our goal is to increase that by 1 million this year. Sixty-four percent of the people who watched the show viewed it within the first three days.” You need numbers like that when you’re dropping $1 million on season one. Nevertheless, even The Tester‘s relatively large budget is a fraction of the cost to produce a reality show for traditional tv, whose budgets can reach $1 million per episode.
Over 28,000 participants competed for a spot on this season’s The Tester, and over 350,000 community votes were received. Adrianne Curry of America’s Top Model fame will serve as one of the celebrity judges.
The show launches November 2, 2010 exclusively on the PlayStation 3 console, then after a week it will become available on PlayStation Home, and then finally it will be published to the PlayStation page on YouTube.