At a time when social apps and next-gen consoles are getting all the buzz, Kate Connally knows that many gamers–especially teens–just want to point, click, and drop a teabag on Lady GaGa. “We’re focused on games that are simple and humorous,” says the 37-year-old VP of AddictingGames, a free online-games site that was acquired by MTV Networks in 2005. To satiate its 15.3 million monthly unique visitors, Connally taps a network of 1,000 Flash developers, publishing a new game every day, and 12 on Fridays. Some games are cutesy: Stylish Girl has users try on different outfits to impress an attractive guy. (“I love that one,” Connally admits.) Others are topical: Palin’s Tea Bomber lets users help the ex-VP candidate soak liberal celebrities from a helicopter. But–and here’s the part that’s “addicting”–all of their learning curves take less than 30 seconds. “People expect to waste two minutes, and wind up playing for half an hour,” says Connally, whose marketing team sells that stickiness to advertisers. Next up: turning AddictingGames’ most popular titles into Flash-free iPad and iPhone apps, and continuing to court tech-savvy teens.
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