BBC is looking to step into the video game development in all its glory, again. The notable thing here is not necessarily but surely about what British Broadcasting Corporation is going to bring to the table. However, the more inquisitive concern that arises from this news is after all this time why did BBC see it appropriate to make the video game development a top priority all of a sudden.
Their new initiative called “Gaming First” is will see the company making a global impact through video game development. The Head of Digital Marketing and Games at BBC, Bradley Crooks explained the stance of his company on video game development by speaking at the Develop Brighton Conference. This event is done solely for the purpose of letting game development professionals engage with each other for the sake of growth of the gaming industry and community.
Although the past experiences for BBC in video game development have been rather bitter ones, Bradley Crooks told that after carefully examining the company, they believe that it would be a step forward to head on to this industry for good:
“It also comes at a time where the organization, through BBC Studios, is looking at a franchise-based approach. The media landscape has changed considerably over the last few years. The BBC will have to adapt with the market. We know that. The idea that we can follow the old model of producing a piece of content, and that goes out on terrestrial channels and that’s the end of it… Obviously, that is not the model for the future. So this push towards a more franchise-based approach with our key IPs has allowed us to say that gaming should be a key part of that.”
Although the company has been mostly involved in the licensing business and has been pretty effective in it as well. Nonetheless, this goes on to show that the broadcasting company has come to this conclusion through a comprehensive understanding of the circumstances. Bradley expressed the strategy that they wish to follow with the “Gaming First” initiative:
“We’ve developed a solid foundation through the licensing model, I’m not saying that Gaming First as an initiative is suddenly going to turn that on its head. For the foreseeable future, a large amount of the way that we work will continue to be on a licensing basis.”
“Gaming isn’t the only area. There are others like publishing and short-form… but clearly gaming is a big opportunity to both support the brand, bring in new users – especially younger people. But also as a means to generate revenue, and that revenue can go back into supporting the franchise as a whole.”
Although, Crooks strongly considers past BCC video games like Doctor Who titles to have faired well, he aknowledged the possibility of things crshing down to which they wish to tackle proactively through Tech R&D, and budget and assets allocation. All in all, the main drive here seems to be the aspiration to expand their channels to which Bradley commented:
“We would like to do more stuff, basically, The BBC is home to exciting IPs, and it’s also a place where you can innovate, and not just within the gaming space, but also broadly with interactive experiences. Maybe you’ve seen what we did with the Life in VR app. That came out from my team. It isn’t really a game, but it’s interactive and represents the brand. We see that almost like a new format. It’s a different channel to reach people and a new way of delivering great, credible, well-researched content. We just want to do more.”
As it stands, the British Broadcasting Corporation seems pretty determined and they have worked out their “Gaming First” intitiave quite well and in a thorough manner. Let’s see if they would be able to catch up to the standards of the upcoming next-generation consoles which are being backed to beat out even industry rivals like Nintendo is presumably shrinking in development of AAA titles.