Reports in the British press over the weekend suggest that the BBC may be considering greatly increasing its creation and promotion of video games.
Specifically, newspaper Scotland on Sunday is suggesting that a major announcement is expected
at the Edinburgh Interactive Festival on August 14th.
Despite extremely limited coverage in its television programming, the BBC has always maintained a small interest in game creation, licensing many of its children’s brands to local publishers and producing its own Web-based games for shows such as Doctor Who and Teletubbies.
The newspaper report links the change in direction to Simon Nelson, controller of multiplatform and portfolio at BBC Vision. It speculates that the games could be delivered via the iPlayer system used to power the corporation’s new On-Demand service which allows viewers to download a TV show up to seven days after its initial airing, for a maximum of thirty days.
Although the report claims that the games will be of a nature that will be “taken more seriously in the gaming community”, no suggestion is made of what form they might take. It is also unclear whether the games will be made available free of charge, as part of the BBC license payer’s fee, and if so how this might limit their budget and/or complexity.
According to a new report by British trade paper MCV, an official representing the BBC has refuted claims
that the organization plans to make any major announcements on its involvement with game development.
“The focus of his speech is on what the BBC can learn from the gaming industry (and vice versa),” commented the rep. “The presentation will not reveal a major move into the games industry and is in fact just reflective of the way in which various sectors of the entertainment industry are now converging and can learn from each others methods of working.”]