BBC Aims High With New Games Business

BBC Aims High With New Games Business

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Call of Duty might be a the gaming equivalent of a summer blockbuster, but Top Gear is just as important, says BBC Worldwide digital director.

The BBC says that self-published videogames based on some of the companies top properties could be worth tens of millions over the next few years. The BBC's commercial subsidiary, BBC Worldwide, expects digital media to account for around ten percent of its total revenue by 2012, and believes that game sales will be a significant part of that.

Speaking as BBC Worldwide unveiled a trio of titles for the iPhone and iPad, including new Doctor Who and Top Gear games, digital director Claude London compared the BBC's games interests to the founding of the company's magazine interests in 1973, an event he described as being like the company growing a new limb. He saw no reason why videogames couldn't grow into a £50 million - or nearly $80 million - business for the BBC, and said that the company's brands were every bit as important in the videogame space as big-name IPs like Call of Duty. "I would argue that Call of Duty is akin to a movie blockbuster," he said. "Gaming, films and TV are all about content, and in that respect Top Gear is just as important and as relevant as Call of Duty."

BBC properties certainly have the brand recognition to sell a lot of games, and the company has the infrastructure in place to market them. The focus seems to be on more casual games at the moment, but there are several that would make really interesting triple A titles. A Torchwood game with the same kind of gadgets-and fighting gameplay as Batman: Arkham Asylum could be a lot of fun, as could a Top Gear game where you race against your cohorts to see whether it's faster to go from London to Berlin by hot air balloon, or by super-fast sports car.

It doesn't seem like triple A develop is the direction the BBC will chose to go, but if it did - and it made sure the games were of a high quality - that £50 million could end up looking like a conservative estimate.

Source: MCV

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interesting, bbc games (like bamzoki) have always been fun to play

Antiques Roadshow: Terrorists at the Auction!

I'm just gonna sit on the fence until they release a console game. I've got a feeling that it will never get to that stage for some reason.

But will the games be any good? After all, how hard can it be?

Logan Westbrook:
A Torchwood game with the same kind of gadgets-and fighting gameplay as Batman: Arkham Asylum could be a lot of fun,

Ahahahahhahahahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahh. No.

I have to admit that given the context I was actually rather impressed with the Doctor Who games. They were pretty kiddy and the movement was sluggish but they were also kind of fun.

I really would dig a Torchwood game with gadgets and gunplay, the universe is great for that kind of thing and would be even better because of the mystery. You could have people turning up killed in weird ways and you'd never know what you were up against until you found it.

Only problem being:

I smell shovelware.

I would greatly enjoy a top gear console game.

Top Gear would be pretty good as a arcade racing game. Throw in some tongue-in-cheek challenges from the series like amphibious cars or the lorry challenges and they'll be set.

Top Gear would suck as a game as there would be no way to make it good without making into a clone of what is already out there.

A high-budget Dr Who game, on the other hand, would be absolutely epic. I'm thinking a very much plot-driven detective-type game rather than a crappy platform game though...

The BBC can make awesome games: anyone remember Hogs of War from the PS1? That was a fabulous game. Full of wit and charm as well as incredible addictiveness.

Delusibeta:
But will the games be any good? After all, how hard can it be?

You win. Congratulations.

A Top Gear game is a brilliant idea. Top Gear is an absolutely brilliant show, chances are a game based on it could be hilarious. I might pick it up despite my seething hatred of racing games.

A doctor who game, on the other hand, I couldn't care less about. I love the TV series, but for some reason the idea of a game doesn't appeal to me.

Delusibeta:
But will the games be any good? After all, how hard can it be?

Oh god...

Please oh please God tell me citerion creates Top Gear the game. I want to see bus touring car races and campervan wars along side my bugatti crash test and aerial atom races, all with the realistic and beautiful destruction the series already comes with.

Will these games be free for british tv license fee tax payers? After all, the BBC will be using our tax money to make these games.

If a Top Gear game is anything like the Gran Turismo 5 Top Gear Track VW van challenge count me out. That is the very definition of annoying, all I want is the track for the arcade mode, why make it so difficult?

somonels:
Antiques Roadshow: Terrorists at the Auction!

Best game ever...

Well I enjoyed the latest batch of Doctor Who games, and some in the past have been good too. I'd prefer the BBC stick to TV and Radio though.

Also I'm not sure how I feel about me paying for a game that I already pay my TV license fee to make...

I wonder how an eastenders game would play out.

A big-budget doctor who game would be awesome. They could be a story driven detective/action as mentioned above and there could be a level editor and monster designer and the single player could involve travelling around space and time with no indication of which level you ended up at next. There would have to be some sort of quality control system though.

RewardMe:
Will these games be free for british tv license fee tax payers? After all, the BBC will be using our tax money to make these games.

ninja'd

if its our money we should have a say in what happens. Id love to see a topgear game the challenges would be fun and the online lap times would be cool, top ten get to go on the track for real. james may + video game = EPIC WIN, james may is awesome

Any Top Gear game that lets you choose which character you can play: The Stig, Clarkson, Mr. Pearly Teeth or Captain Slow equals $$$$. Smart Move BBC. I was to see some insane cross continent race or some sorta derby.

RewardMe:
Will these games be free for british tv license fee tax payers? After all, the BBC will be using our tax money to make these games.

I think an answer could be found in your username, the BBC are facing cuts as are other organisations in the UK and need to make some money from what IPs they have. I'm interested in what could happen as long as it's not a game based on FlashPlayer and helps to make content available for players to enjoy.

Also it's not strictly a tax, we pay a licence fee which has been frozen in price for a few years from now on. You don't have to pay for a licence if you can prove you don't/can't watch TV. I think they've given up on licensing radio because of the difficulty of checking on car radios etc.

RewardMe:
Will these games be free for british tv license fee tax payers? After all, the BBC will be using our tax money to make these games.

The BBC hasn't got the cash or the skills to develop a triple a game. It would have to licence it's IP to a third party and this wouldn't cost licence fee payers anything.

No no no no no no no no no!!!!
You just know that they'll get the worst people in to make these games and i really hate seeing decent licenses ruined by poor knock-off games. The Top Gear track is in Gran Turismo 5, why would we need a Top Gear game, it'd never be as good.
Doctor Who is a great idea, but again you just know it won't be any good :(

I really want a Crazy Taxi like Top Gear game....

MrJinks:

RewardMe:
Will these games be free for british tv license fee tax payers? After all, the BBC will be using our tax money to make these games.

I think an answer could be found in your username, the BBC are facing cuts as are other organisations in the UK and need to make some money from what IPs they have. I'm interested in what could happen as long as it's not a game based on FlashPlayer and helps to make content available for players to enjoy.

Also it's not strictly a tax, we pay a licence fee which has been frozen in price for a few years from now on. You don't have to pay for a licence if you can prove you don't/can't watch TV. I think they've given up on licensing radio because of the difficulty of checking on car radios etc.

It might aswell be called a tax. Can you honestly live without a TV in this day and age? I know i can't.

-|-:

RewardMe:
Will these games be free for british tv license fee tax payers? After all, the BBC will be using our tax money to make these games.

The BBC hasn't got the cash or the skills to develop a triple a game. It would have to licence it's IP to a third party and this wouldn't cost licence fee payers anything.

That makes alot more sense. Let's hope that's what they do.

 

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