Los Angeles/New York, October 30, 2008 - SCI FI Channel has greenlit to production WCG GameQuest (working title), an 8-episode elimination-style reality competition, pitting 12 contestants against each other in a series of video game challenges in order to find the "Best All-Around Gamer" in the United States. Shot on location in Los Angeles, GameQuest is slated to premiere on SCI FI in the first quarter of 2009.
The series features top game titles from various studios and includes physical challenges that bring video games to life, as well as elimination challenges in an arena before hundreds of spectators. This exciting new format features a diverse group of contestants who embark on an intense and emotional journey, all hoping to win a prize package that includes $100,000 and trips to future World Cyber Games (WCG) events across the globe.
"With two out of every three American households playing videogames, it's clear that this mainstream phenomenon is a perfect arena for the Channel's agenda of broadening the brand while celebrating imagination," said Dave Howe, SCI FI Channel President. "The colorful and eclectic group of men and women competitors will simultaneously fit and completely shake up the ultimate gamer stereotype. We are thrilled to be partnering with WCG and Samsung for this fun and engaging show."
"Since 2000, the WCG has been at the forefront of e-sports and as we've grown to 78 countries represented and 1.5 million participants, we've seen that passion for gaming knows no geographic or demographic boundaries," said H.S. Kim, WCG President. "As gaming continues to be the fastest growing sector of the entertainment industry, we are delighted that we can continue to lead this revolution and with SCI FI, Granada and Samsung as partners, bring this show to viewers. The world has never seen a gaming-related TV series like GameQuest and we are confident that it will appeal to all levels of gamers and even non-gamers."
In WCG GameQuest, contestants will be first testedin real life challenges based on a variety of games and then must master the actual video games themselves. Ultimately, contestants will be forced to rely on real world and virtual world skills like attentiveness, coordination, and endurance in order to avoid elimination. But similar to video gaming where the person with the most skills doesn't always come out on top - for the winner of GameQuest, it may all come down to pure strategy and knowledge of other opponents' weaknesses in order to outlast the competition.
Samsung Electronics, the official worldwide partner for the World Cyber Games, is also the official series production partner.
"GameQuest will showcase the latest in consumer electronics and video games. Being a part of this ground-breaking series proves Samsung's commitment to creating products this technology-savvy gamer audience craves," said Gregory Lee, Chief Marketing Officer of Samsung Electronics. "We are confident that GameQuest will set an industry precedent for gaming reality competition and we look forward to seeing what the season has in store."
WCG GameQuest is a format created by Michael Agbabian and Dwight D. Smith ("Phenomenon", "Gameshow Marathon" and "Last Comic Standing") who will executive produce.
"We are delighted to partner with not only one but two top brands in the WCG and Samsung," said Paul Buccieri, President and CEO, Granada America. "Michael and Dwight crafted an imaginative and compelling format that combines the enormous popularity of video gaming with the real drama of competition. Producing this as our first project for SCI FI is especially gratifying."
Ivan Garel-Jones, Senior Vice President, Business Affairs, Granada America, brokered the deal with the WCG and Samsung Electronics. The WCG and Samsung brokered the deal with SCI FI.
SCI FI Channel is a television network where "what if" is what's on. SCI FI fuels the imagination of viewers with original series and events, blockbuster movies and classic science fiction and fantasy programming, as well as a dynamic Web site ( www.scifi.com) and magazine. Launched in 1992, and currently in 93 million homes, SCI FI Channel is a network of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies.
World Cyber Games (WCG) is the global leader in video game tournaments and video game television. Each year over 1.5 million players compete in WCG events and online tournaments across 78 countries. The annual WCG Grand Final is often dubbed the "Olympics of Video Gaming" by major media outlets as it showcases competitions between national teams and crowns world champions in the top PC, console and mobile video games. The first WCG Grand Final took place in Seoul, Korea in 2000. The WCG 2008 Grand Final will take place in Cologne, Germany, November 5-9, 2008. The WCG 2009 Grand Final will be hosted by the city of Chengdu, China. WCG event coverage is presented live on television networks around the world, on WCG.com and via numerous partner outlets.
Granada America is one of the largest international producers for the US market and a major force in acquiring, developing and producing scripted and non-scripted programming for US networks. Since launching in 2004, Granada America has become a leading producer of non-scripted and scripted programming in the US producing a slate of successful formats with major US networks, including Hell's Kitchen and Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares for Fox, Celebrity Fit Club for VH1, Phenomenon and Hit Me Baby One More Time for NBC, Sensing Murder for Discovery as well as First 48 and the S.W.A.T series for A&E. Granada is a world leader in television production and distribution, with international production centers in the UK, Germany and Australia as well as America and programs distributed to over 155 territories worldwide. Our US hit TV show, Nanny 911, has been sold to more than 60 countries.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2007 consolidated sales of US$103.4 billion. Employing approximately 150,000 people in 134 offices in 62 countries, the company consists of four main business units: Digital Media Business, LCD Business, Semiconductor Business, and Telecommunication Business. Recognized as one of the fastest growing global brands, Samsung Electronics is a leading producer of digital TVs, memory chips, mobile phones and TFT-LCDs. For more information, please visit www.samsung.com.
Samsung Electronics America, Inc.(SEA), based in Ridgefield Park, NJ, is a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (SEC). SEA markets a broad range of award-winning consumer electronics, information systems, and home appliance products, as well as oversees all of Samsung's North American operations including Samsung Telecommunications America, LP, Samsung Semiconductor Inc., Samsung Electronics Canada, Inc. and Samsung Electronics Mexico, Inc. As a result of its commitment to innovation and unique design, SEA was ranked #6 in the Electronics Industry segment in Fortune Magazine's "Most Admired Companies 2008," and named as one of Fast Company's "Fast 50 Most Innovative Companies of 2008." Among popular Business Week rankings, SEC ranked #26 in the publication's "Most Innovative Companies of 2008" and #21 in the "100 Best Global Brands" for 2007. SEC is also a top patent holder, ranking second overall in the U.S. in 2007. Please visit www.samsung.com or call 1(800) SAMSUNG for more information.
For SCI FI: Sallie Schoneboom
SCI FI Channel
For WCG: Adam Fenton/Blain Howard
Bender Helper Impact
For Samsung: Katie Seifert
Samsung Electronics America
For Granada: Paul Nichols