BBC cuts ‘wont hurt game push

The recent ‘Putting Quality First’ report, which urged the BBC to cut spending and focus on less content, won’t stop the plans its Worldwide division has to licence out new games titles.

Last week a strategic review confirmed that the world-renowned broadcaster will drop two radio stations and cut internet services – while commercial arm BBC Worldwide has been ordered to focus on markets outside the UK and potentially downsize its magazine portfolio.

The news came just a month after BBC Worldwide revealed to MCV that it was planning to fund and licence a variety of branded games for a spectrum of platforms, from Facebook and iPhone to Wii.

But the firm this week told us that its new games plan – which also saw the appointment of former EA man Robert Nashak as head of digital entertainment – isn’t under threat from the review.

Gaming remains an area BBC Worldwide is exploring across all of our major brands,” a spokesperson explained to MCV.

Robert Nashak’s recent appointment at Worldwide is an indication of how seriously we’re taking the gaming space moving forward.”

The team at BBC Worldwide – which operates independently as a commercial entity from its publically-funded parent – plans to turn the likes of Top Gear, A Question of Sport, Strictly Come Dancing and Doctor Who into games.

Until recently, BBC Worldwide had little to do with the games industry after it shut down its CD-ROM Multimedia division in 2005.

We are open to conversations with anybody in games. Outside of Disney we have the most well-known line-up of children’s characters around the world,” Neil Ross Russell, MD of children’s and licensing at BBC Worldwide, said at the start of the year.

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