UK back in charge as BBC Worldwide kills LA video games division

BBC Worldwide has regenerated its video game plan… again.

The commercial arm of the BBC has closed its games department in Los Angeles and moved it back to Britain to merge with the UK Consumer Products division.

Digital entertainment and games director Rikesh Desai will lead a team that includes Grant Dean (head of Top Gear games), Peter Hickman (producer) and Kevin Jorge (associate producer).

We will be focused primarily on licensing activity, especially where we can license our brands to global development partners and integrate into existing major games franchises,” Desai told MCV.

The new team will prioritise the BBC’s biggest fan-based brands, led by Doctor Who but also including Top Gear, BBC Earth and CBeebies.

The team will work closely with the wider UK consumer products team, which includes former Nintendo marketing boss Rob Lowe (who is now BBC Worldwide’s marketing and product development director) and creative director David Wilson-Nunn.

The move marks the latest in a long line of attempts by the BBC to crack video games. In 2005, it closed its Multimedia division after sales of its boxed products plummeted.

In 2010, it re-launched efforts in LA, headed by former EA exec Robert Nashak. The result was a number of products, such as 2012’s poorly received Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock.

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