BBC Worldwide Pushes Into The Games Industry

MCV Games is reporting that BBC Worldwide is taking a step back into the gaming arena, having engaged in talks with publishers and developers to turn key franchises into multi-platform game products. Although the timing has yet to be announced, BBC is looking to aim at a younger demographic and release games on the Wii, DS, iPhone and Facebook.

-BBC Worldwide Logo-MCV Games is reporting that BBC Worldwide is taking a step back into the gaming arena, having engaged in talks with publishers and developers to turn key franchises into multi-platform game products. Although the timing has yet to be announced, BBC is looking to aim at a younger demographic and release games on the Wii, DS, iPhone and Facebook. Judging by the lack of game specifics, the project is in a very early stage.

Neil Ross Russel, an Executive from BBC Worldwide has revealed that:

We are open to conversations with anybody in games about all kinds of business models to see how we can extract more value.

BBC Worldwide is currently the home of BBC’s digital media offerings, which aim “to use the web to reach existing and potential fans of BBC content across the globe.”   Expanding upon this goal, they recently secured a former EA Casual Games VP (and former colleague of mine), Robert Nashak, to function as Executive Vice President and spearhead the new initiative. Robert’s game industry experience will help ensure that the BBC games project has the required understanding of the game development pipeline to properly achieve their vision for the various products across platforms.

It is interesting to observe that BBC has listed Facebook along with iPhone, Wii and DS. This certainly raises the question as to whether they understand what it takes to succeed on that platform. Are they planning to release full-featured games akin to Farmville or will they end up with less engaging marketing games that are usually released from big brands (see Pepsi Joygles @ 1000 MAU)? Also, are they planning to monetize these games directly?

In any case, they certainly are examining the potential for social gaming, and considering that they are releasing games that are tied in heavily with existing BBC properties, leveraging the virality of social games may be the right move to help spread awareness of some of their brands.