After 23 years off air, GamesMaster is set to make a return to E4 later this year, in partnership with Oculus Quest 2 from Facebook.
The new E4 digital original commission, co-produced by Barcroft TV and Alaska TV as three part series, will premiere on E4’s YouTube before a linear transmission on E4.
To introduce GamesMaster into the modern era of gaming, E4 has partnered with Oculus from Facebook to showcase Oculus Quest 2, a VR headset that will elevate the players’ experiences and break out of the two dimensional.
It is the first fully cross-platform branded entertainment deal of this type from 4Studio.
The series will see celebrities, gaming stars and super fans all take part in challenges, races and fights. Through virtual battles across a range of games, the competitors will try everything in their power to claim a legendary Golden Joystick Trophy. But whilst they play, they’ll be watched over by the all-knowing GamesMaster, famously portrayed in the original by Sir Patrick Moore.
GamesMaster, a Future brand, launched in January 1992 and ran for seven series. The series was the first British show dedicated to gaming, with names such as Ian Wright and Zoe Ball as celebrity guests and a young Simon Amstell as a hopeful contestant.
Sacha Khari, Head of Digital Commissioning at Channel 4 said: ”GamesMaster was a household name back in the 90’s and this new revamped version for social and E4 retains the elements that made this show so special, whilst also bringing it bang up to date, improving game quality and bringing in fresh and current names. ”
John Farrar is executive producer for Barcroft Studios and Ian Lamarra executive producer from Alaska TV. “Two thirds of adults now call themselves gamers and games now look better than movies,” says Lamarra. “There has never been a better time to relaunch the definitive gaming TV series. “
Matt Ford, Commercial Lead for 4Studio said: “Partnering with Oculus Quest 2 from Facebook, will add a whole new dimension of gameplay to this format. Not only that, but it’s the very first branded entertainment deal we’ve done that see’s the series debut on social before its linear TX.”
Aaron Hoffman, Head of International Marketing, Facebook Reality Labs says: “By authentically embedding Quest 2 gameplay directly into the show, viewers and contestants will be exposed to an unrivalled VR gaming experience. We hope that diehard fans of the series will enjoy it and look forward to a whole new generation of fans discovering it.”
All episodes will premiere on E4’s YouTube, followed by a linear play on E4. Further information on the casting, including the face of the GamesMaster, will be revealed in due course.
The partnership with GamesMaster and Oculus Quest 2 from Facebook was brokered by 4Studio working with Mindshare Invention and also includes a digital ad campaign for All 4.
GamesMaster is co-produced by Barcroft Studios and Alaska TV and will be exec produced by Ian Lamarra and John Farrar. The showrunner is Céin McGillicuddy. It was commissioned for linear by Factual Entertainment Commissioning editor, Tim Hancock and for digital by Digital Commissioning Exec Tom Pullen and Head of Digital Commissioning, Sacha Khari.
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