THESE days, a TV programme doesn't just stop with the show itself. The shockwaves continue after the credits have rolled as fans hit the internet and social media looking for more.
That’s why Channel 4 appointed former Realtime Worlds studio manager Colin MacDonald as a commissioning editor for games, and the channel is now commissioning games to accompany its range of shows.
“Why are Channel 4 doing games?” says MacDonald. “Some of it is around monetisation, but really it’s all the other things, such as audience engagement – people wanting to keep interacting with the show when it’s not on air.”
Channel 4 is commissioning games to accompany programmes such as The Bank Job and The Million Pound Drop. It is also providing education games in non-curricular areas such as financial literacy and mental wellbeing.
MacDonald said: “One of the best ways to engage young people is through games. The 13 to 19 demographic that people have struggled to get to respond to calls for action in that past, it’s a demographic that’s responding very well.”
Channel 4 has also explored the potential of second screen technology. It has recently been involved in a project to provide supporting con- tent for Dispatches, in collaboration with Newcastle companies Screenreach and Standing Stone. MacDonald said: “Channel 4 is like everyone else in that it’s excited about the possibilities of second screen technology, but doesn’t know how it’s going to pan out – it’s actively looking to spend a lot of money and have a play around.”
During his career, MacDonald has been involved with titles such as Grand Theft Auto and Crackdown, and says the channel is looking for “passionate” developers and new intellectual property, as well as titles based on TV shows.
“I think the point of creating the games commissioner role was to trust that to someone who could make great games for Channel 4. Not all the games will be narrative and complex characters. My remit to myself is just to make great games.”