E4 boots up new GamesMaster series
James R | On 15, Sep 2021
E4 is booting up GamesMaster for a brand new incarnation of the iconic series.
GamesMaster launched in January 1992 and ran for seven season. It was the first British show dedicated to gaming and across the run, became a cultural phenomenon with names such as Ian Wright and Zoe Ball as celebrity guests and a young Simon Amstell as a hopeful contestant.
Now, 23 years later in the esports era, GamesMaster is returning to win over a new generation of video game fans. The new series will be a digital-first programme, premiering on E4’s YouTube channel before going on to be broadcast on linear TV. The three-part series will see celebrities, gaming stars and super fans all take part in challenges, races and epic 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 while they play, they’ll be watched over by the all-knowing GamesMaster, famously portrayed in the original by Sir Patrick Moore.
Produced in a social-first partnership with Oculus Quest 2, the series is co-produced by Barcroft TV, a Future PLC company and Alaska TV. 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.
Khari 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, while also bringing it bang up to date, improving game quality and bringing in fresh and current names to tackle the trickiest GamesMaster challenges yet.”
John Farrar, Executive Producer from Barcroft Studios said: “I grew up watching GamesMaster and feel a real sense of pride and responsibility in bringing this ground breaking brand back to life. We are beyond thrilled to be partnering with Channel 4, Oculus Quest 2 from Facebook and Alaska TV on this cross-platform, social-first proposition. Although the games have changed, the energy, mayhem and punk spirit of the original show will be unmistakably the same.”
Matt Ford, Commercial Lead for 4Studio said: “It has been truly fantastic to bring a new lease of life to this nostalgic series and 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. We hope fans of the original series are going to love this reboot and I cannot wait to welcome a whole new audience to the GamesMaster world.”
Further information, including the face of the GamesMaster, will be revealed in due course.