I was extremely privileged and honoured to get to play with some cool new gadgety stuff at the BBC Worldwide HQ on Wood Lane on Monday evening. The event was a preview of the new iOS (that’s the operating system for the iPod Touch, iPad and iPhone) apps from the BBC that will celebrate not only Doctor Who, but other much-loved brands such as Top
Gear, Lonely Planet, BBC Good Food, Only Fools and Horses and the Focus Magazine.
Now, whilst the esteemed editor of Kasterborous has bemoaned the fact that the BBC seems to focus efforts on the iOS platform for new stuff it was explained to me why this is. Simply put, the iUsers (for that is how I shall name users of Apple’s gadgets that continue to beguile and amaze us with their slick interfaces and shiny hardware) as a group tend to be more engaged with downloading and using apps – and therefore spend more money.
This is a good thing as far as BBC Worldwide are concerned as their remit is to generate commercial returns for the money spent by the BBC on behalf of the licence fee payers to make more interesting, educating and entertaining programmes. It is also worth noting that BBC Worldwide is completely self-funded and takes no money from the licence fee income of the BBC.
Interesting random fact: Over 15 million Doctor Who videos have been sold around the world across all series and formats.
On to the main thrust of the evening now. I got to meet some interesting people, including the team behind the new iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch Doctor Who game – writer Oli Smith (who also wrote the Doctor Who Nintendo games – interviewed recently by Kasterborous’ own Andrew Reynolds), Ben Milsom (Assistant Producer Games – BBC Worldwide) and Marc Williamson (Head of Production – Tag Games). I got to play a pre-release version of the game and I must say the graphics are excellent and the controls simple. So simple, any 40-something year old hack can quickly pick it up and achieve Doctorly greatness. I can’t say any more about the game until we officially review it, but trust me – it’ll sell well at an affordable price point. The icing on the cake is that there WILL be versions for other platforms, I am told.
I’d also like to mention the excellent, funny, Top Gear game that was also on display. It caught the essence of the show perfectly and encapsulated it into a series of challenges with typical humour. Another winner for BBC Worldwide, I feel.