‘GamesMaster’ Officially Revived On E4 & YouTube
Back in February, we revealed that E4 was looking at bringing back the classic gaming show ‘GamesMaster‘. Today the channel has confirmed they have revived the series, but also that it will premiere on their YouTube channel before a linear broadcast on E4.
It’s been off-air for 23 years, but the iconic series is set to make a return to E4 later this year, in partnership with Oculus Quest 2 from Facebook. The 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 whilst they play, they’ll be watched over by the all-knowing GamesMaster, famously portrayed in the original by Sir Patrick Moore.
”GamesMaster was a household name back in the ’90s 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 to tackle the trickiest GamesMaster challenges yet,” commented Sacha Khari, Head of Digital Commissioning at Channel 4.
‘GamesMaster’ launched back in January 1992 and was hosted by Dominik Diamond for most of its seven series. The show was the first British series dedicated to gaming and across the run, became a cultural phenomenon, and featured a number of celebrity guests, with names such as Ian Wright and Zoe Ball, alongside avid gaming members of the public. Interesting side note – one of those avid gamers was a young Simon Amstell as a hopeful contestant!
This new E4 Digital Original Commission co-produced by Barcroft TV, a Future PLC company and Alaska TV, the 3×60’ series will premiere on E4’s YouTube before a linear TX on E4. It is the first fully cross-platform branded entertainment deal of this type from 4Studio.
“I grew up watching GamesMaster and feel a real sense of pride and responsibility in bringing this groundbreaking brand back to life,” adds John Farrar, Executive Producer from Barcroft Studios. “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.”
That partnership with Oculus Quest 2 from Facebook means, of course, that the VR headset will feature in some of the games on the show.
“GamesMaster is a show with cult status among the gaming community, so we’re really excited to be partnering with Channel 4 to combine that great gaming heritage with the fully immersive VR gameplay offered by Oculus Quest 2 from Facebook,” said Aaron Hoffman, Head of International Marketing, Facebook Reality Labs. “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.”
One thing missing from the announcement is who will take the place of the GamesMaster, now that Sir Patrick Moore is sadly no longer with us. Various suggestions online have included original host Dominik Diamond taking the spot, which would be a nice nod to the original show. Patrick Stewart also seems like a popular suggestion. Dara O Briain, an avid gamer, would be a solid choice and has… how do I put this… an appropriately shaped rotund head for the role.
‘GamesMaster‘ does not yet have a premiere date, but all episodes will premiere on E4’s YouTube, followed by a linear play on E4 when it does land. If you want to keep track of this or any other show, you can add it via our Never Miss system, and you’ll be notified when it gets a UK premiere date.