Rumours have begun to circulate that the BBC is poised to make a major move into gaming.Scotland on Sunday
reports that the BBC will "beef up" its games offering (it currently offers a handful of web-based casual games based on its shows) using the iPlayer, which provides the corporation's video on demand content. Unnamed "industry sources" are cited.
The speculation stems from last week's announcement
that Simon Nelson, the controller of multiplatform and portfolio at BBC Vision, will keynote at the Edinburgh Interactive Festival alongside Ubisoft's Yves Guillemot.
If the rumour proves true, this won't be the first time that the BBC has made a serious push into the world of gaming. The beeb's involvement goes back to the early '80s and the release of the BBC Micro. A large number of games were released for the computer, including the classic Elite
. In 1995 the corporation established the BBC Multimedia division during the rise of the PC CD-ROM. Over the course of ten years the studio grew to incorporate a thirty-strong development team focussed on making games based on BBC intellectual property. In 2005, however, the division was reorganised to focus on licensing out IP to third parties.
This isn't the first time rumours have circulated that the beeb may renew its gaming efforts of late. Back in April
the BBC's Worldwide VP of digital content, Alice Taylor, indicated that the BBC may start to spend our license fees on MMOs.
SPOnG is, however, dubious. While a bigger push into the world of casual gaming might serve the BBC well, un-cited "industry sources" does not quite measure up as the credible confirmation we'd like to see.
, which qualifies as a credible "industry source", has picked up the story from Scotland on Sunday. SPOnG waits to see whether this will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.