Channel 4 is bringing back GamesMaster, the 90s video game TV show, as a social-first series in a partnership with Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2 VR headset.
The three 60-minute episodes will debut on E4’s YouTube before a linear screening on E4. An E4 Digital original commission, the deal was brokered by 4Studio and Mindshare Invention and also includes a digital ad campaign on All 4. The series is co-produced by Barcroft TV and Alaska TV. It is the first cross-platform branded entertainment show of its type from 4Studio.
GamesMaster ran from 1992 to 1998 and featured the talking head of astronomer Sir Patrick Moore as the titular “Games Master”. GamesMaster was also a magazine published from 1993 until 2018 by Future, which owns the brand.
The new series will involve celebrities, gaming stars and fans taking part in challenges in a bid to claim a Golden Joystick Trophy, which returns from the original. The character of the Games Master will return, though Channel 4 has not yet revealed who will portray them.
Aaron Hoffman, head of international marketing at Facebook Reality Labs, the division of the company that includes Oculus, said: “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.
“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.”
Matt Ford, commercial lead for 4Studio, added: “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 transmission. 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.”