The BBC this week launched a new mobile game based on an original IP. The release marks a notable change in tact into how the state-funded broadcaster has previously approached video games.
Developed for BBC Children's by London-based Goodboy Digital, Nightfall is an online co-operative mobile title, playable in browsers or on iOS, Android, and Amazon devices. As a product of the BBC's non-profit model, Nightfall plays by slightly different rules than the conventional games industry.
In a statement, the BBC said Nightfall has been designed with the aim of "uniting young players with their friends in a safe gaming environment."
"Creating a positive and safe gaming experience is at the heart of Nightfall, and, to protect players, the game doesn't include loot boxes, ads or micro-transactions," said the BBC.
With a focus on creating a safe social space, the BBC has also veered away from data collection, and limited in-game communication to pre-set emojis. Although the BBC has a long history of dabbling with games from a brand-first approach -- and boasts over 200 kids' games in its web portfolio -- senior product manager Will Storer says this is the broadcaster's first attempt at a gaming-first approach, taking into consideration what the wider industry has to offer.