Following on from Part 1 on Wednesday, we continue our discussion with IGN President Roy Bahat, this time about the YouTube / Shine deal.
With the new YouTube / IGN deal, will your audience become broader? Who are you moving towards?
The IGN audience is pretty concentrated. It’ll all be guy-focused stuff. For now, there’s so much breadth, just in stuff which is targeted to guys, that we feel we should stick to our knitting on that.
It’ll all be themed around games. There won’t be that much informational content on there. The typical IGN fare of daily news, reviews etc is going to constitute a very small proportion of the total content.
Our idea is to make content which is either emotionally compelling or funny or dramatic, so we’ll do some stuff which is reality format – we’re doing a show called Next Game Boss (which we piloted a couple of times on IGN but we’re going to expand on) which is indie game developers trying to make it big.
We’ll do some stuff with celebrities playing games, which is a passion many celebrities have which we’re yet to explain and showcase, and we’re going to do some scripted comedy (for example) stuff with Shine.
It’s hard to get too specific because I guarantee you half of the things we’re going to try are going to fail. So, we’ll just scrap them and try new things – that’s one of the great advantages of digital versus traditional television production: it’s just so much cheaper to be wrong.
It’s important to be reflexive about this sort of thing and be able to adapt to your audience’s reactions on the fly.
Yeah exactly, and with Next Game Boss and with this show we’re also doing about these two guys who work in a videogame store, which is an ensemble comedy, sort of like a modern version of Clerks basically, debating over whether to become a werewolf in Skyrim and stuff like that.
But, we really don’t know yet. We have a number of concepts that we like, and until the audience speaks, who knows?
And there are a bunch of people trying different things around visual entertainment to do with games, like the GAME TV stuff for example.
Yeah, and it’s gotta be shareable. Have you seen the ‘Michael’ ad for Playstation? It really captured what gamers implicitly believe, which is that they are larger than life.
Stuff like that is an inspiration, but we’re still taking pitches for the YouTube channel. We have plenty more work to do and we’re actively hearing pitches.
We look at other areas as well. When MTV first came out with ‘The Real World’ people were wondering what the hell they were doing changing their format around like that. But since it was such a smash, they’ve been creating entertaining, compelling television content that in terms of its values and appeal, was very consistent with what they’d done before, but in terms of its content was very different.
That’s the hope with this YouTube channel, is that we’ll stay very true to who we are, but in terms of what we do, we’ll go for something totally different.
Yeah, Between Two Nerds was pretty fantastic.
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