SCI FI Channel has greenlit to production WCG GameQuest (working title), an 8-episode elimination-style reality competition, pitting 12 contestants against each other in a series of video game challenges in order to find the "Best All-Around Gamer" in the United States. Shot on location in Los Angeles, GameQuest is slated to premiere on SCI FI in the first quarter of 2009.
The series features top game titles from various studios and includes physical challenges that bring video games to life, as well as elimination challenges in an arena before hundreds of spectators. This exciting new format features a diverse group of contestants who embark on an intense and emotional journey, all hoping to win a prize package that includes $100,000 and trips to future World Cyber Games (WCG) events across the globe.
"With two out of every three American households playing videogames, it's clear that this mainstream phenomenon is a perfect arena for the Channel's agenda of broadening the brand while celebrating imagination," said Dave Howe, SCI FI Channel President. "The colorful and eclectic group of men and women competitors will simultaneously fit and completely shake up the ultimate gamer stereotype. We are thrilled to be partnering with WCG and Samsung for this fun and engaging show."
"Since 2000, the WCG has been at the forefront of e-sports and as we've grown to 78 countries represented and 1.5 million participants, we've seen that passion for gaming knows no geographic or demographic boundaries," said H.S. Kim, WCG President. "Go to any WCG event or one of the many millions of gaming households across the globe and you'll see the love and excitement that people share with their favorite titles. As gaming continues to be the fastest growing sector of the entertainment industry, we are delighted that we can continue to lead this revolution and with SCI FI, Granada and Samsung as partners, bring this show to viewers. The world has never seen a gaming-related TV series like GameQuest and we are confident that it will appeal to all levels of gamers and even non-gamers."
In WCG GameQuest, contestants will be first tested in real life challenges based on a variety of games and then must master the actual video games themselves. Ultimately, contestants will be forced to rely on real world and virtual world skills like attentiveness, coordination, and endurance in order to avoid elimination. But similar to video gaming where the person with the most skills doesn't always come out on top - for the winner of GameQuest, it may all come down to pure strategy and knowledge of other opponents' weaknesses in order to outlast the competition.
Samsung Electronics, the official worldwide partner for the World Cyber Games, is also the official series production partner.
"As a company that believes in the power of passion and imagination, we know that there is no place where this is more evident than in the WCG," said Gregory Lee, Chief Marketing Officer of Samsung Electronics. "Samsung televisions, monitors, mobile devices and notebooks are fantastic platforms for video games and we're pleased to extend our commitment to the WCG and partner with SCI FI and Granada to make this one-of-a-kind show a reality."
"GameQuest will showcase the latest in consumer electronics and video games. Being a part of this ground-breaking series proves Samsung's commitment to creating products this technology-savvy gamer audience craves. Samsung is focused on understanding what our consumers want, and then delivering it to them with leading technology and design to enhance their digital experience," said Steven Cook, SVP and Chief Strategic Marketing Officer of Samsung Electronics America. "We are confident that GameQuest will set an industry precedent for gaming reality competition and we look forward to seeing what the season has in store."
WCG GameQuest is a format created by Michael Agbabian and Dwight D. Smith (Phenomenon, Gameshow Marathon and Last Comic Standing) who will executive produce.
"This deal is very exciting on several levels," said Paul Buccieri, President and CEO, Granada America. "We are delighted to partner with not only one but two top brands in the WCG and Samsung. When the WCG and Samsung approached us with the opportunity, we were definitely up for the challenge. Michael and Dwight crafted an imaginative and compelling format that combines the enormous popularity of video gaming with the real drama of competition. Producing this as our first project for SCI FI is especially gratifying."
"We are thrilled to be the broadcast partner for such a unique and innovative programming deal which extends our commitment to reality programming," said Chris Czarkowski, SCI FI's VP, Sales. "Electronics and gaming are both categories that have mass appeal for our core SCI FI consumer, making the WCG and Samsung the perfect brands to produce this kind of cutting edge gaming show."