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Coined as the brand’s arrival in the metaverse by its developers, ITV Studios is bringing Channel 4’s “Come Dine With Me” to new generations of fans via “Minecraft,” but why does the idea work so well and how does it reflect today’s metaverse landscape?
May 1, 2023
ITV Studios’ MultiStory Media and metaverse creative agency, Metavision, have partnered with Channel 4 to launch the reality cooking show, “Come Dine With Me,” into the video game and metaverse community.
The idea is to gamify the show’s widely beloved format. Online communities across “Minecraft” can now battle online players, visit grocery stores and builders’ yards, learn recipes and build the ultimate dinner party to earn points and win the title of best host in the town of “Minechester.”
“Keeping this beloved show fresh and relevant for our evolving audience has been a key focus over the past few years,” says Pukar Mehta, chief operating officer, MultiStory Media. “The concept the team at Metavision came up with for the show's evolution into the metaverse was perfect and something we had to bring to fruition. We continue to work with Channel 4 on exciting ideas and hope to continue ‘Come Dine With Me’s’ journey into new and unexpected places.”
“The further in development we went with ‘Come Mine With Me,’ the more we asked ourselves, ‘Why hasn't this been done already,’” says Ryan Norrington, creative lead, Metavision. “The format feels like it was designed from the very beginning to be played with friends on ‘Minecraft.’ We're very excited to be bringing a cultural heavyweight like ‘Come Dine With Me’ to the metaverse, where it can be discovered by an entirely new, highly engaged and younger audience.”
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“‘Come Dine With Me’ is already a hugely popular show, providing viewers with all the drama and excitement through its iconic format; I think we’ve all secretly wanted to take part ourselves,” says Emma Derrick, commercial innovation leader, Channel 4. “With our excellent partners, MultiStory Media and Metavision, we have been able to make this dream a reality by launching it into the metaverse and opening the world of ‘Come Mine With Me’ to the next generation.”
In-game screen from the “Come Mine With Me” experience.
The more we think about it, the more a “Come Dine With Me” game makes sense. This translation of IP to video game is concise, concentrating on the fan experience and audience engagement rather than an effort to “enter the metaverse.”
The nature of the online experience has commercial innovation at its core. It brings new fans to a show which has paid its dues as a brand, spanning from daytime television to 46 territories, an archive of over 176,000 episodes and gathering a mass following for its offbeat humor circa Dave Lamb.
“Come Dine With Me” also has an increasingly strong social following with hundreds of millions of views. This “metaverse” concept, which takes place in a “Minecraft” server, provides that social community with the next logical step. It’s a player-focused experience and one that stays true to the brand.
Due to its impact, “Minecraft” and games like it are often considered to be the modern embodiment of the metaverse. The metaverse, after all, is defined by an interconnected web of community-driven experiences and explorative gameplay.
So, brands considering their first step into the metaverse need to look to something other than Web3, and enter the existing platforms that house existing player communities with the capabilities to build a shared experience.
However, the art of bringing a brand into that metaverse is based on something other than platform or timing. Like anything in licensing, it's about the execution. Stay true to the brand and the player, and you may have a recipe for success.
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