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FremantleMedia Enterprises is giving a new lease on life to its classic game shows—and broadening the audience with younger fans. The Price Is Right, Family Feud (Family Fortunes) and Press Your Luck are among the bes
April 6, 2018
The Price Is Right, Family Feud (Family Fortunes) and Press Your Luck are among the best-known game show properties in the world, and FremantleMedia Enterprises is rejuvenating the genre by taking them onto new platforms—with the added effect of widening its traditional audiences to take in young digital gamers in the 16 to 25 age group.
With digital entertainment becoming an increasingly important area for consumers, an entertainment business such as FME has to have a grip on the market. At the same time, FME also is ramping up its activity on live events also based on the classic game shows.
The Price Is Right, Family Feud (Family Fortunes) and Press Your Luck are key among the properties being taken from television onto new digital platforms, such as Nintendo Wii and DS, Xbox 360 and Playstation, onto mobile, onto Web download and into live events.
FME is not the first licensor to take its classic family licensing business and shake it up on new platforms, but the resonance of its brands and size of its game show business is significant.
The digital strategy came to the fore last spring, and as Olivier Delfosse, FME's director of interactive in the Americas, says: "In tough times, people latch onto familiar things. Our classic game shows are a great launching pad for new and current technologies that enable us to offer new products to our existing audience and reach a new demographic."
The strategy covers all digital formats, from consoles and Web downloading through mobile and iPhone downloading to the latest development: social network or connected gaming.
Delfosse says: "We are pushing the boundaries on these categories. Television game shows have always had a place in family entertainment, and our games retain those core values, but by extending the franchise to casual gamers, it takes the property outside the family dynamic with younger players."
As part of its focus on the digital market, FME took a minority stake in multi-platform developer Ludia earlier this year. Delfosse says: "Ludia has been our partner for several years on all three of the game shows. It has been our philosophy to develop for multi-platforms because it allows the developer to collateralize their R&D and minimize risk." Ludia is working on revamping the Price is Right, Family Feud and Press Your Luck franchises for the video game space, due to launch in September.
The Price Is Right Web site has been revamped to become highly interactive. Fans now are able chat with presenter Drew Carey and win prizes offered on the show.
FME claims that its digital game show strategy is already reaping rewards. For example, it says that sales of The Price is Right are increasing on Apple apps, as well as on mobile, online and console game units, and the Price is Right mobile game has sold more than a million units. For Family Feud's mobile game with Glu Mobile, there have been consistent high-ranking sales results.
Delfosse says the new platforms mean that FME is creating "many new touch points with consumers." Among these are live audiences—not only through interactivity with the television shows, but with live events.
The Price is Right Play at Home is live streamed, enabling consumers to interact with the game show in real time from their living rooms by calling in to win prizes offered on the show and to hear about deals on consumer offers.
And among the live events, FME is taking Family Feud in the footsteps of the Price Is Right Bally Casino Las Vegas show and U.S. tour with a college campus tour across the country via a Family Feud College Tour planned to launch in September.
Jeff Palmer, executive producer of live events at FME, says: "Price Is Right in Las Vegas is performing amazingly well. It speaks to audiences, and you see every age group in the theater. There is something about the show that is comforting. It's part of our culture."
Inspired by this success, FME sees the opportunity for Family Feud, already launched as a live show, to tap into a younger audience with its college tour initiative. "Our exit surveys tell us that the response to Family Feud is even stronger than to Price—and students respond like crazy."
Other new developments for FME's live portfolio include looking at developing online streaming from the events. FME also recently launched the Hard Bat Classic table tennis tournament event with several partners.
The classic games push is being spearheaded in the U.S., but both FME in London and Sydney are also focusing on this area, with the addition in the U.K. of taking the classic shows to online gambling sites, as well.
Dominic Burns, senior vice president for licensing in the U.K., says, "Our television game shows have always crossed well into traditional games, but now there is a keen appetite to take our games into the digital space where the innate game play of the shows can easily be transferred." For the future, Burns believes it will be downloadable and connected gaming that will become increasingly important.
In the gambling space, Burns says that Price is Right, Blankety Blank, Play Your Cards Right and Sale of the Century are being developed for digital applications, with launches likely to be completed by Q4 of this year. Burns says, "We've worked with the gambling operators to develop our own properties so that the game play elements are clearly recognizable for players."
In Australia, FME launched The Price Is Right at Crown Casino in Melbourne in February. This initiative was launched as a live sales promotion—not a ticketed live show—whereby Crown Casino customers could play for cash and prizes. Three times daily for six weeks a customer was randomly selected to play pricing games from the original game show.
Ben Liebmann, vice president of licensing in Australia/New Zealand, says, "Live entertainment and experiences is one of our fastest-emerging and priority business areas within the Australian market, and we are actively pursuing local opportunities to launch our portfolio of brands across live categories, including stage productions, consumer and trade shows, corporate events, theme park experiences and live promotions.
"For FME, the Crown Casino initiative provided an opportunity to bring one of our most iconic formats to a new audience and environment. It supported the local broadcast of the current American series and provided a platform for future local productions. It also assisted in supporting the broader licensing program including the recent release of The Price Is Right iPhone app and mobile game."
Back in the U.S., Delfosse concludes: "Wherever we take our classic game shows, the brand equity and the game play will never change. Increasingly, our consumer products, technology and events businesses are merging, therefore we work closely within FME so that we do the great deals."
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