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BBC and ITV chase gaming cash

Both want to turn telly hits into games

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ITV and the BBC will soon fight it out for more than just viewer numbers. It has emerged than both broadcasters are to create videogame versions of their most popular TV shows.

Auntie has announced ambitions to transform a selection of shows, including Top Gear and Doctor Who, into games - the latter has been done plenty of times before, we note. The broadcaster plans to focus on handhelds, including the Nintendo DS, PSP and iPhone.

ITV, meanwhile, plans to create videogame versions of shows including The Prisoner and The Krypton Factor, but hasn’t said which platforms its titles will be developed for.

“We are open to conversations with anybody in games about all kinds of business models to see how we can extract more value,” Neil Ross Russell, the BBC's head of licensing, told gaming website MCV.

James Chubb, Licensing Manager for ITV Studios, told the site: “We have licensed a considerable amount [of TV shows] to digital games.”

Five years ago, the BBC closed its Multimedia division. It handled the publication of videogame versions of several famous shows, including Doctor Who: Destiny of Doctors, a Windows title published in 1997.

It’s thought the BBC’s decision was based on poor sales figures. This time, BBC Worldwide will manage the broadcaster’s second go at gaming.

Neither broadcaster said when the first programme-cum-videogame title will appear. ®

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