SCI FI Channel has greenlit production on WCG GameQuest, an eight-episode, elimination-style competition series from Granada America and Samsung Electronics that endeavors to find the “Best All-Around Gamer” in the United States.
The series is slated to air in the first quarter of 2009 and award the winner $100,000 and trips to future World Cyber Games (WCG) events around the world. The annual WCG Grand Final is considered the “Olympics of Video Gaming,” according to the companies involved.
The show is coming together in an unusual arrangement, with Samsung Electronics, the official worldwide partner for the World Cyber Games, fully financing production and serving as official series production partner.
WCG GameQuest will pit 12 contestants against each other in video game challenges and be shot on location in Los Angeles. It features game titles from various studios and includes physical challenges, as well as elimination challenges in an arena in front of spectators.
While video games are not the typical topic for shows on SCI FI, the channel’s president Dave Howe says in a statement this series indeed fits the evolving direction for the brand whose tagline calls SCI FI Channel “a television network where ‘what if’ is what’s on.”
“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,” Howe says in the statement.
WCG GameQuest is a format created by Michael Agbabian and Dwight D. Smith (Phenomenon, Last Comic Standing), who will executive produce.
“This is the first show we have produced that is fully funded by one sponsor and we are delighted to have the opportunity to partner with a global communications giant – Samsung,” Paul Buccieri, President and CEO, Granada America, says in a statement. “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.”
Ivan Garel-Jones, Senior VP, Business Affairs, Granada America, brokered the deal with Samsung Electronics. Samsung brokered the deal with SCI FI.