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July 8, 2020

Gaming sector holding up well for Future as it launches short-film series via social media with Barcroft Studios

By Dominic Ponsford

Future hopes to cash in on one of the few booming sectors of the global economy – gaming – with a video series called Totally Game from Barcroft Studios.

Future bought Barcroft in December 2019 for £23.5m. The new project combines Barcroft’s expertise in producing viral content about “the amazing side of life” with Future’s long-established expertise in the field of computer games.

Totally Game is a series of three to six-minute documentaries which will be broadcast on Snapchat, YouTube, TikTok and Facebook. Future has advertising-share deals with the various platforms and expects to attract an audience of millions to the films.

Episodes will also feature across Future’s network of gaming websites which include: GamesRadar, Tech Radar and PC Gamer and the Facebook pages of Official Playstation Magazine and Official Xbox Magazine.

Those featured in the series include the owner of the world’s biggest video game memorabilia collection, the gamer from Pakistan who was crowned world Tekken champion in Japan and the woman who saved her friend’s life during a Fortnite Battle Royale.

Barcroft Media has 60 full-time staff and boasts monthly views for its content of between 300 and 600m. It has more than 70m followers on social media and makes most of its money by taking a cut of the ad revenue sold against its content on the tech platforms.

Content director for Games and Film at Future Daniel Dawkins said that online audiences for his titles have grown up to 30% up during the pandemic and advertising has “stood up very well” – in particular the e-commerce side (where Future takes a cut when readers click through to buy a product which features on one of its sites).

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Sam Barcroft said: “This is a great example of a way to reach new audiences and pay for lots more original content across the group.”

He said that the revenue share model with tech platforms works well for them and he was confident the new series will provide a healthy return on investment.

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