UK games industry trade group UKIE last night praised the "high-profile success" of the Young Apprentice finale last night on British television (BBC One). The final for the show charged the two finalists with creating an online game and viral ad campaign to go along with it. If you haven't seen the episode yet and plan to catch it later this week, you might want to stop reading right now because we're going to reveal who won.
Zara Brownless won with her game Piggy Panic, and gained access to a fund of £25,000 to jump start her future endeavors. UKIE was particularly delighted with the show because it highlighted the games industry. But the more important aspect of the episode for the trade group was in the satisfaction of knowing that it had a lot to do with it.
UKIE worked closely with production company talkbackTHAMES, advising producers on creating content, providing industry support and giving background information. More importantly, UKIE connected the show with Mind Candy CEO Michael Acton Smith, to help bring to life the finalist’s game ideas. Moshi Monsters creator Mind Candy appeared in the episodes to help turn the finalists’ ideas into prototype games.
UKIE also helped the host Lord Sugar make his final decision by providing industry experts including developers, publishers and games industry professionals.
MCV says that the idea for the episode was actually UKIE's idea in the first place.
"UKIE is pleased to have worked with the Young Apprentice to create this video games challenge," said Andy Payne, Chairman of UKIE. "The games sector is the world's fasted growing creative industry and tonight's challenge showcases the high level of computer coding, art and business skills needed to succeed.
With 1 in 3 people playing games, a task such as this was bound to resonate with candidates and audience alike. And it is great to be able to showcase the range of skills that go into developing and producing games. Of course UKIE is leading on the implementation of the Livingstone Hope Skills review, through the Next Gen Campaign. But further opportunities to open up our industry and the range of skills it requires to a younger audience is always welcome. UKIE’s involvement in this task demonstrates further the vital role it has to play in promoting our industry in every way."
"Mind Candy was delighted to be involved in the Young Apprentice and very impressed with the creativity of both teams," Michael Acton Smith, CEO of Mind Candy added. "Thanks to UKIE for making it all happen."