I was at the Channel 4 online winter briefing this evening where Jay Hunt set out her vision for Channel 4 Online. It was clear that a lot of interesting things are coming together now as 4 really tries to get to grips with the massive opportunities it has in multi-platform, convergent formats and the like. There is a high level of risk appetite and a refreshing openness to new ideas. The question is to what extent the games development community can respond to the challenges and push hard against the risk door that is being opened. This of course is the slightly strange world of public sector broadcasting where at first glance you could be forgiven for thinking that the opportunity is limited to tag along games to accompany television IPs (for example as in the Million Pound Drop). However, the opportunity now is much broader and we could see a games IP provide the inspiration for TV. Actually, the Million Pound Drop play along game has already achieved excellent audience take up. Now, for the first time 4′s new Bank Job series requires wannabe contestants to apply only by playing an online game, so the entire series is dependant on a game and won’t air without it. One of the dimensions that 4 has always been strong in is knowing their audience and commissioning accordingly. Working with 4 with that tight audience focus could serve many game developers well – the intelligence they could gather would continue to serve them well on their own IPs. There are some very interesting announcements to come and the prototype fund will continue to see how it can support developers wanting to take risks alongside this type of opportunity. To see “the series of the game” originate from a games IP funded through the fund would be very pleasing indeed. Before we can reach that heady state we need to see if the development community, already scrabbling to make the transition from the old model to the new, can rise to the level of innovation and creativity that this type of opportunity demands.