2015 and beyond

By Phil Stuart, News

Last month saw the gathering of some our favourite people to celebrate our new Arts Building home.
Amidst the fizz and very strong Negronis I managed to distract the party long enough to share what we’ve been working on for the last 12 months and outline our new master plan. I’ve summarised this below, but be warned we’ve had a big year!

Party AR sandbox – Find the Treasure

2015 narrowly pipped 2014 as our busiest and most exciting year to date. We’ve been heads down delivering the McDonald’s Happy Studio working alongside the mighty R/GA and rather brilliant brains at Fundamentally Children. It’s safe to say we’ve collectively pulled off a hugely ambitious project which will bring purposeful play to over 40 countries. It’s likely this will go down in Preloaded’s history as the biggest audience our games will ever reach, and excitingly this is only just the beginning.

Happy Studio – Build a Snowmobile for Charlie Brown

We’re also privileged to be part of British Museum’s exciting digital strategy, creating a playful team game that guides families round the museum. It soft-launched in November and is now available to play, allowing us time to polish before the official launch in February.

These last few months we’ve also been putting the finishing touches to AquaSnap, MyCognition’s cognitive training game. It’s been a true collaboration with the studio working alongside cognitive scientists and clinical health experts to create something that will transform the measurement and development of cognitive health of kids through to the elderly. You can sneak a peek of the game here.

And our team has been growing into true multi-disciplinary brilliance. Ben Templeton (Founder and Creative Director of Thought Den) is our new Associate Creative Director bringing his own take on Games with Purpose to his cultural sector specialism. We’ve also built what I consider to be the best production team in the games industry; Lead by Toby Allen (2K Czech) and featuring the awesome Jemma Harris (22Cans), Yukiko Goto (Sony), Charu Desodt (Microsoft lift) and Sophie Keyse (Science Museum).

With some of the games industry’s hottest talent calling Preloaded their new home, it’s hard not to think Applied games are entering a new era. No longer the boring relative to the entertainment games but the disruptive sibling, operating at the fringes of the industry and challenging the perception of what games are and their value in society.

So what’s in store for 2016?

We’ll be staying true to our roots with a strong focus on Education. Our work will continue to retain that strong mix of informal and formal learning, and is likely to see an increased focus on social learning, whether that be in physical locations or through connected experiences. Watch this space for a landmark formal learning project and the delivery of our games as far afield as India.

We’ve bided our time with Training and 2016 will see us bring everything we know about creating compelling Games with Purpose to L&D. Expect to see a series of blog posts on how games can solve some of the biggest business challenges, as well as prototypes and experiments designed to push this sector. Training games can be brilliant games, and Preloaded wants to show you how. Make sure you make it down to Learning Technologies conference in February to get first eyes on our innovative work.

VR High Risk Training – client TBA

And finally Health. Our belief is that games can offer new possibilities in patient diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation as well as a brilliant means to change behaviour. Alongside our ongoing work for MyCognition we will be exploring the neurological and physiological effects games can have, and diving deep on sensors and wearable technology as a means to contextualise games into everyday life. Watch out for a follow up to our very popular Health game blog post in May.

Diabetes Behaviour change game – client TBA

2016 will be a big innovation year for us, with VR and AR (almost definitely!) arriving. 2015 saw us build the foundations for this, and we’ll be working closely with our platform and technology partners (that means Unity!) to realise the potential.

Finally, after popular request, we’ll be rebooting Games with Purpose, our resource for the best Games with Purpose out there. Expect a lick of pixels and a slightly tweaked proposition coming soon.

Thanks to everyone who helped make 2015 such a great year, and to those that came along to the party. And if you didn’t, don’t worry, we’re going to make it a regular feature!

As ever, we love to talk about what we do, so if you are interested in Games with Purpose or just want to explore the possibilities of game-based technologies, get in touch – the kettle is always on.

Photo credit: Techmix

Phil is the co-founder and Creative Director of Preloaded. A fanatical gamer and a champion for the power of games which do more than just entertain, he is responsible for the studio’s ‘Games with Purpose’ vision.

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