S4C and Aberystwyth based West Coast Software has announced plans to increase the availability of Welsh language gaming, which will emphasise the Welsh language as a vital skill in the gaming development sector in Wales.
S4C's commercial arm, SDML, and the software company from Aberystwyth, will expand the provision of games available on S4C's digital platforms, on the S+ website, including content which will appeal to a new audience – especially children and young adults.
Elin Morris, S4C Corporate and Commercial Director, says; "S4C is committed to advancing bilingualism as a key digital skill within Wales, and to increase the gaming content available in the Welsh language. This investment will result in the development of games suitable for S4C's digital platforms, linked to the channel's content, which will appeal to a younger audience. As well as providing more games in Welsh, the industry will also benefit from content that can be easily adapted for the growing international markets."
The investment by SDML in the company is already producing results, with new games being added to the S+ website soon. Among them is an updated Welsh language version of vintage arcade game D/Generation, and a rally driving game linked to S4C's Ralio+ motorsports series.
Connecting the games with on screen content will introduce S4C's programming to a wider audience, and will bring new users in touch with the channels' services.
Huw Marshall, S4C Head of Digital Development says; "The competition for the audience's attention is fiercer than ever. If S4C and the Welsh language are to be seen and heard among the vast array of entertainment content – games, short form content, on demand services – S4C must be everywhere the viewers want us to be. That's why it's vital that S4C can continue to support the digital economy, in order to adapt for the future and provide content which appeal to a younger and newer audience. This is key if the Welsh language it to continue to exists as a living and relevant language online, through S4C's digital content."
Ken Bird, CEO of West Coast Group, said; "Film, television, music and computer games all come into today’s digital industry category with software development at the very heart of all of this. As an investor and business partner S4C will give us the resources we need to train and develop the best undergraduate talent here in Wales and make the most of the exciting opportunities of developing games based on S4C titles."
The Welsh language provision on the web, and the work S4C does to support the games sector in Wales, will be discussed further by Huw Marshall, as part of a panel discussion at The National Eisteddfod, Montgomery and the Marches.
The panel discussion Cymreigio'r We (Welsh on the web) is held at the Mentrau Iaith stand at 2.00 on Friday 7 August. Taking part is Jo Golley, .cymru .wales; Iwan Williams, Mentrau Iaith Cymru; Gareth Morlais, Welsh Government. Chairing the discussion is Dylan Iorwerth, Editing Director of Golwg and Golwg360.
For some years, S4C has been invested in the games industry in Wales including co-funding the first ever Welsh language console game. Enaid Coll/Master Reboot is available for PC, Mac, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii U.
S4C is supporting the development of games including interactive elements of the children's programmes Ludus and Pyramid, also online game Dirgelwch y Marcwis and Madron. All are available on the S+ site, on the s4c.cymru website.