We did it before Freeloader.com

I read with interest your article on Freeloader.com (MW November 2), in which you say (or rather, from the quote marks, I guess they say) the launch of Freeloader’s first episodic Internet drama defines “a new genre in entertainment and gaming on the Internet”.

Far from being the first in its field, Freeloader is at least a year and a half behind us at BE Studios Ltd (and before us, our creative director, Ted Evans, at sister company EPG Studios).

BE Studios has been creating award winning, browser-based, episodic and community-based murder mysteries, stories and entertainment since the beginning of 1999. The Cypher and S.P.I.T.E can be found at gameplay.com; Crepe de Chine will shortly be launching on peoplenews.com, and a number of other products for iTV, broadband, WAP and other platforms are currently in development.

The Cypher and S.P.I.T.E have won five gold international awards between them. Crepe de Chine has two Invision New Media awards from this year’s presentations and is a nominee for an EMMA 2000 award. These products have a combined registered user database of 12 million, and hits (on the sierra/won.net licence for The Cypher and S.P.I.T.E, which ended December 1999) reached over four million a week.

All BE Studios products are created with inbuilt opportunities for subtle commercial applications billboards in cityscapes, TV and radio ads which are built into clues and puzzles, allowing advertising clients to exploit users’ immersion in the games across their lifetime. Merchandising, sponsorship and product placement are all important parts of the marketing mix that we apply to every game.

I just thought I’d set the record straight. The genre is not new: we invented it! We would be delighted to speak to Freeloader and anyone else who would like to commission original content or license existing content from us. You can see more at the website: www.be-studios.com.

Joanna Berry

Managing director

BE Studios Ltd

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