Electronic Arts is embarking on a new venture with television company Endemol to develop "a new digital entertainment concept that bridges the divide between traditional TV and videogames", GamesIndustry.biz reports.
Titled Virtual Me, the online offering will allow users to create their own avatars with unique appearances and identities. Through these "astonishingly lifelike cyber-clones", as they're described in a statement, users can meet, compete and socialise with other gamers in digital environments.
Through their avatars users can also take part in virtual versions of Endemol's hit television series, which include Fame Academy, Deal or No Deal, Fear Factor and Operacion Triunfo.
As part of the new initiative, EA and Endemol will work together to "develop entertainment formats and experiences for a wide range of platforms, including TV and online".
Virtual Me will debut with the new series of Big Brother, due to hit British TV screens this summer. A website, VirtualMe.com, is also due to launch in the coming months.
"We’re told that people are starting to spend more time online than they are watching TV. Both markets are now important and this has huge implications for content creators," said Endemol's Peter Bazalgette.
"Our opportunity with Electronic Arts is to develop ideas that fully embrace the way people are consuming entertainment today."
EA International boss Gerhard Florin added: "With Virtual Me we are at the forefront of a new, hybrid form of entertainment that takes gaming beyond the console. Endemol is a great partner to help us bring together the best of TV and video games for an offering that can appeal to mass market audiences and change the face of entertainment."
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