Book publishing giant Hachette UK combines gameplay with storytelling in exciting new gamebook app

First release will be based on the BAFTA winning New Star Soccer mobile game that has been downloaded 20 million times.

Dream it, Read it, Play it, Live it…

Hachette UK, part of the world’s biggest book publishers, is launching a radically innovative new concept in storytelling, combining gameplay with narrative to create a gamebook series that will be available on mobile devices.

The gamebook format mixes traditional (written) story narrative with real gameplay challenges. 
The written story takes different narrative paths depending on how the user performs in each game. 

As a result there are multiple plot threads and multiple endings within each gamebook.

The first gamebook has seen Hachette UK team up with New Star Games and Insight Studios to create New Star Soccer Story, which is based on the multi-million-selling, BAFTA winning, New Star Soccer mobile and tablet game. It will be released for iOS and Android devices in May to coincide with Euro 2016.

New Star Soccer Story takes the reader from playing a game of football in the park, being spotted by a talent scout, to signing for a leading Club and playing in a cup final – or not, depending on the decisions made by the reader and their success during the gameplay challenges.

To create the story, Hachette UK worked with Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore (known as The 2Steves), who have collectively written over 150 books for children and young adults. They have worked alongside New Star Games and Insight Studios to create a hugely compelling storyline to complement the gameplay elements.

The launch of the gamebook initiative offers an exciting new approach to storytelling. One that will appeal to both readers and gamers alike. It should also have huge appeal for ‘reluctant readers’ – particularly young boys and adult males.

“Hachette is continually looking at new ways to engage with readers,” explained Hachette’s Brand Development Director Damian Horner. “The gamebook series combines gameplay technology and traditional storytelling in a new way that goes far beyond the printed page or ebook.

“We’re delighted that our first gamebook utilizes gameplay from the BAFTA winning New Star Soccer, which has been downloaded approximately 20-million times around the world. The timing of its release during Euro 2016 will resonate with football fans, as well as keen readers and gamers.”

Martyn Brown, MD of Insight Studios said: “We’re really excited about the truly interactive fusion of book and game. Combing quality narrative and elements of the immediate and addictive gameplay from New Star Soccer feels very natural.”

New Star Stories will be released on iOS and Android formats in May, just before Euro 2016 kicks off in France. It will be fully localized for release in the UK, France, Germany and other key markets backed by a heavyweight consumer marketing campaign aimed at football fans, parents, teenagers and kids. 

For more information please contact:-

Games media – Lisa Carter, Mimram Media
Lisa.Carter@mimrammedia.com
07970 164201

Book media – Victoria Rontaler
victoria.rontaler@hachette.co.uk
07917 767307

ENDS

Notes to editors

About Hachette UK
Hachette is one of the UK’s leading book publishers and is made up of several companies and imprints, including Headline Publishing Group, Hodder & Stoughton, John Murray, Quercus, Orion Publishing Group, Octopus Publishing Group, Hachette Children's Group, Little, Brown Book Group and Hodder Education. Hachette UK is owned by Hachette Livre, the world’s third largest trade and educational publisher. 

About New Star Soccer
20 million units of the BAFTA-award winning New Star Soccer have been downloaded across all formats since its release. It boasts 2.2 million active users each month and has enjoyed huge critical acclaim. Eurogamer called it “the best football game on mobile and tablets”, with The Sun and The Sunday Times awarding it a score of 5/5.

About Insight Studios
Insight Studios (formerly Insight For Hire) is a specialist independent consultancy for a range of digital video game enterprises; developers, publishers and investors. Insight Studios manages all commercial and publishing activities for New Star Games. It is headed up by video games veteran Martyn Brown.

About New Star Games
New Star Games is a British independent video games developer specializing in sports titles. It was founded by Simon Read in 2003.

About The 2Steves
The 2Steves are acclaimed authors Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore. Collectively they have written over 150 books for children and young adults including Action Dogs, Challenger, iHERO, iHorror, Monsters Like Us, Vernon Bright and The Dark Forest. They have also written many non-fiction books and TV scripts.

Useful Statistics
•    A recent report by Galaxy Quick Reads revealed that around 27 per cent of people fear that reading could become a ‘forgotten pleasure’. The research also found that, while a number of the population would like to read more, 35 per cent said they are often distracted from reading by their phone or watching TV.

•    Research by the National Literacy Trust shows using ebooks increases boys’ reading progress and makes them keener, more confident readers. Their latest research report shows that using ebooks to read can help boys to make significant progress with their reading and get the most reluctant readers to enjoy reading more.

•    Research by GameTrack into UK device ownership (Q1 2015) revealed that 44 per cent of households own an iPhone and 46 per cent own an Android phone.

•    Over half of the £500m UK app market is spent on games (Research2Guidance).

•    30 per cent of the total UK game revenue was generated via apps games in Q3 2015 (GameTrack/ISFE/Ispos MediaCT)

•    GameTrack estimates that there are 20m people of the 6-64 year old population playing games in the UK.

•    On average the 11-64 old player population spends 8.9 hours per week on games (GameTrack Q2 2015)