Huzutech founder Graeme Harvey is set to tell an audience of children's book publishers that the industry must embrace the rapidly developing social games sector if it is to remain relevant to a new generation of young readers.
Addressing a prestigious audience at the Bookseller Children's Conference 2011 today, Harvey will draw on his experiences working with some of the biggest brands in children's entertainment to demonstrate how publishers can extend the commercial life cycle of characters and content by placing them at the centre of their own immersive virtual worlds. The Huzutech MD, who recently brought the popular Horrible Histories series to life using his firm's unique technology, will tell attendees that the emerging field of social games will provide publishers with a wealth of fresh opportunities to exploit existing content.
“There's may have been an lot of talk about how the internet is killing book publishing, but the stark reality is that in actual fact digital technologies can add a new and refreshing dimension to the industry, dusting off favourite titles and breathing new life into the characters and concepts that children love so much. Creating these virtual worlds not only allows publishers to introduce their stories to young audiences in a lively and appealing way, but also enables them to explore the full marketing and commercial potential of the brands they invest so much in,” said Harvey.
The Huzutech platform combines virtual worlds, social networks and online communities in an entirely new way, enabling the creation of persistent online worlds in which hundreds of players can compete, collaborate and play. Users only need their regular web browser to participate and can play using any platform (including tablets, iPads, mobile devices and netbooks) while also communicating via the integrated links into their favourite social networks.
The technology has already been seized upon by numerous brand owners and media companies who wish to bring their properties to the new online, social and connected audience, making their brand a part of each user’s digital social life. Most recently Huzutech launched a new virtual world for Scholastic, extending the reach of its hugely successful Horrible Histories® books and TV series.
Harvey added: “At the root of its success has always been the Horrible Histories series' ability to transport readers and viewers into different worlds, and this latest development serves to underline that magical quality. The franchise provides the perfect backdrop for an exciting and engaging virtual world, and although we've taken great care to preserve the very real connection it has with its audience, by tying everything into the social networks and allowing every user to visit and explore the world through a simple web brower we’ve created an entirely new way of experiencing an already much-loved brand.”
Online communities, social networks and virtual worlds are changing the way in which people all over the world communicate, participate, collaborate and play. Stand alone communities are increasingly rare, as users share more information and cross-pollinate over a wide range of digital services across multiple devices, platforms and channels.
Huzutech understands how these new environments are evolving, growing and being used. The company has created a comprehensive technology – HuzuVirtual- which allows the creation of wholly-branded, white label online virtual worlds, which integrate seamlessly with all leading social networks.
Huzutech is backed by MLC 50. In 2010 the company was fast-tracked by Scottish Enterprise as one of the country's most innovative new digital media companies, with truly global potential.
HuzuVirtual enables brand owners, media companies and organisations to build an effective, branded online presence, tailored to their individual requirements, which encourages user participation across all new platforms, social networks and digital channels.
Founded in 2009 Huzutech is headquartered in Glasgow, Scotland, one of the world's leading regions for the development of original new interactive entertainment and digital media. The company was founded by a team of online veterans, who had worked with a number of pioneering companies, including WeeWorld, Pixel, and HarperCollins Publishers