29 th October 2010
Social gaming indie Red Redemption launches FATE OF THE WORLD PC game
Available for pre-order sale and beta download from Friday 29th October 2010 at www.fateoftheworld.net
Against the 21 st Century backdrop of social media and social networks comes a gaming experience with a social conscience: FATE OF THE WORLD – a dramatic global strategy game that puts all our futures in the player’s hands.
FATE OF THE WORLD is a dramatic strategy game covering the next 200 years in which the player must find a way to protect Earth's ever-depleting resources and climate whilst reconciling the needs of a growing world population who demand more food, power, and living space. Time is running out. How are you going to navigate the fate of the world? FATE OF THE WORLD is a sequel to Red Redemption’s successful Climate Challenge game sponsored by the BBC, which has been played by over one million people since its launch in 2007.
At the start of the game, the player – as head of the Global Environment Organisation (much akin to the World Trade Organisation) – must complete a series of missions and make the necessary tactical decisions to call the shots for all mankind. In Save the Amazon the player must protect the rainforests of Latin America at all costs, in Oil Crash America the player is tasked with creating an America able to prosper and survive without oil, and Africa Reborn asks the player to build a thriving self-sustaining Africa for the 21st Century whilst battling population growth and climactic phenomena. And for those more sinister players with megalomaniacal tendencies, there is the Dr. Apocalypse mission whose aim is to raise the planet’s temperature a lethal degree, and finally Star Ark where the goal is to save only yourself whilst abandoning everyone else to whatever catastrophes await them.
Fully immersive and deeply engaging, FATE OF THE WORLD has been developed under the guidance of leading climate change academics, led by Oxford University’s Dr Myles Allen whose work focuses on how human and natural influences on climate contribute to observed climate change and extreme weather risk, and uses everything from NASA-provided data to anecdotal references from an Arctic explorer, to strike a unique balance between absorbing entertainment and possible near-future reality.
Gobion Rowlands, Chairman and co-founder of Red Redemption says: “ FATE OF THE WORLD is a mix of ambition, strategy and occasional direct intervention where the player has to make the necessary global and regional decisions and changes needed to survive and prosper – or cause an apocalypse. Interaction comes via the paradigm of playing policies as cards – which unlock other options and opportunities, and in response, the world changes – technologies are developed, the snow retreats, deserts shift, countries go to war. Essentially the future unfolds and the player is in the driving seat for that.”
Creative Director and Lead Designer, Ian Roberts, adds: “There's real data here, but it is applied data in the same way that you have realistic physics in a Formula One game - when you corner you want it to feel like a real F1 car; with Fate of the World we are modelling the world, we want it to respond with similar fidelity."
“This game world – like the real world - is divided into regions (each with their own problems and contributions to the system) and you push the regions to do things you want. Sometimes the things you try will have major side effects, sometimes the regions will push back, sometimes the climate will throw hell at you and sometimes you totally deserved it. Games are superbly suited for expressing the impacts of climate change, you have both the chance of them happening and how much they’d hurt if they did. It’s not easy to get a feel for that when reading an article on climate change but a gamer understands this relationship all too well – it’s Left4Dead’s survivor, as the clock goes up the chance of that tank is greater and tanks really hurt.”
FATE OF THE WORLD includes real prediction models from University of Oxford climate change expert Dr Myles Allen who has provided state-of-the-art climate science for the game.
Dr Allen – who leads the climate prediction.net project, allowing people from around the world to volunteer time on their personal computers to help with climate modelling – said: "For far too long, climate policy has been developed by unelected technocrats in smoke-free conference centres or through talk-show sound-bites. The public, confronted by some people telling them it is the end of the world, and others telling them it is all a tax-raising scam, is being completely excluded from the real debate on what to do about it. What I like about this game is that it allows people to experience, in an idealised world, of course, the kinds of decisions we are likely to confront and makes it clear there are no easy answers: should we start mining Methane Clathrates (gas trapped in Arctic Ice), for example? It sounds plausible to tap the energy from methane that is going to be released anyway, but large-scale mining might destabilise whole swathes of sea bed, leading to a catastrophic release.”
“Games like this also help to illustrate on the importance of learning as we go. No climate policy we set today will dictate the emissions of our grandchildren, but what we can try to do is leave their options open, to let them decide, with much more knowledge of the climate system than we have, what level of climate change they can tolerate. One point the game illustrates very clearly is how some policies, like letting emissions rise willy-nilly over the next few decades, close off possible futures. It is this inertia, in both the climate system and the global economy, that makes the problem so difficult -- and makes the game so challenging!
Hopefully games like FATE OF THE WORLD ahead of COP 16will help raise these issues. Also that climate change is a multi-agent problem – we need a model that allows for the many priorities of different parts of the world. And finally the game shows the moral ambiguity around tackling climate change – climate policies can cause harm as well as good. The science does not dictate the solution – that was the mistake many people made in the build-up to COP-15 – science can help inform us which solutions are likely to work, but ultimately it is up to politicians and the public to decide what to do.”
FATE OF THE WORLD has also taken advice from environmental economist, Dr Cameron Hepburn, who specialises in climate policy and long-term decision-making, he says of the game, “Games can provide a really fun way of getting to grips with complex international strategic challenges, like climate change. ‘Learning by playing’ will only become more important as time passes, including at the highest levels of government. For instance, policymakers involved in climate negotiations could learn a great deal from playing FATE OF THE WORLD and some of them already are.”
Added to this dynamic mix of rich visuals and climate science data, FATE OF THE WORLD has also called on the skills of award-winning screen writer, Dr Who author and former editor of cult UK comics 2000AD and Judge Dredd Magazine, David Bishop to script the game, and critically-acclaimed composer Richard Jacques renowned for scoring such blockbuster franchises such as Mass Effect (BioWare), Alice in Wonderland (Disney), Headhunter (Amuze/Sega) and Starship Troopers (Empire/Sony Pictures) to score it.
· Fate of the World goes on pre-order sale and beta download on 29th October 2010 from www.fateoftheworld.net
· A percentage of revenues will go to organisations such as Oxfam and TckTckTck
· Age: 12+
· Platform: PC & Mac CD / PC Download
· Languages: English + TBC
· Territories: Europe, North America, + TBC
Press contact UK
Ladbury PR Ltd
020 8969 3934 / 07941 224 975
Press contact US
T: 323 850 1088 / F: 323 850 8219
NOTES TO EDITORS
About the team behind the game
Gobion Rowlands is the Chairman and co-founder of Red Redemption Ltd – a successful Oxford-based independent games development agency, which creates socially positive computer games. Gobion is also director and board member of the prestigious New York based Games For Change – an organization which promotes social impact games around the world holding festivals in New York, Seoul and now the UK.
Gobion’s environmental gaming industry expertise has seen him appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) in 2008, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) and a Fellow of the Royal Institution (FRI) in 2010 and is today an ‘in demand’ speaker and writer on numerous subjects including serious computer games, social enterprise, climate change and communication. Gobion spent a year as an Affiliate Researcher of Sustainability and Communications (2008/9) for the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University and recently lectured at the Skoll School of Social Enterprise and the University of the Creative Arts.
Under Gobion’s guidance Red Redemption has won a number of awards and grants including a UK government Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Smart Innovation Award, a UK government Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Climate Challenge Award. He was also nominated for a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer award in 2009 and was a finalist for a EuroPAWs and Games For Change award in 2008.
Prior to Red Redemption Gobion’s career has included senior production and project management roles for Lycos-Bertelsmann as Producer, Gameplay PLC as Senior Producer, and Project Manager for Wireplay, and Arena Technik as Senior Producer operating the Wireplay Service. He has consulted on projects for the UK Government e-Envoy’s office, the British Council, the Soros Foundation and the former UK Department of Trade and Industry.
New Zealand born Klaude Thomas took over as Managing Director and CEO of Red Redemption in 2008 following a series of highly accomplished career positions as a Game Designer, Lead Designer, Producer and Managing Director for some of the leading gaming studios in Europe. Prior to joining Red Redemption he was Managing Director (MD) of Eidos Studios (formerly SCi) Hungary - a 40 person studio which he established for Eidos for the purpose of delivering Battlestations to the marketplace. Battlestations, featuring the Battle of Midway, is an action-strategy game played on Xbox360 and PC’s which reached #1 in the United Kingdom game charts selling over 500,000 units.
While at SCi, Klaude worked as Producer on the licensed titles Futurama and Four-Four-Two. This followed working as a Producer with Creative Assembly, contributing design work to Mongol Invasion (a successor to Shogun: Total War) and Medieval: Total War. Earlier in his career he was Lead Designer on Formula One 2000 for Electronic Arts which also reached #1 in Europe and was listed #6 in the Top 10 racing games of all time for Sony’s PlayStation. His first job in the UK was with Sony Psygnosis, heading a design team across multiple products.
Games for which Klaude has been Lead Designer, Producer or MD have sold over 2 million units to-date, conservatively generating an estimated $40m-$50m in gross income. His overall production knowledge coupled with such a financially successful marketing track record make him the ideal catalyst to manage Red Redemption’s “Climate Challenge” series into the 2010 worldwide launch.
Klaude was born on the North Island of New Zealand and is descended from a long line of Welsh and English farmers and like many New Zealanders has some Maori blood in his ancestral tree. He studied history, anthropology and political Science at Auckland University for four years before leaving to pursue his interest in game design and is proud that his native country has committed to specific emissions reduction targets.
Ian Roberts is one of the UK’s up and coming Creative Directors and Lead Game Designers having successfully designed both Climate Challenge, which debuted on the BBC.com in 2007 and Operation: Climate Control which received its debut launch in July 2007 at Britain’s historic House of Commons. Ian is a native of Durham transplanted to Oxford with experience across a wide range of new media forms including award-winning video production and editing to 3D Graphics and website programming. These skills are combined with an in-depth background in media, film, literature and cultural research in the forms of academic study, writing, lectures and teaching. His Guide to Media Editing has been highly praised within the industry and is considered a classic resource. Ian is also credited with devising Red Redemption’s brand Makes You Think.
While acting as Lead Games Designer for Red Redemption, Ian has produced extensive web portals including the ClimateX.org for Oxford University, 3D art and web consultancy for Dickens World in Chatham, Kent and directed and edited academic multi-media presentation films for University College London. Ian has a BA in English from Oxford University and has acted as a games industry consultant for the UK Department of Trade and Industry.
Hannah Rowlands is a graduate of the Environmental Change and Management Masters Degree program at the University of Oxford. With a broad understanding of environmental and policy issues from local to global level, and an emphasis on communicating these issues to a wider audience, her experience combines commercial, academic and charitable work. Previous projects include climateprediction.net, the world’s largest climate modelling project, in which members of the public download and run a full 3-D climate model on their personal computers, and a study of how people’s attitudes towards climate change are affected by playing computer games such as Red Redemption’s Climate Challenge Game.
DR MYLES R ALLEN
Dr Myles R Allen is the Head of the Climate Dynamics group at University of Oxford's Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics Department. He graduated in Physics and Philosophy in 1987, and after working for the United Nations Environment Programme in Kenya, returned to complete a D.Phil. in Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics in 1992. Following Research Fellowships in the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he returned as a University Lecturer in 2001 and currently leads the Climate Dynamics Group in the Department of Physics. His research focuses on how human and natural influences on climate contribute to observed climate change and extreme weather risk. He served on successive Assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 (undergraduate training in philosophy proved invaluable in the IPCC process).
A collaboration with the Met Office in the late 1990s provided some of the core evidence that most of the warming over the past 50 years is attributable to human activities and, in 2004, first quantified the role of human influence in a specific damaging weather event – the European summer heat-wave of 2003. Alongside this work on attribution, the Climate Dynamics Group has a long-standing interest in using the evidence for human influence on climate to constrain climate forecasts. One of the highest profile applications of this work is the climateprediction.net experiment, running Monte Carlo climate model simulations on personal computers signed up by the general public. This ongoing project has been the subject of two BBC television documentaries, winning the 2007 Prix Europa Internet Project of the Year.
Dr. Allen’s latest research addresses the question of how scientific evidence can best be used to inform climate policy. This work has shown that limiting cumulative emissions of carbon dioxide may be a more robust approach to climate change mitigation policy than attempting to define a “safe” stabilization level for atmospheric greenhouse gases.
DR CAMERON HEPBURN
Dr Cameron Hepburn is a Research Fellow at New College, Oxford, and a Senior Research Fellow of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford. He is also a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics. He teaches masters and doctoral students at Oxford and conducts research on the economics of environmental problems, including climate change, and sustainable development. His research ranges from specific questions within moral and political philosophy to detailed issues of economic policy and business strategy, including the design of emissions trading schemes and their impacts on industrial competitiveness.
He is actively involved in public policy and serves as a member of the UK Defra-DECC Academic Panel, and has provided advice to various governments, the OECD and various UN agencies. He wrote two background papers for the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change in 2006. He is a Director of Vivid Economics Ltd, a London-based consultancy providing economic analysis to governments and to the private sector, including recent analyses on “public finance mechanisms” for climate change investment, and “advance market commitments” for renewable energy in developing countries. He also serves as a Director of Climate Bridge Ltd, an emissions reductions project developer in China and India. Prior to his academic career, Cameron worked with Shell Australia and McKinsey and Company.
Cameron holds degrees in law and chemical engineering from Melbourne University and an MPhil and DPhil in economics from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.
PROF. DIANA LIVERMAN
Prof. Diana Liverman is the Co-Director of the Institute of the Environment at the University of Arizona and is the former director of Oxford University's Environmental Change Institute where she is now visiting Professor of Environmental Policy and Development. Diana is a geographer with longstanding interests in the impacts of climate change on society, especially the vulnerability of the developing world and the challenges of climate adaptation. Her national and international advisory roles include membership of committees of the US National Academy of Sciences, including the recent committee on America's Climate Choices, and leadership roles in the Inter American Institute for Global Change Research, the international Global Environmental Change and Food Systems programme, and the new Earth Systems Governance project. She also works with arts and cultural organizations to foster conversations about climate change.
DR. PAMELA HARTIGAN
Pamela Hartigan is the Director of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford University’s Said Business School. She is also a Volans Founding Partner and Non Executive Director. From 2001 to 2008 she was the Managing Director of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, a Swiss-based organization focused on advancing the practice of social entrepreneurship nationally, regionally and globally. The Foundation is the second organization started by Klaus Schwab, the first being the World Economic Forum.
Dr. Hartigan is the first Managing Director of the Foundation and has been responsible for shaping the strategy and operations pursued by the Foundation to achieve its mission.
Dr. Hartigan is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, holds a Masters degree in International Economics, a Masters in Education and a PhD in Cognitive Psychology. Her new book, entitled The Power of Unreasonable People: How Entrepreneurs Create Markets that change the World and co-authored with John Elkington, will be released in February 2008 by Harvard Business Press. She is a frequent lecturer on social entrepreneurship and innovation at graduate schools of business in the USA, Europe and Asia, and is an Adjunct Professor at the Columbia School of Business in New York City. She serves on the Board of five social enterprises and advises many more.
Throughout her career, Dr. Hartigan has held varied leadership positions in multilateral health organizations and educational institutions as well as in entrepreneurial non-profits. In the area of health, Pamela headed up the Department of Health Promotion at the World Health Organization (1999-2001); was Programme Manager and Area Co-ordinator for Applied Field Research in the Special Programme on Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) of the World Bank, WHO, and UNDP (1997-1999). Between 1990 and 1997, she worked in WHO’s Regional Office for the Americas, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), as Chief of the Gender, Health and Development and Manager for Special Initiative in the HIV/AIDS Programme.
Alan is President of Games For Change and Eline Media. Alan has spent the last twenty years at the intersection of entertainment, technology and social entrepreneurship. Prior to E-Line, Alan spent seven years as CEO and Co-Founder of netomat, a leader in mobile-web community solutions. As CEO, Alan helped to transform a network-based art project into a pioneering software company, raising funding from VCs, strategic investors (Motorola, WPP, Forbes), foundations (Rockefeller's ProVenEx double bottom line fund) and securing clients and partnerships with leading technology and content providers such as Electronic Arts, Warner Brothers, Motorola and Miramax. netomat was selected as a Technology Pioneer at the 2007 World Economic Forum at Davos.
Before netomat, Alan spent six years at Activision, a global leader in entertainment software. He was a member of the executive management team that rebuilt Activision from bankruptcy into a profitable industry leader with more than a billion dollars in revenue. At Activision, Alan served as Senior Vice President of Activision Studios where he supervised all product development at the company's Los Angeles studios. Titles released under Alan's leadership include Civilization: Call to Power, Asteroids, Muppet Treasure Island, Spycraft, Pitfall, Zork and Tony Hawk Skateboarding.
Before Activision, Alan spent nearly ten years in the film industry. As a writer, Alan was a film critic for the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong and co-author of Game Plan, a book about the computer and video game business published by St. Martin's Press. His articles and photographs have been published in numerous magazines and newspapers including the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Filmmaker Magazine, Cinema India-International and Bowler's Journal.
As a speaker, Alan has presented at a wide variety of conferences throughout the world including PC Forum, Sundance Film Festival, Games for Change, CTIA, Mobile Imaging Summit, Game Developers Conference, Milia/Cannes, LAX Conference, ICE/Toronto, Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema, SoCap and the World Economic Forum at Davos.
Alan currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Games for Change, a nonprofit that helps to raise the sector of computer and video games for social change. He also serves on the Board of Directors of FilmAid International, a nonprofit that uses film and video to empower refugees throughout the world. Alan serves on the Advisory Board of Scenarios USA, Creative Capital, SplashLife, We Are Family Foundation and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center For Educational Media and Research (Sesame Workshop). About the partners
To support Oxfam’s ongoing work to develop lasting and sustainable solutions to poverty and injustice, FATE OF THE WORLD will be available to purchase at Oxfam shops across the United Kingdom and online: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/shop/. For every copy of the game sold, Oxfam will receive a percentageof revenue raised: www.oxfam.org
TckTckTck is an unprecedented global alliance, representing hundreds of millions of people from all walks of life united by a desire to see a strong global deal on climate change. Made up of leading environment, development and faith-based NGOs, youth groups, trade unions and individuals, TckTckTck is calling for a fair, ambitious and binding climate change agreement: www.tcktcktck.org
As commercial partners for FATE OF THE WORLD, Tribe is a ‘for purpose’ social business that raises capital, in all its forms – financial, human, emotional and other – for the benefit of organisations with a social and/or environmental mission: www.tribemanagement.eu