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Emmerdale moves into the metaverse

Posted on 27 February 2023

Two University of York initiatives, XR Stories and the Screen Industries Growth Network (SIGN), are to bring one of the UK’s best-loved soaps into the digital metaverse.

The Emmerdale TV set from the air. ITV Studios/Rotor Aerial Photography.The Emmerdale set from the air. Picture: ITV Studios/Rotor Aerial Photography.

Emmerdale is a television drama set in England’s Yorkshire Dales. Launched as Emmerdale Farm by the Independent Television Network (ITV) in 1972, it is broadcast throughout Europe and regularly attracts an average audience of 5m viewers.


Extending Emmerdale is a new research and development project launched in collaboration with the Emmerdale team at ITV. It will fund and support two projects to explore how Emmerdale’s fictional world could be transformed by interactive and immersive audience experiences such as mobile device-based audio walks, game experiences or smart-speaker features.

Emmerdale’s Head of Production, Nader Mabadi, said: “We’re all aware the nature of our industry is changing rapidly as is how people are watching and consuming content. Working with the team at XR Stories and SIGN to explore the extension of Emmerdale into the metaverse is a really exciting project. 

“It’s the perfect example of bringing one of the UK’s most loved programmes into a new and vibrant ‘universe’, giving us unending opportunities to expand and create hybrid content for our audience.”


John Rose-Adams, Creative Producer at XR Stories, said: “The booming experience economy, the increasing capability of mobile devices, and the rise of screen tourism all signal a great time to explore what more can be created with Emmerdale’s intellectual property. 

“XR Stories and SIGN are best placed to support the development of new interactive and immersive content with our track-record in driving collaboration between traditional production and media organisations, and delivering ground-breaking innovation in storytelling.”

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