ITV Studios’ Hell’s Kitchen has already been a hit on TV in 24 territories worldwide, and now its heading to the metaverse too in a deal between London/Manchester-based ITV Studios and Hong Kong metaverse and virtual world gaming specialist Animoca Brands.
The show ended in the UK in 2009 after four seasons, only the first of which was hosted by the show’s co-creator and best-known face Gordon Ramsay – that initial 2004 run was won by Liverpool actress Jennifer Ellison – but it’s already heading to into its 21st season, with Ramsay still at the helm, on FOX in the US in September.
Through the partnership, Hell’s Kitchen restaurant experiences designed with input from Ramsay will be hosted on ITV’s LAND in The Sandbox, a virtual world created by Animoca. Additionally, Hell’s Kitchen-themed assets, including limited edition Gordon Ramsay avatars, will be available down the line for players and creators to include in their own original experiences.
Five-time Emmy-nominated reality show Hell’s Kitchen sees aspiring chefs compete for the opportunity to run one of Ramsay’s eateries. The Hell’s Kitchen restaurant setting will represent the first experiences based on cooking themes to appear in The Sandbox.
Sebastien Borget, COO and co-founder of The Sandbox, said: “We’re shaping the metaverse to become an expansion of all real-world activities through the creative possibilities offered by technology – and who better than Gordon Ramsay and Hell’s Kitchen to bring our first restaurant culinary and social experiences to The Sandbox? In this immersive setting, the show’s fans and community can bring their avatars into Gordon Ramsay’s world and be challenged to bring their creativity to new levels.”
Ramsay added: “There’s nothing more exciting to me than chartering new territory, whether that’s creating a signature dish, a new restaurant concept, a new show, or now a virtual experience in The Sandbox. I couldn’t think of a better platform to bring the high energy of my Hell’s Kitchen restaurant and brand.”
Neil Bowler, controller of games at ITV, said: “[Hell’s Kitchen and The Sandbox] both are innovators in their respective spaces, which is why they make a great match. We think the show’s fans all over the world will enjoy interacting with experiences set in a virtual Hell’s Kitchen in The Sandbox metaverse.”
Part virtual real estate, part amusement park, The Sandbox embraces the idea of the metaverse as a continuous shared digital space where worlds and heroes collide to make magic. Hell’s Kitchen joins over 300 existing partnerships in the virtual world including Warner Music Group, Ubisoft, The Rabbids, Gucci Vault, The Walking Dead, Snoop Dogg, Adidas, Deadmau5, Steve Aoki, Richie Hawtin, The Smurfs, Care Bears, Atari, ZEPETO, and CryptoKitties.