Press Releases
App combines gameplay and narrative to provide an exciting and innovative new format to engage readers and gamers

Life is all about choices…
Good or bad, right or wrong…
We all have to make them…
Every choice you make alters who you are – and what you might become…

Book publisher Hachette UK today reinvents the story-telling process, fusing gameplay with narrative to create an innovative new app that will engage even the most reluctant of readers.

Hachette has joined forces with leading game developers New Star Games and Insight Studios, plus award-winning children’s authors The2Steves, to release New Star Soccer G-Story.

The app is based on the BAFTA-winning and multi-million selling PC and mobile game New Star Soccer. It’s released today, May 26th, on iOS, with the Android format following next week – coinciding with the excitement building around the Euro 2016 tournament.

New Star Soccer G-Story
is priced at just £4.99 but will be reduced to £2.99 for the launch period. It is available to download via the App Store.

The G-Story 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 segment. As a result, there are multiple plot threads and multiple endings.

These numerous plot threads and endings mean that New Star Soccer G-Story features some 180,000 words of text, across 18 chapters. This is interspersed with 240 segments of gameplay, including shooting, dribbling, passing, tackling, penalties and more, which each change the whole course of the story.

Similarly, all the choices the reader makes – from picking an agent, to how much they train, to which sponsorship deals they sign – will alter the plot.

The 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.

Working alongside the game development talent at Insight Studios and New Star Games, respected authors Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore (collectively known in the children’s book publishing world as The 2Steves) have created the compelling storyline.

They said: “We firmly believe that New Star Soccer G-Story will encourage kids – particularly the reluctant ones, especially boys – to read.

“Games obviously compete with traditional books for readers’ time and attention. Instead of moaning about that, why not exploit it? Study after study from the Literacy Trust, the Reading Agency and similar bodies show that uncommitted readers are more likely to be motivated by reading from a screen than from paper. Add the elements of competition, gameplay and choice in New Star Soccer G-Story, and you have a narrative that is bound to capture the attention of even the most die-hard refusenik.”

The launch of the new G-Story format is part of Hachette’s on-going drive to encourage children to read and enjoy books more. Boys in particular are more reluctant to read, with latest research from the National Literary Trust (Children’s and Young People’s Reading in 2015) revealing that 61.2% of girls enjoy reading, versus 47.8% of boys.

This initiative, and the launch of New Star Soccer G-Story, has been praised by the teaching community.

“This is a genius idea. It’s a simple concept, but will be so effective at hooking those reluctant readers,” enthused Tim Redgrave, Head Teacher at Esgob Morgan School in Denbighshire and founder of the Patrons of Reading schools initiative.

“I’m really excited about it being released. It’s a great way to get kids – or anyone interested in football – to read. The way the gameplay determines the storyline narrative is brilliant. I’m sure this will encourage more children to read.”

Damian Horner, Brand Development Director at Hachette offered: “The G-Story is one of a number of initiatives Hachette is taking to reinvent the storytelling process. We have something very unique here – a fusion of the best gameplay with the best storytelling. It is an entirely new kind of product and we are very excited about its potential.”

To download the app for iOS visit: https://appsto.re/gb/CTQCcb.i

To view the trailer, visit: https://youtu.be/mLjyAgH7tRE

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).

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