In honour of National App Day, we take a moment to celebrate the remarkable journey that our app, 878 AD: Winchester Revealed, has taken us on, reshaping the way in which our visitors engage with Winchester's Anglo-Saxon history.
An innovative partnership between Hampshire Cultural Trust, creators of global gaming sensation Assassin’s Creed® Ubisoft, tech innovator Sugar Creative and experiential design and production practice, Sarner International, 878 AD has seamlessly blended technology and cultural heritage, offering an immersive experience that transcends traditional museum visits. This partnership is unique in the UK, with a heritage organisation, the gaming sector and leading tech innovators coming together for the first time to create a historical visitor attraction.
Combining Anglo-Saxon history with state-of-the-art, modern augmented-reality technology, for the past 12 months, we've seen thousands of visitors enjoying 878 AD's unique cultural offering. Acting as a digital time machine of sorts, 878 AD: Winchester Revealed offers a fascinating and engaging exploration of the legacy of King Alfred throughout the city, and nation. The app's ability to breathe life into the past, breaking down barriers and making history approachable for all through interactive games, activities and real-world immersion, has left an undeniable mark on how our visitors can connect with Winchester's collective Anglo-Saxon history.
“Since opening one year ago, we’re seeing visitors who don’t normally go to museums coming through our doors, visitors coming to Winchester just to experience 878 AD, much younger visitors than traditional museum audiences – and it is in this, opening up history for everyone to discover, that we see the real strength and success of this unique partnership.” Paul Sapwell, CEO
Our recent accolades are a true testimony of this. We're thrilled that 878 AD received two awards for 878 AD in November. 878 AD was the winner in the Heritage in Games Award category at the TIGA Games Industry Awards 2023, the UK’s most prestigious, annual celebration of the video games industry that recognises excellence in games development, business and education, and that attracts entries from all over the world. 878 AD was also shortlisted in the VR/AR/XR/MR Game category.
Our immersive visitor experience was also a winner at the British Interactive Media Association (BIMA) Awards, picking up a silver in the Technology-driven Experience category. The BIMA Awards are the UK’s longest standing digital and tech awards, recognising work in the British digital sector that is pushing the limits of what is possible and that is making a difference in business, culture and society.
Earlier in the year, 878 AD was the winner of the Technology and Innovation Award at Winchester’s 2023 Business Excellence Awards and was also shortlisted in the Partnership of the Year category in the nationwide Museum + Heritage Awards, which celebrate the very best in the world of museums, galleries and cultural and heritage visitor attractions. 878 AD was also shortlisted for the Themed Entertainment and Attractions Project of the Year at this year’s AV Awards, which recognise the outstanding achievements of individuals, companies, projects and technology across the AV, events and production sectors.
"We are delighted that 878 AD has received further accolades – this is fantastic recognition of what this unique partnership has achieved. 878 AD does something completely new in the heritage world. The experience is based on the latest academic research and displays authentic 9th century objects, but also tells its story through the immersive world of Assassin’s Creed, live performance and the 878 AD: Winchester Revealed app that has redefined historical exploration, showcasing Alfred’s legacy to the city through groundbreaking technology." Paul Sapwell, CEO
So, today on National App Day, we celebrate a year of exploration, education and enjoyment, as we continue to unlock the treasures of heritage at the swipe of a screen!