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Chloe's The Apprentice Blog - Fun and games (S16 E5)

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Chloes The Apprentice Blog - Fun and games (S16 E5)

This week the teams are asked, by a slightly disturbing virtual Lord Sugar, to design a video game and pitch it to industry experts.

The PMs

Team Diverse hold a democratic vote for PM, with Akshay abstaining. Brittany lands the role after a rousing speech about the repeated successes of all of her previous ideas. Versus Nick’s pitch – “I play games, I haven’t got experience in working in it, ummm, but I do play them, so I will put myself forward”.

Akeem is PM of Infinity, with his many years of professional gaming experience he feels super confident and so does his team. He has a solid idea for a futuristic, dystopian, fighting robots game but is quickly swayed by Aaron’s suggestion of a prison escape scenario with a strong female lead.

Diverse on the other hand go for a save the planet theme after Brittany is desperate to focus on the issue of global warming. 

The sub-teams

Her sub team, responsible for branding, nail the name: “Artic Saviours”. Karren Brady gives them too much credit – “I think they’ve forgotten the ‘c’”. They haven’t forgotten Karren, they have no clue it’s pronounced, and spelt, a-r-C-t-i-c. 

The Infinity sub team develop their branding for the prison escape game. They call it Time and model their central character, Amelia Stone, on sub team leader, Kathryn. Their game does pack more of the escapism gamers are looking for, surely? Who wants to think about global warming and the demise of the planet when they’re trying to unwind?

The roll out

The consumer testing doesn’t go well for either team – Time is described as too simplistic and of course they point out that Artic Saviour is spelt wrong. Harpreet fluffs her presentation to the experts and Akeem nearly walks off without taking questions.

The presentation was worse for Diverse – Francesca is blasted for her misspelling and Akshay’s face was a picture when it was pointed out to him that there are, in fact, not “quite a few” penguins in the Arctic – there are none. Brittany vehemently defends her theme but the industry experts aren’t convinced - gamers are looking for fantasy.

The Boardroom

Of course Diverse are put on the spot again about their misspelling, and Lord Sugar was unconvinced about their plot and simple platform game.

Lord Sugar did like Infinity’s character’s name – Amelia Stone. The investors loved the character too, and committed £60,000 for further development. Diverse secured zero with their overly simple concept.

Diverse deserved to lose – and they should have known it from the start – Akshay was on their team. But he escapes the boardroom this time around as Brittany chooses to bring Francesca and Sophie back. Lord Sugar asks who should be fired and Brittany says Sophie – a lot of the mistakes were on the branding, and Sophie contributed nothing. Make your mind up Brit, which was it?  

To my delight, Lord Sugar saw through the noise and smug faced Francesca was fired. Her weak character design, branding and poor grasp of English lost her her place. Her supposed ancestor Wordsworth must be turning in his grave.

The moral of the story

The HR moral of the story this week was actually demonstrated well by Lord Sugar. Diverse tried to blame their loss on Sophie, for not contributing anything, but he dug deeper and it was clear that the real responsibility lay with Francesca. 

Sometimes it can be tempting to go with the loudest voice, especially when they’re in a position of authority, and make a decision based on face value. But employers should always consider the bigger picture and not shy away from placing the blame at the feet of those with ultimate authority and responsibility for the disastrous decisions.


And just when we think it’s all over, Lord Sugar makes a surprise visit to the candidates’ house to tell them they’re off to North Wales next week to design and host tours. That sounds as though it’ll be a total cringe fest, I can’t wait.