Our special preview of the London Games Conference
Need to know details:
When? Thursday, November 4th
No, When Exactly? Conference runs from 17:00 to 20:15 – dinner and drinks continue to midnight.
Where? BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, London
1. LAST YEAR’S WAS GOOD…
The London Games Conference made its debut last year. The idea was to create a UK-based, global-orientated, forward-looking conference with a specific brief to tackle the issues that different companies and sectors found most challenging and, hopefully, most full of potential.
It succeeded. Over 200 delegates gathered at BAFTA’s Piccadilly headquarters to see speakers and panellists from companies and organisations including Sony, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Sega, Playfish, ChartTrack, UKIE (then still ELSPA) and others as part of a programme that focused largely on digital distribution and the impact it was having – and will have – on developers, publishers and retailers.
2. …THIS YEAR’S WILL BE EVEN BETTER
The first LGC was, maybe, a bit safe. Some of the names, topics and even conclusions were, perhaps, just a little familiar.
They probably represented the companies and debates that you were reading about in MCV at the time. This year, the idea is to shift the focus to the people, technologies, ideas and business models that you’ll be reading about in MCV in three to five years time. On your Mk.4 iPad. Or the inside of your eyelids when you blink.
3. THE PANEL SESSIONS
There are three top class sessions featuring leaders from the games industry's most exciting companies…
The Shape of Clouds to Come
A panel of industry leaders and innovators discusses the impact of social networks, online play, advanced mobile devices and cloud technology on the future of the games industry.
The speakers (above, from left to right):
Chairman: Phil Harrison, London Venture Partners
Shuji Utsumi, Q Entertainment
Ben Cousins, EA Dice
Kristian Segerstarle, Playfish
Floris Jans Cuypers, Spil Games
Different Ways to Play, Different Ways to Pay
How traditional bricks and mortar retailers, digital distributors, developers and publishers are all finding new ways to find, sell to and retain consumers.
The speakers (above from left to right):
Chris Petrovic, GameStop
Ian Chambers, Direct2Drive
Simon Osgood, InComm
Alan Yu, Ngmoco
Session chaired by Michael French, Intent Media
The New Power Base
Choosing a platform for content used to be relatively straightforward, now there are myriad options, and a host of major new players offering audiences measured in millions or more. An in-depth look at some of the most interesting and potentially profitable ways to think outside the box(es).
The speakers (above, from left to right):
David Reeves, Capcom
Dave Perry, Gaikai
Jasper Smith, PlayJam
Session chaired by Johnny Minkley, Eurogamer TV
4. HEIKO HUBERTZ
Bigpoint is one of the three biggest game portals in the world. At London Games Conference, founder and CEO Heiko Hubertz will explain exactly how he did it.
Well, he’ll present a keynote entitled ‘The Keys to International Success with Online Games’. That’s ‘Keys’, not just ‘Key’ – so expect multiple nuggets of insight and information from the man behind a company currently generating more revenue per user than World of Warcraft.
5. THE NUMBERS
A conference isn’t a conference unless a ridiculously clever man runs through a data-packed PowerPoint that has you scribbling like a lunatic, wondering if you’d capture enough detail if you tried to take a picture of the screen from here and then quite urgently hunting down one of the organisers as soon as the lights go up to see if it would be possible to get sent a copy of that presentation, please very much?
At LGC that man is Screen Digest’s chief analyst Ben Keen and those slides will provide an overview of packaged goods and digital/online sales, how different channels will evolve and key trends over the next few years.
6. IT’S PART OF, AND AT THE HEART OF, THE WIDER UK GAMES MARKET
Just like last year, London Games Conference is backed by UKIE and is part of the London Games Festival.
Thanks to these partnerships it has secured the participation of industry legend and Eidos life president Ian Livingstone, who will be providing an update on the crucial, government-commissioned Livingstone-Hope Skills Review, and the closing address from the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, Ed Vaizey.
Director General of UKIE, Michael Rawlinson said: “I am hugely looking forward to the 2010 London Games Conference, which is part of the UKIE backed, London Games Festival.
“The quality of the participants at the London Games Conference this year is exceptional. Having so many big names under one roof is a fantastic opportunity for the video games and interactive industry to discuss many of the important issues that it faces in the ever evolving future.”
The conference will be followed by drinks and dinner at BAFTA. It’s a pretty informal affair, not a sit-down job, and whilst no one would pretend that the thoroughly decent grub is worth the price of admission on its own, the chance to talk properly and maybe exchange details with (practically) all the speakers, plus the rest of the delegates, just might be.
8. BECAUSE EVERYONE ELSE WILL BE THERE
Okay, not everyone. Delegate spaces are, in fact, strictly limited (which isn’t strictly speaking a reason to go, more a reason to sign up early if you do decide to go), but those companies that will be represented in the audience, if not on stage, include: 1C, Advance A/S, British Telecom , Brunel University, Disney, Electronic Arts, Entertainment Retailers Association, Gamestop, GOG (Good Old Games), Green Man Gaming, Invest Quebec, Koch Media, Konami, NC Soft, Sony Computer Entertainment, Sega, Square Enix, THQ, UbiSoft, and Warner Bros.
9. TO WATCH TOMORROW’S NEWS AGENDA BEING SET
In this case, when we say ‘tomorrow’, we mean it both literally and metaphorically.
In a literal sense, specialist and mainstream media both picked up on several issues raised at last year’s London Games Conference and either reported them directly or explored them further.
There was media representation from Edge, The Guardian, GamesIndustry.biz, Gamespot, The Telegraph and Media Week. Within 24 hours, coverage appeared in 25 different media outlets, across Europe, in the US and even in Australia.
In a metaphorical sense, the whole point of London Games Conference is to move on the debates and discussions that the media will be putting in the spotlight for months and years to come. And the people on stage at the London Games Conference will be the ones quoted most often and most prominently throughout those debates.
So, come and see them live, with all the Ums, Ers, swear words and slander left in. Then ask them a question rather than hope a journalist eventually gets round to doing it for you.
10. DAVE PERRY
There are loads of other brilliant panellists, obviously; people who will genuinely shape our business – your business.
Chris Petrovic, for example, as senior vice president at Gamestop, will be talking about how the biggest games retailer in the world is facing up to the challenges on the High Street and in digital distribution over the coming years.
Kristian Segerstrale of Playfish will be proving that being part of Electronic Arts doesn’t mean he can’t say things that throw slightly more conservative thinkers into a mixture of panic and despair.
But with Gaikai CEO Dave Perry, well, there’s just that feeling of expectation, isn’t there? You’ve probably seen or read about his keynotes before. They’re very good, fair play. But as part of a panel, there’s going to be that wildcard element.
There’ll be no script. There’ll be opposing points of view, hopefully a bit of tension – and definitely some tricky questions, both from the panel chairman and the audience, which hopefully means you. If he doesn’t throw up a headline or two, we’ll eat Freddie Starr’s Hamster.
Good. All you have to do now is email Jodie.Holdway@intentmedia.co.uk or phone 01992 535647. Delegate tickets cost £269 – and there really aren’t many left.