Games experts to speak at Reeperbahn Festival

Games experts to speak at Reeperbahn Festival
James Batchelor

By James Batchelor

August 19th 2014 at 11:00AM

Angry Birds composer, CEO of The Good Evil and more to lead gaming sessions at Hamburg event

The organisers of Reeperbahn Festival have confirmed a series of talks aimed at games developers for next month's event.

The festival is a celebration of the music, games and digital industries, and the team behind it is keen to build on the gaming content, in part by bringing in experts to discuss some of the industry's key topics.

There will be six talks and panel sessions taking place across Thursday, September 18th and Friday, September 19th, covering crowdfunding, finance, music and more.

Reeperbahn Festival takes place in Hamburg, Germany from September 17th to 20th – click here to register for tickets. You can read full details of the games programme below:

Thursday, September 18th

11am to 12pm: News Games – Marcus Bösch (co-founder and CEO, The Good Evil)

We read a text, listen to a radio report, and watch a television programme. So far, so good. Traditional media are linear. But computers, smartphones, and tablets are capable of more. These are input and output devices. They are interactive. And this is where newsgames come in.

Journalistic content is being not only consumed but turned into something that can be experienced. Games are perfect for making complex systems interactively explorable. Newsgames have been tested around the world during the last ten years or so. Marcus Bösch shows the best and worst examples – from Arte, the Guardian, the New York Times, etc. What works? What doesn’t work? And what’s the hidden potential?

Marcus Bösch guides us through the world of newsgames. In 2013, Bösch and his game studio published Germany’s first newsgame and in 2014 he organised Europe’s first Newsgames Hackathon.

11.45am to 12.45pm: Brains In Games - Combining Virtual and Real Worlds 
Panel: Christian Szymanski (CMO, Stryking Entertainment); Lou Fawcett (Director of Games Europe, Iconicfuture); Bruno Kollhorst (Leiter Social Media Techniker Krankenkasse Deutschland)

A significant number of games are using real world IPs to attract customers and gamers. There are a number of reasons: Games allow brands to talk directly to their audience in an emotional and meaningful manner. Brands help game developers to add meaningful content, improve key performance indicators and drive monetization.

1.15pm to 1.30pm: Financing Games in Germany – Thorsten Unger (Managing Director, GAME Federation Germany)
[German Language]

Games is a mass market. Games are innovative. The games market is growing year by year. But financing a game in Germany is nearly impossible. What are the reasons?

What kind of solutions are available? What about funding, venture-capital, crowdsourcing, reliable business models and sustainable circumstances in order to push the german market for developing video games onto the next level?

Thorsten Unger, serial entrepreneur and CEO of GAME, the largest association for video games in germany, talks about the current status, new opportunities and risks concerning the issue of financing videogames in germany.

1.30pm to 2.15pm: Crowdfunding: A new way to finance games [German language]
Panel: Thorsten Unger (Geschäftsführer, GAME Bundesverband der deutschen Games-Branche); Adrian Goersch (Managing Director, Black Forest); Jan Theysen (Creative Director, KING Art Games); Claas Wolter (PR Director, Daedalic Entertainment)

Just as music or movies, games are part of our culture. At the same time, Gaming is a multi-million Euro business - and the costs to develop and market a game are rising steadily. Today, for a number of studios it's close to impossible to receive any cultural fundings for game development. For some studios, there is one last hope to create their visions: The gamers themselves. In the last couple of month, games such as Dieselstörmers from Black Forest Games or Battle Worlds: Kronos from KingArt, which would not have found any other way of funding, were financed via crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter. What advantages does crowdfunding offer to developers? And is crowdfunding a new hope for some companies to develop their games - or just the last resort in an economy that does not support gaming as an cultural object?

At this panel, we've invited a number of spokespeople from gaming studios to discuss how new ways of funding games such as crowdfunding might change the whole industry - and what's right and wrong about it.

Friday, September 19th

1.45pm to 2.45pm: Ari Pulkkinen: The future of game music

You might not have heard of Ari Pulkkinen yet - but you should know some of his tunes: His soundtrack for Angry Birds is not only familiar to millions of gamers all over the globe but also went gold within 7 minutes in Finland and was performed by the London Symphonic Orchestra.

As a music and audio professional, Ari Pulkkinen has gained the deep knowledge and specialized in the field of music and sound design in game industry. His work as a composer, sound designer as well as music and audio producer has left a memorable mark in many productions and independent projects.

In his talk, will discuss the current situation of game music, future contract opportunities, revenue models and designing music for games.

Ari will discuss the importance of music in video games and the opportunities for both the game and music industry in working with artists and composers and soundtracks.

In addition, Ari will explain his work on music and audio design for games such as Angry Birds, Resogun, Outland, Dead Nation and Trine. As Ari states: “I love to create emotions, feelings and good memories trough music – if my music inspires others, I am truly happy.”

4.15pm to 5.15pm: Gaming and music industry – why can't we just be friends?
Panel: Ari Pulkkinen (Composer & CEO, AriTunes); Wolf Lang (Founder & CEO, Threaks); Michael Stoeckemann (Game Sound Artist, Sound of Games); Herr Kasche (Musician & Producer); Christoph Hendel (Juristischer Referent, GEMA)

Music is more and more important to the gaming industry, but still only few games invest in licensed music and composers. As of now, licensing music is expensive, rights management is difficult and composers most of the time do not get the gamer's recognition. So how should both industries – music and gaming – work closer together to leverage music in gaming?