Going to the London Games Conference? You are? Excellent. You’re not? Well here are 10 reasons why you should definitely change your mind
1. IT’S THE LONDON GAMES CONFERENCE
November 10th marks the third outing for LGC, which debuted in 2009. In just a short space of time it has become a key event on the industry calendar, covering the hot issues surrounding digital distribution and online games.
200 delegates attended the last two events. They were there to learn more about online games and its impact on the traditional market – and also speak with their peers and contemporaries at the dinner and networking afterwards.
2. IT’S AN EVEN BETTER LONDON GAMES CONFERENCE
In 2011 the London Games Conference is bigger and better than ever.
For a start we have a new venue – One Wimpole Street, which is larger, brighter, roomier and comfier. The venue also features delegate voting for interactive sessions (see the separate bit on that to the right).
We’ve also added an hour to the conference schedule, offering you even more for your money – and we haven’t put the price up.
But, even broader, the conference agenda has evolved, too. The remit of what we’re covering isn’t just ‘understanding digital’ anymore – we’re deep in the midst of the transition and our progressive high-profile speakers will share advice and insight on what their strategy is.
3. JASON HOLTMAN
We could, in theory, just end this entry with that name alone. Jason Holtman.
Need we say more? OK then, Jason runs Steam, the most popular and influential digital distribution platform for games. Everyone who’s everyone is on Steam - and we mean that whether we are talking about publishers, developers… or consumers.
He’s coming all the way from Seattle to deliver our closing keynote. There, that enough for you?
4. THE BIG NUMBERS
A conference isn’t a conference without sessions featuring Very Clever People taking us through huge amounts of market data. LGC is no different. Our speakers have promised to bring with them reams of statistics. Nick Parker, for instance, will run through his guide to the five events that will reshape video games, using data from Screen Digest.
5. INTERACTIVE SESSIONS
Our new venue gives us the chance to add a brand new element to LGC: interactive sessions. In-chair handsets allow the audience to vote and contribute to big chunks of the day’s proceedings.
We’ve got two interactive sessions.
The first is a debate on the future of video games. In the red corner, we have Ian Livingstone, life president of Eidos. In the blue: Lionhead’s Peter Molyneux. They will together debate what they think the future of games will be – and you’ll get to pick a winner from their exciting, innovative, and maybe even outlandish suggestions.
The second plans to be a searing look at the Winners and Losers of the digital transition. GamesBrief’s Nicholas Lovell will name the eight companies he thinks are either heroes or zeroes in online games. Sacred cows promise to be slain, and unsung heroes heralded. Most crucially he’ll be canvassing the audience as to whether they agree with his views or not.
Don’t worry – all the voting is anonymous, and it’s really easy to do. We might even dim the lights a bit so that rival exec in the row behind doesn’t see you voting against (or for!) them when Nicholas, Ian or Peter are claiming that person’s employer will soon be extinct.
6. THE DELEGATES ARE DECISION MAKERS
300 GAMES industry execs will be in the room for London Games Conference – all of them influential.
Registered attendees include publishers, developers, digital distributors, physical distributors, analysts, retailers, lawyers, service companies, media and even politicians and policy makers.
7. CHALLENGING ISSUES DEBATED AND DISSECTED
London Games Conference focuses on the hottest issues that face video games in the internet age.
Hot topic cloud gaming will be dissected by OnLive CTO Tom Paquin. He co-invented some of the most-used parts of web (Firefox? Cookies? Thank this man for those) so his views on streaming games is more than just an educated guess.
Elsewhere, London School of Economics’ Professor Peter Sommer looks at security of online networks. The timing couldn’t be better – 2011 has been a year dominated by mainstream security scandals like Wikileaks, phone hacking, the increasing power of ‘digital terrorists’ Anonymous… and the infamous PSN breach.
Last but not least is an address from UK Music CEO Feargal Sharkey – perhaps better known to many as the former Undertones frontman. He plans to outline the problems the music industry faced with going online, and how games companies can avoid the same mistakes.
8. TOP DEVELOPERS WILL SHARE THEIR SECRETS
Of course, the truth about the online world is this: the traditional companies didn’t get there first. It was the cutting edge developers that did. So, for one session, we hand over to some of the grand innovators in digital games to offer short and snappy mini-keynotes on how they did it.
PopCap, the firm responsible for some of the most iconic casual games ever produced such as Bejewelled, Plants vs Zombies and Peggle;
GoG.com, which is one of the biggest digital distributors for games and has built an audience of passionate fans buying back catalogue games not locked up with DRM;
Miniclip, the popular kids portal which has amassed a huge youth following and hosts some of the most iconic online games.
9. LEADING RETAILER GAMESTOP IS GOING TO BE THERE
Some retailers have been pretty shy about the transition to digital. Except GameStop, which has actively embraced online disruption.
And the global chain’s EVP international Mike Mauler is our opening keynote, hosting a session called Driving Digital Growth: The Role of Specialty Retail.
GameStop has been hugely proactive into digital content, adding in-store DLC sales, buying two digital games firms – download firm Impulse and cloud gaming experts Spawn – and plans to make its own tablets. It also owns casual games site Kongregate and recently opened a UK website to sell games through mail order.
So the firm will have lots of say and share about how it has grown its digital business and maintained an edge as a specialist retailer – and you’ll get to hear that in the opening moments of the London Games Conference.
10. …AND SO IS SEGA
UK MD John Clark plans to share his experience and insight at LGC. His session will look at the lessons learned by Sega as the publisher made an active push to embrace digital sales – he also promises to run through how the publisher’s key franchises have benefitted from the online revolution.
Good. All you have to do now is email Hannah.Short@intentmedia.co.uk or phone 01992 535647. Delegate tickets cost £269 – and there really aren’t many left.