London Games Conference Guide

Ben Parfitt
London Games Conference Guide

After a solid start 12 months ago, the London Games Conference hits the ground running this year, with a programme featuring speakers drawn from the most exciting and innovative companies in the global games market.

The event is charged not with giving an overview of current conditions, but with challenging a selection of speakers and panellists to present and discuss the future of gaming – and examine the implications for companies in every sector, from development to retail.

That is why the schedule is dominated not by the three big format holders or the top five publishers but by people like Hubertz Heiko, CEO of Bigpoint, Dave Perry, founder of Gaikai, and Jasper Smith, CEO of PlayJam
The established companies and business models are represented, of course, by people such as Codemasters CEO Rod Cousens, Capcom Europe COO David Reeves and GameStop’s Chris Petrovic – but even here they will be talking about how their businesses and practices are changing in order to exploit their content in new areas.

Other star speakers include Q Entertainment boss Shuji Utsumi, Playfish Europe Studios’ John Earner and Playfire Founder Kieran O’Neill.

HOW CAN I ATTEND?

Contact Jodie.Holdway@intentmedia.co.uk or call her on 01992 535646 to book your place. Tickets cost £269. And hurry – only a handful of seats remain.

ABOUT LGC

Date: November 4th, 2010
Location: BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly

LGC is a focused games industry conference, that runs from 5pm to 8.15pm followed by dinner and networking. Over 200 games industry execs from across the world will be in attendance.

HOW DO I GET THERE?

The London Games Conference takes place at BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly. Closest tube stop is Piccadilly.



SPONSORS



WHO WILL BE THERE?

1C UK
Advance
AGI
APP Generation
Arete Research
AtomBlock
Bad Management
Bastion
Beatshapers
Bigpoint
Bossa Studios
Brand Culture
Bright Black
British Telecom (BT)
Brunel University
Capcom
CD Team
Direct2Drive
Disney Interactive Studios
EA
Easy (EA)
Ecofilmes
Eidos
Entertainment Retailers Association
Eon Productions
Eurogamer TV
Exient
Fancensus
Fidelity Growth Partners Europe
Focus Multimedia
FreeForm London
Gaikai
Game
Gamestop
Gem
GOG (Good Old Games)
Green Man Gaming
Harbottle & Lewis
HMRC
IGN
InComm
Intent Media
Interactive Selection
Invest Quebec
Kemp Little
Koch Media
Konami
Kuju Entertainment
London Venture Partners
Metro
Multiplay
Natural Selection
NC Soft Europe
Offerpal
Olswang
OPM Response
Over Game
Pan Vision
Parker Consulting
Playfish
PlayJam
PlayReplay
Power Challenge
Q Entertainment
SCEE
Screen Digest
Sega
Shardan
Sheridans
Sitel
Sony DADC
Sony DADC Austria
SouthPeak Games
Spikeyty Publishing
Spil Games
Square Enix
Talk Talk Group
Testronic Labs
The Games Tribe
The Hut Group
The Virtual Policy Network
THQ UK
Tower Studios
Two Way Media
Ubisoft
UKIE
Virgin Gaming
Warner Bros
Wiggin
Ztorm

LGC: THE FULL SCHEDULE

5:00 Welcome
Stuart Dinsey – Managing Director, Intent Media

5:02 The Keys to International Success with Online Games
Heiko Hubert – Founder & CEO, Bigpoint

Half of all the internet traffic is already generated by online game sites. Revenues are soaring and companies in the sector are growing exponentially. Being successful with online games means developing a widespread portfolio of Browser Games, Casual Games, Mobile Games and more – as well as offering new possibilities like real-time cross platform multiplayer gaming. Heiko Hubertz will point out the key differences and similarities between Europe and North America and how to achieve global success. The future of online games depends not only on creativity and technology but very much on an excellent business model.

5:25 The Shape of Clouds to Come

A panel of industry leaders and innovators discuss the impact of social networks, online play, advanced mobile devices and cloud technology on the future of the games industry.

Panellists: Shuji Utsumi, CEO, Q Entertainment; Ben Cousins, General Manager, Easy (EA); Kristian Segerstrale, CEO, Playfish; Floris Jans Cuypers, Business Development Director, Spil Games
Chairman: Phil Harrison, Co-Founder & General Partner, London Venture Partners;

6:05 – The Evolution of Retail alongside Digital Distribution and Online Gaming
Ben Keen – Chief Analyst, Screen Digest

New data from specialist research firm Screen Digest will reveal the impact of digital distribution on boxed product sales and a look ahead to predicted trends over the next few years.

6:20 Comfort Break/Coffee

6:35 Different Ways to Play, Different Ways to Pay

How traditional bricks and mortar retailers, digital distributors, developers and publishers are all discussing new ways to find, sell to and retain consumers.

Panellists: Chris Petrovic, Senior Vice President & General Manager, GameStop; Rod Cousens, CEO, Codemasters; Ian Chambers, International Vice President, IGN; Simon Osgood, European Product Development Director, InComm
Chairman: Michael French, Editor-in-Chief, MCV

7:10 Sharpen your Skills
Ian Livingstone – Livingstone-Hope Skills Review

The Government has asked Eidos life president Ian Livingstone to head a review into the skills and training models needed to establish the UK as the destination choice for games production

7:20 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).

Panellists: David Reeves, COO, Capcom Europe; Dave Perry, Co-founder & CEO, Gaikai; Jasper Smith, Founder & CEO, PlayJam; Kieran O’Neill, Co-founder & CEO, Playfire
Chairman: Johnny Minkley, Eurogamer TV

8:00 – The Government and the Games Industry
Ed Vaizey – Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries

The Secretary of State for Culture, Communications and Creative industries closes both LGC 2010 and London Games Festival.

8:13 Closing Remarks
Stuart Dinsey – Managing Director, Intent Media
 
8:15 Networking & Dinner

SPEAKERS CORNER


Between them, they have hundreds of years’ experience in reshaping interactive entertainment – and have generated billions of dollars along the way. Here’s a guide to the key speakers at London Games Conference 2010

Heiko Hubertz – Founder & MD, Bigpoint

Heiko Hubertz is the founder and managing director of Bigpoint, which has offices in Hamburg, Germany and San Francisco. Founded in 2002 in Düsseldorf, Bigpoint has become the world’s largest portal for browser games and ranks among the top three gaming portals worldwide. Some 390 employees from 35 nations make up the Bigpoint team, offering a range of browser-based games that are enjoyed worldwide by well over 150 million registered players and growing. Hubertz’s goal is for browser games to compete against the quality previously only attainable through console or PC games.

Phil Harrison – Co-founder & General Partner, London Venture Partners

Phil Harrison is co-founder of London Venture Partners, a venture capital firm investing in and supporting entrepreneurs in the web, mobile, social and cloud game sectors. He served as a member of the board at Atari from 2008 to 2010 and as president of Worldwide Studios at Sony Computer Entertainment where he was part of the senior leadership team that launched PlayStation from 1992 to 2008. Harrison was the head of product development at Mindscape from 1989 to 1992 and prior to that worked as a consultant game designer and graphic artist.

Shuji Utsumi – CEO & Co-founder, Q Entertainment

Coming from the Sony Corporate team, Shuji has long been at the cutting edge of games. He was one of the founding members of Sony Computer Entertainment America, and later held positions at Sega America heading a product development team. He was a Sega Enterprises executive director, and a managing director of Disney Interactive Asia Pacific. That was all before co-founding Q Entertainment. He has produced games such as Crash Bandicoot (SCEA), Sakura Wars (Sega), and Kingdom Hearts (Buena Vista Games). He is a Hitotsubashi University and a Wharton MBA graduate.

Floris Jan Cuypers – Business Development Director, Spil Games

Floris Jan Cuypers heads up Spil Games’ global business development department, which includes new product incubation, mobile and micropayment products as well as corporate development and strategic partnerships. He started his career as a strategy consultant before taking on various  marketing and business development functions at YouTube for Google, and the Philips Electronics. Spil Games owns and operates a global family of websites dedicated to online games.

Ben Cousins – General Manager, Easy (EA)

Ben Cousins is the General Manager of Easy, a new EA business unit based in Stockholm. This group works 100 per cent on cutting-edge free online games, with Battlefield Heroes, Battleforge and Lord of Ultima already live and several new titles in development. In his 11 year career in the games industry, Cousins has concentrated on digitally delivered titles, making key contributions to PlayStation Home, Battlefield 1943 and many others.

Ben Keen – Chief Analyst, Screen Digest

Ben Keen has been instrumental in building Screen Digest into the world’s premiere research company focusing on the media and entertainment space. Screen Digest has become a primary source of market analysis and insight for many of the biggest communications corporations in the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Under Keen’s management Screen Digest has grown from 13 specialist analysts in 2003 to over 50 in 2010.

Chris Petrovic – Senior Vice President and General Manager, Gamestop

Chris Petrovic serves as GM of GameStop Digital Ventures, the newly created digital strategy, M&A and incubation arm for GameStop, the world’s largest video game retailer. As a member of the company’s senior management team, Petrovic serves as the principal leader of GameStop’s global digital strategy. He is responsible for building on the company’s ongoing efforts to integrate digital initiatives into the company’s multi-channel strategy, as well as overseeing the development and execution of a digital investment and acquisition strategy.

Simon Osgood – European Product Development Director, InComm

Simon Osgood’s technology career began at Hutchison Whampoa H3G, where he worked on strategic projects like the concession roll-out at AS Watson Savers and the UK launch of Pay As You Go. Simon joined InComm Europe in 2006 for the launch of the UK’s first gift card shopping centre programme and most recently has been responsible for the strategic product development of digital content and gaming prepaid cards into UK and European retail.

Ian Chambers – International Vice President, IGN

Ian Chambers is the International vice president and managing director of IGN Entertainment, overseeing IGN.com, Direct2Drive and AskMen.com outside of North America. His experience in building major brands whilst mastering new routes to the consumer has been essential in galvanising IGN’s media and digital distribution businesses. Previously, Chambers worked at EA as a senior manager on the digital distribution team, leading product strategy and delivering the digital revenue plan for the organisation. Key launches included market-shaping content such as FIFA Ultimate Team and Battlefield 1943. Prior to this Chambers was head of digital and relationship marketing at Ubisoft.

Rod Cousens – CEO, Codemasters

Rod Cousens boasts a highly distinguished career spanning 25 years in interactive entertainment. He is currently CEO of Codemasters, a leading developer and publisher for consoles, PC and online platforms. The company has earned a reputation for delivering quality interactive entertainment product through such major blockbusting gaming brands as Dirt, Operation Flashpoint, Brian Lara/Ashes Cricket and the BAFTA Award-winning Race Driver: Grid. The firm also retains the official Formula One game rights and in September 2010 achieved an international No.1 with F1 2010, the first time in almost ten years that an F1 game has topped the UK charts.

Ian Livingstone – Livingstone-Hope Skills Review

Ian Livingstone is life president of Eidos and one of the UK’s founding fathers of interactive games and fiction. In 1975 he co-founded Games Workshop and launched Dungeons & Dragons in Europe. In 1982 he wrote The Warlock of Firetop Mountain with Steve Jackson, the first in the Fighting Fantasy series of interactive gamebooks that sold over 16 million copies in 25 languages. He served as executive chairman of Eidos plc from 1995 until 2002. At Eidos he helped to secure many of the company’s major franchises including Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Hitman.

John Earner – GM European Studios, Playfish

John Earner brings extensive expertise in online gaming to his role as general manager of European studios at Playfish. He oversees operations of the company’s growing portfolio of popular social games developed and maintained in the company’s London and Tromso, Norway branches. Prior to Playfish, Earner was with Sony Computer Entertainment America where he designed the micro-transaction business model for PlayStation Home. He also was a project leader at The Boston Consulting Group, a leading strategy consulting firm, where he focused on online gaming. Before BCG, John was an officer in the United States Navy.

Johnny Minkley – Eurogamer TV

Johnny Minkley is an award-winning journalist who has been writing and speaking about video games for a decade, and playing them for over a quarter of a century. A veteran of consumer and business media, he has worked on numerous leading magazines and websites, and is a regular pundit across radio and TV and in the national press. Minkley is currently a games expert for BBC Radio 1, with regular appearances on The Jo Whiley Show, and editor of Eurogamer TV, producing and presenting video content for Europe’s leading independent gaming website, Eurogamer.

Kieran O’Neill – Co-founder & CEO, Playfire

O’Neill’s Playfire automatically tracks game sessions and scores, recommends new games it thinks players would like and connects them with gamers all over the world. The firm is nacked by worldclass investors including the founders of Skype, Bebo and LoveFilm, David Gardner (EA/Atari) and Chris Deering (SCEE). Prior to Playfire, O’Neill founded one of the first video sharing websites which was acquired in 2007, and co-founded the largest independent PlayStation site, PSU.com.

Jasper Smith – Founder & CEO, PlayJam

Jasper Smith is a pioneer in interactive media and the chairman of General Entertainment and Technology Corp, a broad-based media group with assets in television, film and digital media including Static, PlayJam and Electra Entertainment. Throughout a career spanning 20 years, Smith has founded and developed a number of highly successful businesses that have been hugely influential on TV and digital media. In 1997, Smith established Static 2358 Holdings, owner of the world’s most successful interactive television company PlayJam, and Static Design – a multi award-winning TV design agency. A succession of recent deals with Apple, Sony, Samsung and online gaming platforms
add to its well-established network via millions of digital TV homes around the world and online.

David Reeves – COO, Capcom Europe


David Reeves joined Sony Computer  Entertainment in 1995 where his initial assignment was to set up and manage SCEE (PlayStation) offices in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. After overseeing the launch of PlayStation and firmly establishing the brand in Europe, Reeves moved back to the UK in 1999 to take up the position of senior vice president for sales and marketing. Over the past five years, as EVP pf marketing and sales, Reeves helped secure an 82 per cent market share for the PlayStation brand in PAL territories and had over 102 markets reporting to him. In January 2003 he was promoted to president and COO of SCEE and CEO in 2005. In December 2006 he was promoted to deputy president of SCEI in Tokyo. David retired from SCE in late 2009 and is now COO of Capcom EMEA, based in London.

Dave Perry – Co-founder & CEO, Gaikai


David Perry was the founder and president of Shiny Entertainment for over 12 years and is one of the best-known games industry veterans. In 29 years, Perry has developed or programmed over 100 games across 29 video game platforms.  All told, Perry’s games have totalled over a billion dollars in retail sales. Perry is the CEO and co-founder of Gaikai.com, a company that’s developed a cutting-edge video game streaming technology that allows any Windows game or application to run in any browser with just one click.

Ed Vaizey – Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries

Ed Vaizey was elected as the Member of Parliament for Wantage and Didcot in May 2005. In 2004 he became a political speech writer. Vaizey was Shadow Culture and Creative Industries Minister 2006 to 2010.

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