ENDEMOL'S PETER COWLEY CONFIRMED FOR EDINBURGH INTERACTIVE FESTIVAL 2009

Friday 22nd May/... Edinburgh Interactive Festival today announced that Peter Cowley, Managing Director of Digital Media for Endemol UK, will present a session at this year’s conference.

Cowley is delivering a session titled:‘Evolution of TV Branded Games’– a subject he’s well versed on. Endemol has established itself as a global leader in entertainment programming, becoming the largest independent TV, cross platform and digital distribution company worldwide. Their recent history boasts TV hits such as Big Brother, Deal or No Deal and Wipeout. They’ve recently teamed up with Microsoft to bring the hit game show 1 vs. 100 to Xbox Live Primetime for the first time in console history.

In his session, Cowley will cover games that support TV shows, the rise of social gaming and the convergence of TV game shows within games. The session will be followed with a moderated Q&A, in which the audience can put questions to Cowley on the theme of TV production and gaming.

Also scheduled to speak at this year’s conference are Ed Williams, Managing Director of BMO Capital Markets and Paul Taylor, CEO of Phonetic Arts.

Williams’ session,‘Today’s Games Industry– The Search for Profits’ will look at the rising development costs and higher licensing fees that games companies are currently experiencing. To offset these challenges, many publishers are looking at new revenue streams and alternative business models to reach higher profit margins. Williams will refer to case studies, offering an insightful look at how publishers can increase profit margins.

Paul Taylor, CEO of Phonetic Arts, will focus on recent advances in speech technology. Showing how a modern approach to text-to-speech synthesis can create an illusion of realism and production of entirely convincing lip-sync.

Severe resource issues plague standard syncing practices employed in today’s games - such as restricted memory limitations, budgets and time constraints– often resulting in limited speech implementation. Taylor will describe how a modern text-to-speech synthesis can be used to generate practically endless lines of dialogue in response to action taking place within the game.

Wendy Rosenthal, Director of Edinburgh Interactive Festival, said“I am really excited about this year’s line-up. Once again, we have an impressive list of quality speakers covering a number of relevant, timely and occasionally, controversial subjects. It should make for an engaging and thought provoking two days.

“Each year, the Edinburgh Interactive Festival’s diverse programme attracts a bigger audience representing a broad range of industries. People are quickly learning to appreciate the importance of incorporating both interactive gaming and media into their products and marketing. There is no other games conference in the world that provides this level of depth and relevant content.”

Early bird discounts are available on delegate passes until Friday 29th May 2009.

The Edinburgh Interactive Festival 2009 industry conference will run on Thursday 13th and Friday 14th August. The public showcase will run over Friday 14th and Saturday 15th August.

To purchase a delegate pass, download the booking form www.edinburghinteractivefestival.com

If you would like receive more details about partnership opportunities available for this year’s festival contact jodie.holdway@edinburghinteractivefestival.com

Press enquiries should be directed to sarah.hartland@bhpr.co.uk or tom.sargent@bhpr.co.uk

Ends.

About Edinburgh Interactive Festival 2009

Now celebrating its seventh year, the Edinburgh Interactive Festival is powered up to showcase the continued popularity, growth and influence of video games. And this year, the Interactive Festival is more synchronised with the world famous Edinburgh Festival than ever, appealing to the press, public and professionals from film, television and interactive media backgrounds alike, offering a bigger event for delegates, more consumer focusing– an overall spectacle for all.

The Edinburgh Interactive Festival 2009 will again host a Free Game Play and Recruitment areas specifically tailored to cater for the public - allowing them access to the latest games and job opportunities in games.

As ever, the Interactive Festival wouldn’t be complete without the cornerstones of conferences, keynotes, panel sessions, debates, games screenings and even more people than ever jostling to get through the doors.

The Edinburgh Interactive Festival is managed by a committee drawn from all areas of the games industry, including publishers, developers and the two industry trade bodies: The Independent Game Developers Association (TIGA) www.tiga.org and the Entertainment&Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) www.elspa.com.


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