Fiona Sperry and Andrew Tilling to keynote European Women in Games Conference in September.

PRESS RELEASE:  Thursday 4 th August

Women In Games Jobs is delighted to announce Fiona Sperry, Studio Director and VP, EA Criterion Games and Professional Career Coach, Andrew Tilling of Preseli Partnerships are to keynote the European Women in Games Conference taking place on September 22 nd at the NH Harrington Hall Hotel, Gloucester Road, London.

David Smith, founder of Women in Games Jobs said,

“This year’s conference is focused on career development and will reveal some secrets of success from the very best speakers working in this creative industry. We hope both Fiona and Andrew will inspire those attending - helping us to recruit into and retain more women in this male dominated video games industry.”

Fiona Sperry's insights will be shared in her talk How to drive on the wrong side of the road – a career in games development.” While Andrew Tilling, with over 20 years’ experience in helping people use creative thinking to expand their level of influence and make a real difference, will focus on “How to move your career forward - knowing what you want is often the first step to getting ahead, but what comes next?”

A must attend event for women seeking to further their career or enter into the video games industry. To register visit http://wigconference2011.eventbrite.com/ for your early bird discounted ticket.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Keynote Speaker Profiles

Fiona Sperry, Studio Director and VP, EA Criterion Games

After graduating from University College London with a History degree, Fiona joined the burgeoning world of electronic publishing and multimedia in 1991 at publishing giant McGraw Hill.

She joined the games industry in 1997 in the middle of the PlayStation explosion, working for what was then called Criterion Software, owned by Japanese company Canon. She directed and produced the company's launch title for the Sega Dreamcast, the futuristic racing game "Trickstyle" published by Acclaim Entertainment. Fiona took over running the videogames division in 1999, renaming them as Criterion Games and moving the company into mainstream console game development.

As Sony launched the PlayStation2, Fiona was at the head of two development teams. One producing a new game for Sony Computer Entertainment "Airblade" and a new racing game called "Burnout" for Acclaim Entertainment. The "Burnout" franchise grew to be one of the world's leading racing titles and has since spawned six successful sequels. In 2004, the company was fully acquired by Electronic Arts. One year after acquisition, Fiona took the role of General Manager of Electronic Arts Europe, and oversaw the development of games such as "Burnout Revenge", "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire “and new Criterion Games IP, first person shooting game "Black."

In 2007 Fiona returned to the helm of Criterion Games, directing the development of "Burnout Paradise." The game achieved global success and is best known for its powerful open ended game design, pioneering use of social and online play and industry leading use of digital publishing and year long release of downloadable content.

In 2009, Criterion took on EA's "Need For Speed" franchise and her latest game is the BAFTA award winning "Need For Speed Hot Pursuit." This game won widespread critical acclaim and commercial success for its innovative friends-based online technology, known as Autolog.

Andrew Tilling, Preseli Partnerships, Professional Career Coach

Andrew Tilling is a coach with 20 years’ experience in helping people use creative thinking to expand their level of influence and make a real difference. Armed with a comprehensive problem solving tool kit, Andrew has supported innovation with a broad range of clients including UCA and the University of Surrey, campaigning organisations like Amnesty International and Friends of the Earth and community projects like The Barn in Farnham, a creative arts club and social enterprise. He is the founder of the Preseli Partnerships, providing team coaching to organisations looking to use creativity to achieve growth, coupled with measurable impact in the world.

About Women in Games Jobs

Women in Games Jobs (WIGJ) is a “not for profit” company that works to recruit more women into the games industry by promoting role models and giving encouragement and information to those women seeking to work in games. It also campaigns to make the games industry a more attractive field for women, both for new entrants and to retain women already working in the industry.

Founded by David Smith, MD of international recruiter Interactive Selection in August 2009, WIGJ has over 2500 supporters.  WIGJ is advised by high profile industry women including former European Publisher MD’s Jo Goodson and Alison Cressey, and Sony Production Lead Ali Bergstrom – Allen.  Additional Advisory Board members include Geraldine Cross of Blitz Games, Louise Murray of Microsoft, Fiona Sperry of EA Criterion and Giselle Stuart of Ubisoft Reflections.  


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