Tandem Events today announced that leading UK games developer Media Molecule, the studio behind multi-award winning LittleBigPlanet, will headline this year’s Develop Conference, which takes place 19– 21 July in Brighton.

Industry luminary Phil Harrison, co-founder and general manager of London Venture Partners, will interview Media Molecule founding directors Alex Evans, Mark Healey and Kareem Ettouney for the conference’s Opening Keynote session: Living Inside a Molecule.

The keynote session brings Harrison’s relationship with Media Molecule full circle: he signed LittleBigPlanet in his former role as president of Sony Studios Worldwide five years ago. Since then, the game has won multiple awards and five Guinness World Records. On Wednesday 20 July at Develop, he’ll be reunited with the team (one of the most creative and innovative in the UK) to share their thoughts about the future and allow us a glimpse into their past. They will discuss everything from their humble beginnings, company culture and latest game, to their acquisition by Sony.

“We’re delighted that Media Molecule is opening the conference this year,” commented Andy Lane, managing director of Tandem Events.“They are the pioneers of user-generated content and remain one of the most creative studios around. It will be fascinating to hear their stories from the trenches– and who better to help them relive their tales than the man who helped them on their way: Phil Harrison.”

Develop Conference passes can be purchased online at: www.developconference.com

Press registration is now open– to apply for a press pass, please email develop@bastion.co.uk

Notes to editors:

About Media Molecule - Media Molecule is a British game developer based in Guilford, Surrey. Founded in 2006 by former Lionhead Studios employees Mark Healey, Alex Evans, Dave Smith and Kareem Ettouney, their vision was to create innovative and creative games for a new generation of consoles, and to do so in a small talented team with a‘family’ vibe.

They won numerous game of the year awards for LittleBigPlanet and worked with SCE Studio Cambridge in the development of LittleBigPlanet for the PlayStation Portable released in 2009.

In March 2010 they were acquired by Sony Computer Entertainment and the PlayStation 3 sequel to LittleBigPlanet, LittleBigPlanet2, was released in January 2011.

Alex Evans Bio: Alex is technical director at Media Molecule. He is universally acknowledged as one of the games industry’s technical innovators. A graduate of Cambridge University, Alex got his first taste of the software industry working at Bullfrog Productions during his holidays. On graduating he joined Lionhead Studios full time and fast became a key member of the team, developing cutting-edge graphics technology for titles such as Black&White, Black&White 2, The Movies and The Room. Alex's technical contributions to the cult PC internet game Live For Speed and Mark Healey's Rag Doll Kung Fu, along with his longstanding links with the demo scene (where he is known as Bluespoon) inspired him to develop games in a small and highly creative environment. In 2006 Alex co-founded Media Molecule with the Rag Doll Kung Fu collaborators Mark Healey, Dave Smith and Kareem Ettouney.

Mark Healey Bio: Mark is creative director at Media Molecule. Mark joined the games industry in 1988 and has established himself as one of the industry’s most multi-talented game developers. His main area of specialisation is art but during his career Mark has coded, designed and contributed to game audio tracks. He formed a new development studio, Media Molecule with the friends who had helped him make Rag Doll Kung Fu such a success: Alex Evans, David Smith and Kareem Ettouney, joined by Chris Lee. The studio’s first game LittleBigPlanet was launched in November 2008.

Kareem Ettouney Bio: Kareem is art director at Media Molecule. Egyptian by birth, Kareem’s work displays exotic cultural influences which make it truly distinctive. The breadth and scope of Kareem’s work reflects his diverse background in interior, graphic, theatre and film set design. Kareem has been absolutely instrumental in the iconic look of Media Molecule’s Little Big Planet franchise.

Phil Harrison Bio: Phil Harrison is co-founder and General Partner of London Venture Partners, the venture capital firm that invests in early-stage companies in the web, mobile, social and cloud computer game sector. Phil was formerly co-founder and President of Worldwide Studios at Sony Computer Entertainment and President and board director of Atari.

About the Develop Conference:

The sixth Develop Conference will take place at the Hilton Metropole in Brighton, UK, from 19 - 21 July 2011. It attracts around 1300 game developers from over 20 different territories and has become firmly established as the leading conference in Europe for games developers. Delegates can apply for conference passes at: www.developconference.com.

Delegates can purchase one, two and three day passes to Develop priced at£330,£565 and£680 respectively. Audio track passes are£280. Indie Dev Day passes are£75

Evolve focuses on how to develop games for new and emerging platforms, new technologies and new markets like social and casual gaming. It opens on Tuesday 19 July then continues with individual sessions within the main conference programme on Wednesday 20 July, which are cross-discipline and have a more general appeal. 

Indie Dev Day the new day-long conference and networking event running alongside Develop is designed for established independent studios, new start-ups, wannabe indies, freelance developers and students. The sessions will complement the brand new Indie Dev Showcase: a dedicated area within the Develop Expo (20 - 21 July) featuring some of the exciting and new indie projects currently under development.

Games:Edu is a one-day conference taking place on Wednesday 20 July alongside Develop, which brings together the UK's foremost educators from across all disciplines to connect directly with developers and games producers, to exchange ideas and perspectives.

About Tandem Events:

Tandem Events has over 20 years of experience in organising market-leading exhibitions, conferences and events across a number of industry sectors, including Develop and Evolve in Brighton, Evolve in London, Develop in Liverpool, Games:EDU, Games Marketing Forum and Games Grads.


Games PressGames Press is the leading online resource for games journalists. Used daily by magazines, newspapers, TV, radio, online media and retailers worldwide, it offers a vast, constantly updated archive of press releases and assets, and is the simplest and most cost-effective way for PR professionals to reach the widest possible audience. Registration for the site and the Games Press email digest is available, to the trade only, at www.gamespress.com.