Tandem Events today announced that leaders of Sony Computer Entertainment's development and publishing teams will headline this year’s Develop in Liverpool Conference, which takes place on 24 November.

The Studio Leadership Team, including Michael Denny, John Rostron, Graeme Ankers and Matt Southern will be interviewed for the conference’s Opening Keynote session: Sony Talks Strategy, Creativity and Innovation.

Sony will discuss the challenges they’ve overcome in the past, issues they are currently facing and, of course, how they see their future in games development.

Topics raised with the Sony team will include:

  • PlayStation's casual and digital strategy
  • Differentiating the Vita from other handhelds
  • Keeping the casual and social market audiences engaged in console gaming
  • The technological advances from outside games they feel have influenced our industry
”Our team is looking forward to discussing our current strategy to continue push forward innovation and creativity, as well as reminiscing about our rich history in Liverpool and the UK.” Said Michael Denny, Senior Vice President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, Europe.

“The UK has always been a hotbed of creative talent and nowhere more so than in the North West: from the early days of Psygnosis, through to today's indie developers,” commented Andy Lane, managing director of organiser Tandem Events. “Sony is a major force within the games industry and in Liverpool itself, so it's great that we've got a mix of senior execs who are happy to share their views with the wider developer community. Whether you're an established developer, an indie start-up, or anywhere in between, this session is sure to be both enlightening and thought-provoking.”

Develop in Liverpool conference passes can be purchased at the special early bird rate of £235 before 28 October at:

Notes to editors:

Michael Denny Bio: Michael Denny is Senior Vice President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios | Europe, heading up the company's game development operations in Europe.  Responsibilities include managing all internal studios and externally developed first party productions.  Michael shapes and guides the European product development plans in areas including strategic and business planning and product focus.

SCE Worldwide Studios is a global network of 16 studios, 7 of which are located in Europe – SCE London, SCE Liverpool, SCE Cambridge, Evolution, BigBig, Media Molecule and Guerrilla in Amsterdam.  The European operation also has a thriving External Development studio tasked with bringing the best independently developed titles exclusively to PlayStation consoles. Operating with the remit of growing and strengthening the PlayStation brand, SCE Worldwide Studios aims to make games accessible to an ever broadening and diverse audience, as well as creating exciting and challenging titles which appeal to the traditional gaming market.  The company’s studios and development partners are responsible for creating some of the most recognisable and ambitious titles of recent years, including, SingStar, Buzz!, Invizimals, MotorStorm, LittleBigPlanet, Killzone and Heavy Rain.

John Rostron Bio: John Rostron is the Senior Director of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's external development department - XDev Studio Europe, with responsibility for all externally developed gaming titles across Europe and Australia.  John is also responsible for LittleBigPlanet creator Media Molecule. Prior to joining SCEE, John founded Electronic Arts North West Studio and was also Executive Producer for their Formula 1 franchise. John has also held Executive Producer and Head Producer roles at Sony Psygnosis with responsibility for all internally and externally developed titles. Notable career achievements include 8 BAFTA's and an additional 4 BAFTA nominations, 11 Academy Of Interactive Arts & Sciences awards, 4 Develop Game Of the Year awards and the 2010 Develop award for Business Development, for franchises such as LittleBigPlanet, Heavy Rain, Buzz, Killzone 2 and MotorStorm.

Graeme Ankers Bio: Graeme Ankers is Executive Game Director of Sony Computer Entertainment's Studio Liverpool in Europe. His responsibilities include managing franchises, game development and direction of Studio Liverpool. Graeme joined Sony Computer Entertainment in 2002 and has been Game Director on a number of major Playstation exclusive franchises, including Formula 1 between 2003 and 2007 and WipEout. Formula 1 was a key Playstation 3 launch title and the latest WipEout game is set to become a pillar title for the launch of Playstation Vita. Prior to joining Studio Liverpool Graeme worked on a number of Key franchises developed in the North West of England, including Fifa, Rugrats and The Simpsons.

Matt Southern Bio: Matt Southern is Group Game Director, Evolution Studios Matt joined Evolution Studios in 2004 without a specific role after four years collaborating with the games industry at Liverpool John Moores University, where he prototyped learning games with Criterion and NESTA, and lectured on a pioneering Master’s Degree in Digital Games. After working as Assistant Producer of WRC4 and Producer of WRC Rally Evolved, he divided his time between Lead on new IP projects and internal Product Manager for the marketing of MotorStorm. He was appointed Game Director in 2007 and delivered MotorStorm Apocalypse in 2011. Currently the Group Game Director with several embryonic projects in development, he has spoken at dozens of conferences around the world, particularly focusing on liaison with scholars and discussing the cultural status of videogames.

About the Develop Conference:

The seventh Develop in Brighton Conference will take place from 10 – 12 July 2012. The 2011 event attracted around 1500 game developers from over 30 different territories and has become firmly established as the leading conference for European games developers. The sister event to Brighton - Develop in Liverpool will take place in Liverpool on Thursday 24 November 2011. Early Bird Discount ends 28 October. Delegates can apply for conference passes at:

About Indie Dev Day:

Indie Dev Day is a conference and networking event running alongside Develop in Liverpool designed for established independent studios, new start-ups, wannabe indies, freelance developers and students. Indie Dev Day was successfully launched at Develop in Brighton 2011. For more info and to book passes go to:

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 Evolve in London on 8 December 2010, Develop in Brighton, Develop in Liverpool, Evolve in Brighton, GAMES:EDU, Games Marketing Forum and Games Grads.


For more information or to apply for a Press Pass please contact:

Ali Fearnley T: 020 7405 4500  E:

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