The third London Games Conference is just over three weeks away (10 November, One Wimpole Street). 300 of the games industry elite are expected to be out in force and organiser Intent Media has announced 10 reasons why it's a must-attend event for anyone and everyone in the games industry.
1. It's the London Games Conference
10 November marks the third outing for LGC, which debuted in 2009. In just a short space of time it has become a key event on the industry calendar, covering the hot issues surrounding digital distribution and online games. 200 delegates attended the last two events. They were there to learn more about online games and its impact on the traditional market – and also speak with their peers and contemporaries at the dinner and networking afterwards.
2. It's an even better London Games Conference
In 2011 the London Games Conference is bigger and better than ever, starting with a new venue – One Wimpole Street, which is larger, brighter, roomier and comfier. The venue also features delegate voting for interactive sessions.
Intent Media has also added an hour to the conference schedule, offering delegates even more for their money without putting the price up. But, even broader, the conference agenda has evolved, too. The remit of what will be covered isn’t just ‘understanding digital’ anymore – the industry is now deep in the midst of the transition and LGC's progressive high-profile speakers will share advice and insight on what their strategy is.
3. Jason Holtman
This entry could, in theory, end with that name alone. Jason Holtman. Jason runs Steam, the most popular and influential digital distribution platform for games. Everyone who’s everyone is on Steam - and that means publishers, developers… or consumers. He’s coming all the way from Seattle to deliver LGC 2011's closing keynote.
4. The big numbers
A conference isn’t a conference without sessions featuring Very Clever People taking delegates through huge amounts of market data. LGC is no different. Its speakers have promised to bring with them reams of statistics. Nick Parker, for instance, will run through his guide to the five events that will reshape video games, using data from Screen Digest.
5. Interactive sessions
One Wimpole Street gives LGC the chance to add a brand new element: interactive sessions. In-chair handsets allow the audience to vote and contribute to big chunks of the day’s proceedings. There will be two interactive sessions.
The first is a debate on the future of video games. In the red corner is Ian Livingstone, life president of Eidos. In the blue: Lionhead’s Peter Molyneux. They will together debate what they think the future of games will be – and you’ll get to pick a winner from their exciting, innovative, and maybe even outlandish suggestions.
The second plans to be a searing look at the Winners and Losers of the digital transition. GamesBrief’s Nicholas Lovell will name the eight companies he thinks are either heroes or zeroes in online games. Sacred cows promise to be slain, and unsung heroes heralded. Most crucially he’ll be canvassing the audience as to whether they agree with his views or not. All voting is anonymous, and it’s really easy to do.
6. The delegates are decision makers
300 games industry execs will be in the room for London Games Conference – all of them influential.
Registered attendees include publishers, developers, digital distributors, physical distributors, analysts, retailers, lawyers, service companies, media and even politicians and policy makers.
7. Challenging issues debated and dissected
London Games Conference focuses on the hottest issues that face video games in the internet age.
Hot topic cloud gaming will be dissected by OnLive CTO Tom Paquin. He co-invented some of the most-used parts of web (Firefox? Cookies? Thank this man for those) so his views on streaming games is more than just an educated guess.
Elsewhere, London School of Economics’ Professor Peter Sommer looks at security of online networks. The timing couldn’t be better – 2011 has been a year dominated by mainstream security scandals like Wikileaks, phone hacking, the increasing power of ‘digital terrorists’ Anonymous… and the infamous PSN breach.
Last but not least is an address from UK?Music CEO Feargal Sharkey – perhaps better known to many as the former Undertones frontman. He plans to outline the problems the music industry faced with going online, and how games companies can avoid the same mistakes.
8. Top developes will share their secrets
Of course, the truth about the online world is this: the traditional companies didn’t get there first. It was the cutting edge developers that did. So, for one session, we hand over to some of the grand innovators in digital games to offer short and snappy mini-keynotes on how they did it.
- PopCap, the firm responsible for some of the most iconic casual games ever produced such as Bejewelled, Plants vs Zombies and Peggle;
- GoG.com, which is one of the biggest digital distributors for games and has built an audience of passionate fans buying back catalogue games not locked up with DRM;
- Miniclip, the popular kids portal which has amassed a huge youth following and hosts some of the most iconic online games.
9. Leading retailers Gamestop is going to be there
Some?retailers have been pretty shy about the transition to digital. Except GameStop, which has actively embraced online disruption.
And the global chain’s EVP international Mike Mauler is our opening keynote, hosting a session called Driving Digital Growth: The Role of Specialty Retail.
GameStop has been hugely proactive into digital content, adding in-store DLC sales, buying two digital games firms – download firm Impulse and cloud gaming experts Spawn – and plans to make its own tablets. It also owns casual games site Kongregate and recently opened a UK website to sell games through mail order.
So the firm will have lots of say and share about how it has grown its digital business and maintained an edge as a specialist retailer – and you’ll get to hear that in the opening moments of the London Games Conference.
10. …and so is Sega
UK?MD John Clark plans to share his experience and insight at LGC. His session will look at the lessons learned by Sega as the publisher made an active push to embrace digital sales – he also promises to run through how the publisher’s key franchises have benefitted from the online revolution.
If, after all that, you would like to attend London Games Conference and be among those 300 games industry elite, simply email Hannah.Short@intentmedia.co.uk or phone 01992 535647. Delegate tickets cost £269 – and there are only a limited number left.