Edinburgh announces keynote speakers

The man behind Xbox will be amongst the headline acts at this year’s Edinburgh Interactive Festival.

Seamus Blackley will give a talk on ‘the future of fun’ at this year’s event, which will be his only European appearance this year.

As well as setting the proposal for Xbox, Blackley has also worked with Bill Gates and Steven Spielberg, he has designed and programmed video games, worked as the head of the Creative Artists Agency’s video game division and is currently president and founder of mobile and digital studio Innovative Leisure.

Joining Blackley on the bill is Google’s UK industry leader Warren Mills. His talk will discuss how users are interacting with their platforms across search, YouTube and mobile from pre-launch of a game to the arrival of DLC.

Mills joined Google from Bauer Media in October last year and works alongside games publishers and movie studio’s to develop advertising initiatives across Google’s network.

Tickets for Edinburgh Interactive are available for 229 (+ VAT) via the firm’s website. Reduced rates are available for Scottish developers.

Your talk is the ‘future of fun’. What is the future of fun?
The future of fun is the same as it was in the past and the present. It is great gameplay. It always amazes me when people realise it all comes back to gameplay. The industry goes in cycles. We try new consoles, new business models. We try gimmicks that turn out not to work, and then we realise that what works is great gameplay. It’s like a spouse’s birthday, it is the same time every year but you still forget it. It is always about gameplay.

What makes Edinburgh a good outlet for this message?
Edinburgh is special because it takes place during the wider festival. I think that’s great because games are part of the wider entertainment industry. Edinburgh is fantastic, and I feel very at home there. It’s an event that lets you talk through issues from a creative perspective rather than a business one. It’s a place specifically about arts.

It is an event about creating content, not how to sell it.
Any business model will work as long as you have the content. Think with consoles, with the cost of the console, the game, the TV, consumers are spending $800 to $900 to play a game. That’s incredible. It is the medium that pulls people through the business models and not the other way around.

Why should people come and listen to your talk at Edinburgh Interactive?
Google have identified the gaming product lifecycle and how users are interacting with our platforms across search, YouTube and mobile from pre-launch through to DLC. Google’s platforms give gamers the opportunity to research, discover and share gaming content, all of these factors are increasingly impacting gamers purchase decisions throughout a products lifecycle.

What makes the talk you’re giving relevant to today’s market?
Google are in a unique position as we have insight to trends showing how users consume content across our platforms, this allows us to guide and recommend opportunities to publishers and developers so they can deploy their content when users are more likely to respond and take action.

What makes Edinburgh Interactive the ideal place for your keynote?
It’s an opportunity for the industry to share key learning’s and best practice.
My keynote will look to provide valuable insight and examples into how digital consumers are not only researching and
discovering new content.
If we can begin to understand the users path to content discovery and how this impacts purchase decisions we are then able to build integrated marketing campaigns.

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