Develop:Brighton begins tomorrow!

Develop:Brighton, organised by Tandem Events, will be returning to the Hilton Brighton Metropole from Tuesday 26 to Thursday 28 October 2021.

Tandem Events is expecting around 3,000 game developers to come down for three days of learning, networking and fun by the sea.

And while they’re down there, there’s plenty to keep them occupied. Such as the host of keynote speakers for this year’s event. Keynote speakers such as Team17’s Debbie Bestwick, who we caught up with ahead of our trip to Brighton tomorrow.

“The title of the keynote is ‘The Spirit of Independence: Challenges and Inspiration From Three Decades at the Top’,” Bestwick told us. “After 30+ years in games with over 120 games created and launched, how you manage the ups and downs of that journey?

“The keynote will discuss signing amazing games, building franchises, and transforming a business; it’ll be about helping build the studios of tomorrow and taking the UK stock market by storm by quadrupling share prices within two years and winning entrepreneur of the year of the UK AIM stock market in 2020. It’ll be about putting gaming first as one of the only female founders of a games listed company in the world today.”

Bestwick isn’t alone, however. Other keynote speakers include a fireside chat with Insomniac Games president and founder Ted Price. The president of the Marvel’s Spider-Man and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart developer will answer questions about Insomniac’s approach to game development in an increasingly unpredictable world, and will share lessons learned over the studio’s decades-long history of making blockbuster titles.

There’s also over 100 speakers planned for the event – including the likes of Inkle’s Jon Ingold, who will be speaking on “Being Boring: How Less Innovation Made Overboard! a Hit.” We spoke to Ingold about their surprise release strategy with Overboard!, and we can definitely tell you that this is not one to miss.

There’s also talks from Hutch’s Shaun Rutland and Playmint’s David Amor (we also spoke to Hutch recently about healthy leadership in the games industry), discussing the sale of Hutch to MTG Group.

It isn’t all talks, however. The Develop:Brighton Indie Showcase returns this year, seeking to find the “hottest new indie game.” The showcase offers up-and-coming developers the opportunity to showcase their games, and will feature 10 ten independently developed games unpublished by a third party, shortlisted by a panel of experts.

Delegates will have the chance to play all ten games, one of which will go on to be judged overall Indie Showcase winner. All delegates have a chance to vote for their favourite game in the Showcase via a “People’s Choice” ballot at the event. Winners will be announced in the last session of the conference – 5pm on Thursday28 October in Room 3

Develop:Brighton will also see the return of much anticipated networking opportunities, from the formal meeting planner – Meet@Develop – to the many afterhours social events including the Develop:Star Awards on the Wednesday evening.

“We are excited to be bringing the industry its first major opportunity to reconnect, share and learn together after a year apart,” says Andy Lane, Managing Director at organisers Tandem Events. “I am also looking forward to seeing how these incredible developers have continued to grow and innovate as teams – despite working remotely – to create some of the industry’s most interesting and unique projects.”

Tickets are available now.



About Chris Wallace

Chris is MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer, joining the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can regrettably be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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