Xbox creator headlining Edinburgh festival

Seamus Blackley to keynote EIF 2012

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.

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