The annual GameHorizon event is less than 24 hours away, with industry luminaries from the likes of Sony, Microsoft, Epic, Quantic Dream and Realtime Worlds set to attend.
Some 300 games industry members are expected to arrive at the show, which takes place at The Sage centre (pictured) on Tuesday 23 June in Gateshead, England.
Read on for what to expect over the two day conference:
Tuesday 23 June
Following a welcoming address from Conference Director Carri Cunliffe, Eidos Life-President Ian Livingstone will give a brief introductory speech before Realtime Worlds’ CEO David Jones will take the stage to discuss developing a persistent online game world.
Games Investor’s Rick Gibson will follow on with analysis and opinion on how free-to-play (or, ‘freemium’) models are shaping the online space.
Gibson will then chair a panel discussion on the very issue, with David Jones returning to the table and joined by Jolt’s Director of Production Sarah Bryan, Monumental Games CEO Paul Mayze, Jagex’s Head of Business Development Simon Seefeldt, and Bigpoint CCO Nils-Holger Henning.
A lunch break will be followed by an intriguing discussion on the future of 3D stereoscopic console gaming, offered by Blitz Games Studios co-founder Andrew Oliver.
Later on Oliver will return to join a panel discussion on how businesses can fight through the current recession, but before that, attendees will hear from analyst Richard St John, Author of the business guide ‘8 To be Great’.
The recession panel discussion, entitled Survival of the Fittest, is to be chaired by EA Partners Jamil Moledina. Also joining the roundtable will be Eutechnyx’s Business Development Director Darren Jobling, Epic Games’ VP Mark Rein, as well as Alex Carter-Silk, a technology specialist at law firm Speechly Bircham.
Rounding off the day will be Chris Bergstresser, CEO Vector Entertainment, who will discuss the future of MMOs. A poker session will commence shortly after the day’s events have closed.
Wednesday 24 June
Ian Livingstone will open the second day with an introduction, before Splash Damage’s CEO Paul Wedgewood will discuss (possibly alternative) opportunities in becoming a key ‘AAA’ development studio.
Two discussions centred on the future will follow. First up will be Awomo CEO Roger Walkden, who will open his view on the future of digital distribution. Microsoft’s Steve Clayton will then pick up the baton, offering a discussion on future technologies.
Attendees will then hear from Peter Edward, Director of the PlayStation Home Platform Group, who will discuss development opportunities for the platform.
The second day’s single panel discussion will follow on, focusing debate on issues surrounding marketing for self-published IP.
Chairing the panel will be Revolution Software MD Charles Cecil, who will be joined by Team 17 Development Director Martyn Brown, Introversion Managing Director Mark Morris, along with Tag Games' MD Paul Farley.
The BBC’s Head of Interactive Children's TV, Marc Goodchild, will provide the penultimate keynote with a discussion on how games can integrate with, and drive, ‘other' interactive content.
The final keynote will be given by Quantic Dream co-CEO Guillaume de Fondaumiere, who will discuss the studio’s upcoming title Heavy Rain in more detail. Both Ian Livingstone and Carri Cunliffe will round up the two-day event with closing speeches.