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Edinburgh Interactive

Conference sessions, games screenings and free game play on offer later this week.

Monday 10th August/... Edinburgh Interactive, part of the Edinburgh Festival, will deliver a lively mix of conference sessions, games screenings and free game play across 13th and 14th August 2009 at Edinburgh Corn Exchange in the heart of Edinburgh. Come along and join us this Thursday and Friday to play some of this year’s biggest titles including Batman: Arkham Asylum and Nintendo’s Wii Sports Resorts among others.

Edinburgh Interactive is an annual festival celebrating the creative culture of interactive entertainment. Delivering a dynamic schedule across a wide range of industry sectors, Edinburgh Interactive also plays host to the Free Play Public Area and Game Screening Sessions, which are an integral part of the Festival.

The Free Play Public Area is for everyone and anyone who has a passion for videogames and fancies coming along to play some of the biggest games of the year for FREE before they even hit the shelves! Already confirmed to be showcased at this year’s Festival is Wii Sports Resort, Batman: Arkham Asylum, EyePet, Toy Story Mania and Disney’s Sing It: Pop Hits among others.

Long-term supporters of the Festival, Gamestation, will also be on hand offering promotions, giveaways and competitions as well as taking pre-orders on any featured games. The Game Screening Sessions supported by Gamestation, will run alongside the Game Play Area, offering previews of this year’s biggest titles.

Edinburgh Interactive attracts people from all walks of life such as conference delegates and industry luminaries from around the world, families, gaming fans, academics, students and national press.

The Edinburgh Interactive Conference is electric with creative energy as the festival enhances networking opportunities and brings attendees back year after year.

Featuring an exciting line-up of high profile industry luminaries such as Peter Moore (EA Sports), Peter Cowley (Endemol), Kristian Segerstrale (Playfish) and Sean Dromgoole (Some Research), the Edinburgh Interactive Conference is the only place to learn about cutting-edge developments in the interactive entertainment sector.

Conference delegates will enjoy a jam-packed two day conference, which will lend plenty of opportunity to share and gain knowledge into new and emerging trends, innovations and opportunities within the interactive industry. Edinburgh Interactive offers delegates a chance to relax and mingle in an intimate environment, which also features a networking drinks reception to round up the first day of the conference.

Chris Deering, Edinburgh Interactive Chairman, said: “Edinburgh Interactive holds a unique place in the heart of the gaming industry. We are delighted to have such broad range of representatives from within the interactive entertainment industry this year. The ethos and personality of Edinburgh Interactive is unlike anything in the global games calendar. It’s rich in content and innovation and provides a unique level playing field on which everyone from CEOs to students mix, talk and enjoy.”

Edinburgh Interactive Conference Schedule

Edinburgh Corn Exchange, 11 Newmarket Road, Edinburgh, EH14 1RJ

Thursday 13th August 2009

10.00 – 10.15 Introduction, Chris Deering, Chairman of Edinburgh Interactive

10.15 – 11.00 Keynote: The Challenge of Reinventing the Iconic Sports Brand Game, Peter Moore, President of EA Sports

A session on how the brand has been reinvigorated through consumer insight, technology innovations, global partnerships and the launch of new product categories.

11.00 – 11.45 The More Things Change, Sean Dromgoole of GameVision & Crawford Christie Managing Director of Arkenford Ltd.

A session that will show not only how the market for games has expanded demographically in the last four years but also where the value now lies within the new market place.

11.45 – 12.30 Sound Only Games, Martin Owen, CEO of Smalti Technology

This session will focus on the power of sound and music on stimulating the imagination.

12.30 – 13.30 Lunch Break

13.30 – 14.15 Lessons from Social Games, Kristian Segerstrale, CEO & Co-founder of Playfish (whose ‘Pet Society’ is one of the leading games on Facebook with 5 million daily players)

A discussion on how social games have experienced explosive growth and are at the forefront of broader industry trends such as free-to-play, games as a service, social game design, user-generated content and digital distribution.

14.15 – 15.00 It’s All in the Browser

Panel: Osma Ahvenlampi, Chief Technology Officer, Sulake Corp (Habbo Hotel), Simon Guild, Chairman of Bigpoint Games, Simon Seefeldt, Head of Business Development of Jagex Ltd (Runescape)

A panel session which will look to answer the secrets to the success of browser-based games.

15.00 – 15.45 Grow Up and Stop Playing with Yourself! Mike Bennett, CEO & Creative Director of Oil

A look at how social media and playable stories can be used to engage and educate young audiences around tough topics.

15.45 – 16.15 Comfort break

16.15 – 16.45 Today’s Games Industry – The Search for Profits, Ed Williams, MD of BMO Capital Markets

A look at the rising development costs and higher licensing fees that games companies are currently experiencing.

16.45 -17.45 What if? Cliona Kirby and Anthony Waller, Partners at Olswang

A look at how tax breaks might apply to video games, now that the main political parties are promising the industry ‘Smarties’ leading up to the next election. Cliona and Anthony will be cross examined by Fred Hasson and Ian Livingstone.

17.45 – 18.30 The Great Debate – This Conference proposes that the Great Age of Big Blockbuster Games is Coming to an End

Panel: Ian Livingstone, Life President of Eidos (Chairman), Peter Moore, President of EA Sports, Ray Maguire, Head of Sony UK, Kristian Segerstrale, CEO & Co-founder of Playfish, Sean Dromgoole, CEO GameVision.

Industry veterans battling it out using the power of speech and argument.

18.30 – 19.00 Edge Award

Friday 14th August 2009

09.45 – 10.00 Welcome Back and Introductions, Chris Deering, Chairman of Edinburgh Interactive

10.00 – 10.45 Let Avatars Speak For Themselves, Rob Seaver, MD of Vivox

This session will look at the business and social implications of adding voice to games. Beyond in-game changes, social networking is extending and moving more of the gaming community to 3rd party sites. How can game developers capitalize on these changes and build stronger more profitable communities.

10.45 – 11.30 Evolution of Branded Games, Peter Cowley, MD of Digital Media, Endemol UK (Big Brother, Deal or no Deal)

Peter Cowley will cover games that support TV shows, the rise of social gaming and the convergence of TV game shows within games.

11.30 – 12.00 Improving the Multiplayer Experience Through Social Technology, Nate Jones Vice President of Corporate and Business Development Turbine, Inc.

A look at the multiple types of virtual environments that exist today, and how among each of these environments, community is key.

12.00 – 12.30 Light snacks and comfort break

12.30 – 13.00 Stop Telling Tales, Margaret Robertson, Industry Consultant

What if someone told you that you could make fans just as happy for a fraction of the effort and cost?

13.00 – 13.45 What Facebook and Twitter can teach us about building online communities around our games? Kieran O’Neill, MD & Co-founder of Playfire

Publishers and developers spend significant amounts of time, money and stress building the online website components to accompany their games. However, as we can learn from the leading lights in the web world, your users may be able to lend a hand

13.45 – 14.00 Summary and Thanks, Chris Deering, Chairman of Edinburgh Interactive

To purchase a delegate pass, please visit www.edinburghinteractivefestival.com.

Press enquiries should be directed to sarah.hartland@bhpr.co.uk


About Edinburgh Interactive 2009

Now celebrating its seventh year, Edinburgh Interactive is powered up to showcase the continued popularity, growth and influence of video games. And this year, the Interactive Festival is more synchronised with the world famous Edinburgh Festival than ever, appealing to the press, public and professionals from film, television and interactive media backgrounds alike, offering a bigger event for delegates, more consumer focusing – an overall spectacle for all.

Edinburgh Interactive 2009 will again host a Free Game Play and Recruitment areas specifically tailored to cater for the public - allowing them access to the latest games and job opportunities in games.

As ever, Edinburgh Interactive wouldn’t be complete without the cornerstones of conferences, keynotes, panel sessions, debates, games screenings and even more people than ever jostling to get through the doors.

Edinburgh Interactive is managed by a committee drawn from all areas of the games industry, including publishers, developers and the two industry trade bodies: The Independent Game Developers Association (TIGA) www.tiga.org and the Entertainment & Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) www.elspa.com.

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