Tuesday 18th August/... As Edinburgh Interactive drew to a close last Friday, some of the industry’s key decision makers in videogames and interactive entertainment, who attended and participated in the Festival, have been quick to offer high praise for Edinburgh Interactive this year and hail it as a triumphant success for the seventh year running.
Peter Moore, President of EA Sports:
“The Edinburgh Interactive Conference was both thought-provoking and informative. It was a pleasure spending the day with the delegates, as well as the gamers who came along to the interactive exhibit area. Overall it was a great experience and I look forward to lending further support to this wonderful event in the future.”
Ian Livingstone, Life President of Eidos:
“Edinburgh Interactive was a great success because not only did it celebrate games as an art form, it discussed the brave new world of the whole industry. Video games, MMOs, browser games, social network games were all examined from a future perspective by senior industry executives including Peter Moore and Kristian Segerstrale. I don't believe anybody left Edinburgh Interactive without feeling inspired.”
Kristian Segerstrale, CEO & Co-founder of Playfish:
"Inspirational two days with an impressive lineup of speakers and great open debate about some of the most pressing issues about where the industry is heading. Highly recommended!"
Osma Ahvenlampi, Chief Technology Officer of Sulake, publisher of Habbo Hotel:
“The passion to move the industry forwards, rather than delve on past achievements could be felt in the atmosphere of Edinburgh Interactive. Whether your focus is on AAA titles or games of the online kind, large or small, this is an entertainment format forever reinventing itself, and the conference clearly reflects that.”
Ray Maguire, Managing Director of Sony Computer Entertainment UK:
"As always, egos were set aside for some serious discussions on the future of our industry. A great mix of speakers and subjects ensured lively debates which carry on well into the night at various Edinburgh's festival venues."
Ian Kelso, President & CEO of Interactive Ontario Industry Association:
"Edinburgh Interactive was a terrific opportunity for us to meet some of the most creative companies in the UK and tell them about the exciting things that are happening in Ontario. Of course Edinburgh is truly a magnificent city and it was a real plus to be able to enjoy the amazing energy of the greater Edinburgh Festival."
Sean Dromgoole, CEO of Some Research:
“Edinburgh this year really hit its stride. The sessions that stick in my mind were; an eviscerating presentation by Peter Moore recounting how he had restarted EA Sports – without ever slowing down; Kristian Segestrale’s vision of games as a service rather than a product inside social networks and beyond; Kieron O Reilly’s machine gun delivery of how to service communities. I really enjoyed taking part in the debate with Ian Livingstone and Kristian and Peter and Ray Maguire and the shouting and cheering suggested that the audience got in to it as well. The whole event was stitched together by Chris Deering’s mellifluous chairmanship and BHPR’s impeccable event organisation.”
Simon Guild, Chairman of Bigpoint Games:
“Edinburgh Interactive was a great forum to hear and share ideas with a wide range of senior people from the industry.”
Martin Owen, CEO of Smalti:
"A pleasure to be with optimistic people who are passionate about games. A wonderful mix – from young developers to industry seniors – and all happy to talk to each other!”
Rob Seaver, Co-founder and CEO of Vivox:
“The festival was an excellent opportunity to learn about key changes taking place in the game industry, and the challenges and opportunities that we face, from some of the top people in the industry. Informative sessions, lively debate, and a crowd of industry and media heavyweights combined for a great event.”
Nathan Vella, Co-founder & President of Capy Games:
“The Edinburgh Interactive Festival 2009 was a great success for Capy and everyone else in attendance. It effectively combined super-informative talks & industry discussion with great opportunities for us to meet with the awesome UK-based press.”
Kieran O’Neill, Co-founder and Managing Director of Playfire:
“It was my first visit to Edinburgh Interactive this year, and I am well and truly converted into a regular. The intimacy with such an amazing group of people is unlike any other game industry conference I've been to. A highly enjoyable two days!”
Mike Bennett, CEO & Creative Director of Oil:
"Edinburgh interactive festival is the rarest of beasts; major industry players speaking and interacting at an intimate conference, sharing ideas and inspiration. I couldn't recommend it enough."
Anthony Waller, Partner of Olswang:
"Olswang LLP is delighted to have spoken at and participated in the Edinburgh Interactive Festival 2009. Edinburgh Interactive is an excellent opportunity to hear from leading industry players seeking to push the boundaries of games and offers its delegates a window into the future of the industry."
Chris Deering, Chairman of Edinburgh Interactive Festival:
"The Edinburgh Interactive 2009 Conference was our best ever. The all-volunteer content committee pulled together an amazing group of sessions to stimulate our thinking about where the games industry is headed. Delegates came from all over the world including India and China. Peter Moore's opening session on retaging EA Sports into a 24/7/365 Service Business was especially inspiring, as were the analyses by the CEOs of Habbo Hotel, Playfish, Big Point, Vivox, Endemol UK and Playfire.
Ray Maguire won a conference award for Little Big Planet on PS3 and Sony's new EyePet was also screened, as were a whole range of new Wii and 360 games.
As always, the ambiance of Edinburgh at Festival time is contagious for stimulating lateral thinking, and attendees relayed that they were all fired up with ideas as the conference drew to a close on Friday afternoon"
Fred Hasson, one of the founders of Edinburgh Interactive:
“This is the festival’s 7th year, and it continues to offer a unique, affordable, and intimate setting for all sections of the industry, interested parties and the public to come together, to interact and face the future.”
Peter Moore, President of EA Sports opened Edinburgh Interactive with his keynote ‘The Challenge of Reinventing the Iconic Sports Brand Game’. It proved very popular, providing an honest account of how EA SPORTS have revolutionised their outlook – as well as their output – to avoid collapse. Moore then outlined key areas in which the company has focused on improving and expanding the brand, capturing the core audience and captivating the masses.
The Edinburgh Interactive Conference went on to deliver a lively schedule of conference sessions featuring guest speakers including Sean Dromgoole of Some Research, Peter Cowley, Managing Director of Digital Media for Endemol, Kristian Segerstrale, CEO & Co-founder of Playfish among many others.
The Conference ran around the two day free-to-play consumer area and some public screening sessions. Both of these parts drew in a massive public footfall and the publishers involved enjoyed high praise from the consumers for the events.
One consumer, who attended the event, said: “There was loads of things to see and I got to play some great games, the screening room was so packed – I almost had to fight to get in! I will definitely be coming to this next year.”
The festival, which this year celebrated its seventh anniversary, exists to showcase the continued popularity, growth and influence of video games, exploring their cultural impact and look at the future of interactive content.
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.