UTRECHT – March 29, 2011 – Looking back and forward has never been so entertaining and informative at the same time. During the Festival of Games on April 28 & 29, Mary Bihr, female industry veteran at LucasArts, will discuss what it takes to build one of the world’s most beloved brands - Star Wars® - in the videogame industry. Meanwhile Ed Barton, Senior Analyst at IHS Screen Digest, will take a data-driven look at how the games sector is making the jump from a packaged product-based business to a digital-led opportunity, examining the opportunities and evolutionary hurdles the sector faces during this transition.
Mary Bihr has been credited in a number of titles including massive franchises such as Indiana Jones ® and the Last Crusade ™, The Secret of Monkey Island ®, and Star Wars ®: The Force Unleashed ™, As Vice President of Global Publishing for Lucasfilm’s videogame arm, Mary oversees LucasArts' worldwide publishing initiatives.
Since its early days, the vision of LucasArts has always been to create interactive entertainment experiences that surprise, amaze, and inspire. When Mary first joined the company, she helped bring to market early adventure games including The Secret of Monkey Island franchise and the first two Star Wars franchises, X-Wing ® and Rebel Assault ®. She oversaw the preparation of marketing materials for worldwide use and served on the IDSA committee that standardized PC packaging in the United States. She launched the first CD ROM and “talkie” games, the first Indiana Jones games, and the first games to debut on the IBM, Nintendo, Sega, Sony and Microsoft console platforms.
Being at the company from 1988 and helping establish the marketing department, Mary has seen it all unfold for one of the most famous entertainment companies in the world. In her session during the Festival of Games, Mary will discuss the company’s history in the videogame industry. With more than 20 years at the company she has seen all ups and downs and will discuss current industry trends LucasArts is currently following.
With an overview of the history of the unrivaled success of LucasArts, an important part of gaming history is covered at the Conference. Ed Barton, Senior Analyst with the games team at IHS Screen Digest will focus on the future of a fast-evolving games industry.
Ed is part of a team which models and forecasts key developments impacting the games industry including consumer spending on games hardware and packaged games, the many facets of digital distribution and the evolution of traditional games publishers. He will present the latest transitional forecasts from IHS Screen Digest detailing how the sector is moving from a packaged product business to a more digital-led and service-delivered opportunity.
Today gamers have more platforms on which to play games and more ways in which to purchase games content than ever before. As a result, games makers, publishers and technology operators have to adopt clear and informed strategies to navigate a commercial opportunity which is becoming increasingly fragmented. Ed’s presentation will set out how the games industry is dealing with this conundrum today and offer a view of how the industry will evolve.
Ed has worked for IHS Screen Digest for just over a decade and has worked closely with the senior management of some of the world’s leading games publishers, hardware manufacturers and media companies. In his presentation he will draw extensively on IHS Screen Digest’s market data and forecasts in order to quantify the decline of the packaged games market and the opportunities presented by digital distribution including direct-to-consumer strategies used by online-enabled console manufacturers, smart phone gaming, games streaming and social gaming. Ed will also assess the efforts of leading traditional games publishers in dealing with a fast evolving market.
THE FESTIVAL OF GAMES
The Festival of Games takes place on April 28-29, 2011, at the Jaarbeurs Utrecht in the Netherlands. The 2010 event attracted over 2000 visitors, with 180 companies from 25 countries.
The Festival of Games is the most effective games industry event, that combines a conference, the international matchmaking event called Pitch & Match, a business Expo for trade visitors, and the largest games industry Career Fair of Europe. The Conference in 2011 is powered by GamesIndustry.biz and Gamer.nl
With the 2011 edition entitled "Games Anywhere", the Festival of Games will be all about how the eruption of games in every sector of the consumer market has interacted with the videogames business. The two-day Conference on April 28-29 will have a strong focus on convergence and transmedia, with the speakers Al Lowe, creator of Leisure Suit Larry, Patrick Liu, producer at EA DICE, Tom DuBois, Executive producer at OnLive, Nils-Holger Henning, CCO of Bigpoint, Dan Winters, VP Developer Relations of Activision, Nicholas Francis, co-founder of Unity, Jurian van der Meer, Managing Director of Endemol Games and Scott Steinberg CEO of Techsavvy Global recently announced.
The Festival of Games is organized by the NLGD Foundation and is made possible by the Dutch ministry of Economic Affairs, the province of Utrecht and the city of Utrecht.
LucasArts and the LucasArts logo are trademarks of Lucasfilm Ltd. © 2011 Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd. or Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM as indicated. All rights reserved.
Not for publication
For more information please contact:
Mr. Fedor van Herpen
Marketing & Sales Manager
Festival of Games
Tel: +31 (0)6 – 12 42 68 84