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"Interactivity is the future" — Jackson

ELSPA chief Paul Jackson gave a bullish keynote at the London Game Career Fair (LGCF) on the future of the games industry this afternoon, while throwing in anecdotes from his EA past.

ELSPA chief Paul Jackson gave a bullish keynote at the London Game Career Fair (LGCF) on the future of the games industry this afternoon, while throwing in anecdotes from his EA past.

"The interactive industry in all its forms is the future," said Jackson.

"We export twice as much in revenue from games as we do from films. We're still figuring out how to be good. The consolidation hasn't happened yet and there are new start-ups coming along every day."

Jackson's presentation was watched by a crammed audience full of those looking for the first steps on their career in the games industry, during which he used examples of his time as VP of northern Europe of EA to highlight his view that, "I'm not sure I agree there's a lack of originality in the videogames field."

"You need to give the consumer what they want and try and drive that into new forms of entertainment," he said. "That's very difficult, because people don't generally know what they want until you give it to them. A classic example is the Sims. I first forecast it for 60,000 units. The original concept of the Sims was to create a virtual dolls house. We simply didn't know what we had."

Jackson's presence at LGCF started a second day on what has been a highly successful inaugural event at London's Cafî Royal on Regent Street. Yesterday saw more than 600 people interested in jobs in the games industry through the doors, to be greeted by a sell-out show from developers and publishers.

As with all the speakers, Jackson was keen to give heartfelt advice to an eager crowd.

"Never be shy in coming forwards," he said. "I think there's a very British trait of sitting there and thinking, 'Oh it's fine, they know I've done a good job.' That's really nice, but it's not just true. You don't have to shout, but you have to make it clear when you've been successful."

The London Game Career Fair concludes this evening.

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