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Major New Games Conference Exposes Emerging Opportunities For Developers


Leading figures from the videogames industry's most influential companies are to present at a major conference being held at York Racecourse on Thursday 10 May to discuss emerging opportunities for UK game makers.

One of the world's leading publishers Eidos, casual games specialist MumboJumbo, Introversion and award-winning driving games firm Eutechnyx are just four of the high profile companies providing speakers for the inaugural Northern Exposure conference organised jointly by Codeworks GameHorizon and Game Republic, the support agencies for the games industry in Northern England.

Northern Exposure 07 will explore how the latest developments in the industry - such as the emergence of new technologies, digital distribution methods and the growth of the casual games market - can enable developers to exploit more flexible business models, launch their original IP games directly to market, and put creativity back at the heart of their work.

An impressive set of speakers are lined up, including:

George Bray, Mumbo Jumbo

Mark Morris, Introversion

Lou Fawcett, Eidos

Darren Jobling, Eutechnyx

Charles Cecil, Revolution

Ed Bartlett, IGA Worldwide

Martyn Brown, Team 17

Sean Brennan, Blast Entertainment

Fred Hasson, CEO, Tiga

Imran Ali, Carbon Imagineering

Charles Cecil, founder of Revolution and co-founder of Game Republic, commented: "As the games market becomes ever more hit-driven and the budgets needed to develop these hits escalate, the market will split between 'epic' games that sell at full price to hardcore gamers, and lower price games that appeal to a much broader and potentially much larger audience.

"The wider audience, made up of both core and casual gamers, is growing rapidly due to a widening age demographic, digital distribution opportunities and a lower price point. Northern Exposure 07 concentrates on these emerging opportunities."

Nina Cliff, business development manager of Codeworks GameHorizon, said: "Northern Exposure 07 will give the UK's games community an unmissible chance to find out how they can take advantage of emerging opportunities in the industry from the people and the companies who are already doing it successfully.

"Spiralling development costs and team sizes in recent years have increased the pressures on studios and threatened their creative ethos. Northern Exposure 07 will investigate how - through new business models and platforms - developers can retain that characteristic sense of imagination and still make a profit."

Among the speakers at the conference will be Mark Morris, the outspoken managing director of UK-based independent studio Introversion Software.

Mark will look at how his small but perfectly formed company managed to achieve critical acclaim with the likes of Darwinia and DEFCON, and will look at how other studios can achieve similar success through emerging digital distribution channels.

He said: "The nature of games distribution is changing. The advent of digital distribution has presented the opportunity for any developer to communicate directly with the end users, should they wish. This has presented some interesting new challenges for developers and publishers alike and both groups of people need to change the manner in which they operate in order to embrace the new medium."


Notes for editors

Accompanying photograph shows (from L to R): Charles Cecil, founder of Revolution and co-founder of Game Republic; Carri Cunliffe, manager of GameHorizon; Nina Cliff, business development manager of GameHorizon; and Craig Allbeck, project manager of Game Republic.

Event details

Northern Exposure 07

Date: Thursday 10 May

Venue: York Racecourse, UK


The conference is divided into three main sessions that will explore in detail what is happening in UK game development:

Session 1 - Vision: A global and visionary look at the state of play to date in game development, the current picture, market conditions and future predictions.

Session 2 - Options and opportunities: XBLA, casual games, direct distribution and in game advertising. Getting to the heart of the action from companies who have been there and done it and hopefully made some money!

Session 3 - Business models and revenue: A lively panel debate to discuss all of the issues discussed throughout the day. The panel includes a mixture of developers and publishing giving their views on the future of publishing and other hot topics.

About Codeworks GameHorizon

GameHorizon is an association of North East games development companies whose remit is to strengthen, support and promote the exciting and growing games sector - a sector that creates high-quality jobs and brings vital export revenues to the region. Its members include Newcastle-based Reflections, Eutechnyx and Venom Games of Gateshead, and Atomic Planet of Middlesbrough.

About Game Republic

Game Republic is an Independent Trade Alliance that supports, encourages and promotes video game development in the Yorkshire and Humber region. Its members include Sumo Digital, Revolution, Rockstar Leeds, Kuju and GameSauce.

Media information: Several speakers will be available for press interviews and photographs during Northern Exposure 07. For more invitations and more information please contact:

Lewis Harrison

Codeworks GameHorizon

DD: +44 (0)191 556 1128

M: +44 (0)7867 674 994


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