Game Republic partners with Interface 2016

Interface logo blockGame Republic is partnering with the upcoming Interface 2016 event on Thursday 5th May in London.

Interface 2016 is a unique event from industry publications Develop and MCV and will showcase the hottest talent from the games industry, where over 350 publishers, developers and investors from the sector will meet up to enjoy talks, pitching, private meetings and networking.

Featured speakers include Mike Bithell (Mike Bithell Games), Dan Pinchbeck (The Chinese Room), Debbie Bestwick (Team17) and Charles Cecil (Revolution) as well as key publishers and industry contacts including All 4 Games, KISS and Unity. Game Republic members also receive a 10% discount – hit the website for more information.

Game Republic Makes Real and Virtual Connections at GDC 2016

IMG_8184Over 27,000 visitors went to the 20th Game Developers Conference 2016 (GDC) in San Francisco, USA last week from 14th – 18th March. It was the biggest GDC event yet with more exhibitors, more attendees, more tech and more games to see and play than ever before.

Numbers were boosted by Game Republic’s contribution – leading a UK Trade & Investment “Northern Powerhouse” mission to the show and appearing on the superb Ukie stand at the GDC Expo (pictured above).

UKTI and GR took more than 40 companies from across Yorkshire and the North of England (as well as a few smuggled in from the West Midlands) to the event to meet with major publishers and platform-holders, including Microsoft, Sony and Google. The meetings could well result in new opportunities for the companies that joined us to produce new titles and gain greater global interest in the fantastic games we produce in the North.

Fest Of Fun

GDC is the must-attend event for games companies with global ambition. No wonder really when the programme includes world-class technical bootcamps, networking drinks, superb industry talks, star panels, networking drinks, incredible games showcases (such as the IGF – Independent Games Festival), award shows, mindblowing live demos, pop-up shops and dozens of industry networking parties – did I mention those? It’s a festival of games.

Alongside GDC is Game Connection, a separate speed-dating business event that took place over three days of the week. Not in any old meeting room though – this year the networking took place at the San Francisco Giants’ baseball stadium, AT&T Park. The space was a popular spot for developers to have more than 20 meetings a day (using the online meeting schedule system) to hook up with platform-holders, publishers and other developers.

Back to GDC, where there were some great talks, including discussions on how to encourage more diversity in the games industry – ensuring more women get the support and opportunities in games. Other presentations included the funding of games and the different models to get support, the increasing visibility of games (with so many releases every week) plus the growing importance (and profits) of eSports.

Virtual Reality Check

As well as the getting insider and global insights on securing real opportunities for the developers, a huge focus for GDC this year was Virtual Reality (VR). I have seen VR at GDC over the years, but this year there has been a major gearshift, with three major platforms to be launched over next few months – the Oculus Rift, HTC/Valve Vive and PlayStation VR – plus a dedicated VR track for attendees.

IMG_8177How rapidly mainstream VR is going to get adopted across markets remains to be seen, but there looked to be a good appetite for it from games fans and the industry. Our companies were able to see many, many VR demos at GDC, from virtual rollercoasters to flying experiences complete with full physical rig and wind machine (see photo – left).

For me Epic Games’ Bullet Train on the Oculus VR was very impressive (nicely demonstrating the power of Unreal Engine 4 in VR), and the Vive continues to amaze with its full room virtual experience.

However, it was Sony’s PlayStation VR announcement that grabbed most of the headlines, with an announcement that the PlayStation 4 headset add-on would be £349 and launched in October, along with more than 200 games to be released before the end of the year. Pre-orders sold out within 45 minutes on Amazon (and I bagged one of them).

One of the most impressive design features of the Sony headset at GDC was the comfort with easy functionality to move the headset backwards and forwards meaning it can fit over glasses and avoids the tight straps that have often been an issue with the other VR head sets. I was lucky to get a chance to play a few multiplayer games, including one where I was a virtual Ghostbuster. The game involved shining a torch in a virtual playroom to find ghosts and hitting the PlayStation controller pad to suck up the spirits, while the other players helped to locate the remaining ghouls on the main TV. Not particularly complex but looks really nice in VR.

Other impressive demos in VR included Rebellion’s Battlezone (based on the old coin-op) and a new virtual version of Mizuguchi’s mesmerizing game Rez Infinite.

North at its Heights

Stepping away from VR was a challenge, but just two of the new games worth watching out for in reality were Dreams by Media Molecule, an incredible game/creative tool that allows players to make environments, characters and animations, play with them and share online and Astroneer by System Era, a beautiful planet exploration game with you as an astronaut armed with the ability to instantly terraform the landscape around them.

GDC 2016 showed the global games industry in good health, forging ahead with new tech innovations, and creating incredible titles on mobile, console, PC and web. It was great and inspiring that our Yorkshire and Northern companies such as Cardboard Sword, Red Kite Games, Team17, Double Eleven, Sumo Digital, Team Pesky, Draw & Code and Revolution Software are right there at the cutting edge of development, leading the world, innovating and developing amazing games.

Jamie Sefton
Managing Director, Game Republic
23rd March 2016

IMG_8182

 

Game Republic at GDC 2016

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 19.18.57Game Republic will be heading out to the Game Developers Conference 2016 in San Francisco, USA, 14th – 18th March as the lead games industry representative for the UK Trade & Investment mission.

More than 40 companies from the North of England and West Midlands UK, including Team17, Red Kite Games, Prospect Games, Hewson Consultants, Double Eleven, Cardboard Sword, Dubit and Team Pesky, will be attending GDC 2016 and looking for more opportunities for business. Game Republic has set up meetings for the UKTI mission with various platform-holders and publishers, and will also be at the Ukie/UKTI stand at the GDC Expo booth 1016 from Wednesday to Friday at various times.

If you would like to know more about the talented UK companies visiting GDC 2016, just get in touch. See you in San Francisco!

Game Republic & Ukie Games Business Event – 3rd March, Leeds

leedsGame Republic and national games body Ukie are co-hosting a “Growing Your Games Business” event at the DoubleTree Hilton, Granary Wharf, Leeds on Thursday 3rd March, 5pm-7.30pm.

The event is open to Game Republic members and any games companies or individuals in the region interested in finding out more about developing their games business, and includes talks on getting games investment, PR/marketing, and a panel of games companies from the region with advice and useful information on creating a sustainable business.

Afterwards there will be drinks and networking thanks to our sponsors SoftLayer. The event is free and has limited places so don’t miss out! All the event details and sign-up information is here.

BFI awards National Lottery Funding to Screen Yorkshire for TV, Film and Games

BFI_COL_LOGO_GLOWThe region’s film, TV & games industries have received a significant boost today as the BFI announces that the Yorkshire Screen Industries Hub bid, led by Screen Yorkshire, has been awarded National Lottery funding from the BFI through its Creative Clusters Challenge Fund, which aims to support the growth of emerging screen sector centres outside London and the South-East.

Matched by funding from a Yorkshire-wide consortium, Screen Yorkshire, in partnership with industry leaders Game Republic and Sheffield Doc/Fest, will spearhead the hub’s mission to build sustainable, long-term growth in the region’s burgeoning film, TV and games industries and maintain its competitiveness in a global industry.

The Yorkshire Screen Industries Hub will receive £127,000 through the BFI’s Creative Clusters Fund as seed funding for a plan to expand the region’s creative sector infrastructure and skills base. ‘Creating the Production Powerhouse’ is a nine-month programme of work beginning March 2016, that will identify the investment required for skills, training, infrastructure and knowledge sharing, to enable the Yorkshire and Humber region to compete globally. The BFI Award is matched by regional partners to create a total investment of £254,000.

Sally Joynson, Chief Executive at Screen Yorkshire says, ‘’this is fantastic news for everyone working in the film, TV and games sectors in Yorkshire, now and in the future. It’s a huge vote of confidence in our screen industries and will enable us to build a compelling case for further investment in the sector. Over the last three years alone, Screen Yorkshire has invested more than £14 million into 38 feature films and TV programmes, including the new film production of Dad’s Army, award-winning TV drama Peaky Blinders and BAFTA™ nominated feature ’71.’’

“We’ll be embarking on a programme of work from March 2016, in partnership with industry leaders Game Republic and Sheffield Doc/Fest, to shape the region’s screen landscape for years to come; stimulating economic growth, creating new jobs and helping us to nurture a new generation of talent helping to establish Yorkshire as a global centre for film, television and games.”

Yorkshire and Humber has a strong video games ecosystem which includes business network Game Republic, as well as major internationally-recognised games studios including Team17, Sumo Digital and Revolution Software, informal groups such as GaMaYo, and smaller independent start-ups such as Red Kite Games and Boneloaf. Yorkshire and Humber is also home to Games Britannia, an award-winning video games education festival hosted by Sheffield Hallam, and the innovative and exciting Platform Expos in Hull.

“As the longest-established and largest network dedicated to the games industry in the region, Game Republic is incredibly excited about the success of the CCCF bid,” said Managing Director of Game Republic, Jamie Sefton. “We’re looking forward to working with Screen Yorkshire on recognising the scope of the vibrant Yorkshire and Humber games industry and also maximising the opportunities for investment and development of the sector.”