Game Republic to host Northern Lights panel at Develop Brighton

Game Republic will again be partnering with major UK game developer conference Develop: Brighton, 11th-13th July, and in addition, Game Republic MD Jamie Sefton will be chairing a special business panel with the first two panelists confirmed Bobby Thandi (XR Games), Simon Iwanisak (Red Kite Games) and more speakers to be announced shortly.

Northern Lights will celebrate Game Republic’s 20th anniversary this year and will be looking at the factors that drive success for games companies in Yorkshire and The North and the incredible history of games making in the region. Looking to the future, Jamie will be asking panelists to share their insights and what they will be doing to support sector success going forward. Game Republic members will get a 10% discount on Early Bird tickets if they book before 6th April 2023 using the code KMDHCK 

“As a region, we have great successes to share and examples of how companies can collaborate with each other, with educational institutions and suppliers through networks to enhance their business,” says Sefton. “Our partnership and this panel with Develop: Brighton will be another great way for us to mark our 20-year anniversary.”

picture of Simon IwaniszakSimon Iwaniszak has over 17 years of industry experience, the last 11 spent running the multi-award-winning development studio, Red Kite Games. Founded by Simon in 2012, Red Kite is now part of the Sumo Digital family of studios. Having built a reputation for delivering a high-quality service creating AAA PC/console games across varying genres, Red Kite supports multiple world-class publishing partners. Before Red Kite, Simon started his career at Rockstar working on incredible franchises such as Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption. Simon is a proud Ambassador of the games charity SpecialEffect – which Game Republic is supporting all year – and provides consultation for several Yorkshire-based universities.

Bobby Thandi wearing virtual headsetBobby Thandi is the Founder and CEO of XR Games – an award-winning VR game development studio. Bobby secures contracts from key clients such as Sony Pictures and develops key relationships with global partners such as Meta, Microsoft, Valve, and others. Bobby is responsible for attracting top tier talent as XR Games rapidly scales off the back of the hit VR game ‘Zombieland: Headshot Fever’. Bobby has won an array of awards including ‘Creative Entrepreneur of the Year’ at the 2022 Great British Entrepreneur Awards and ‘Leeds City Region Leader’ at the 2021 Northern Leadership Awards. Bobby was also a 2022 ‘EY Entrepreneur of the Year’ finalist.

Link to the business panels at Develop: Brighton here

#GR20 @developconf

Pitching Event Gets Snowed Under!

picture of David from Tencent GamesDavid Valjalo, Creative Director of Strategic Partnerships at Tencent Games joined Game Republic members online to discuss their investing in games, when heavy snow meant that most of Yorkshire and The North could not travel to the event which was due to take place at Eagle Labs, Avenue HQ in Leeds. Thanks to Zoom, nearly 40 companies were able to attend the online event which provided insider insights into how to pitch to publishers and investors.

Rob Hewson talks pitching tips

Rob Hewson, CEO & Creative Director at Huey Games also joined the session, presenting useful tips and advice to help companies pitch their games to publishers and platform-holders, such as “Start with the Art”, in that you should always have your artwork upfront in pitch decks. Jamie Sefton, a well-seasoned GDC attendee heading to the event as part of a DIT trade mission, then shared his tips for looking after yourself and making the most of the event, such as buying the cheaper GDC Expo Pass and checking your meeting locations to make sure you arrive on time.

At the event Jamie also announced a special bonus webinar on 23rd May with Valve. Find more info and links in the Event Calendar.

Thanks to our 20th Anniversary Official Partners: Barclays, Red Kite Games and Escape Technology #GR20

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Game Republic exceeds annual fundraising target in 5 weeks

screenshot of justgiving page showing 107% targetGame Republic’s 20th Anniversary year of events has already exceeded its annual fundraising target, after just five weeks into the year. As part of the year-long event programme which has been supported by Official Partners, Escape Technology, Red Kite Games and Barclays, Game Republic is working with SpecialEffect as Charity Partner. SpecialEffect raises funds that ensure people (especially children) with disabilities can access and enjoy videogames.

Jamie Sefton MD at Game Republic is delighted that the initiative has already raised £1075 (£75 over the £1000 target), he said “This is great and testimony to the generosity we have in our games community. We overshot the target when we were hosting the Game Republic Speakers Dinner with Yorkshire Games Festival and I could not be happier! We will continue to support the fundraising campaign for SpecialEffect through the year. I am excited to see how much is raised by the end of 2023, after such a fantastic start.”

Game Republic has 8 more events including four flagship events for games companies and developers in Yorkshire and The North in 2023, all of which will include opportunities for people to donate to SpecialEffect.

Commenting about Game Republic’s fundraising efforts, Nick Streeter, fundraiser for the SpecialEffect charity said “Game Republic have been fantastic friends and supporters of SpecialEffect over our 15 years and we are so grateful as they celebrate their 20th anniversary that they have chosen to support SpecialEffect as their charity partner. We look forward to working with the Game Republic community this year to make a difference to the lives of more and more gamers with disabilities who need our help.”

Proud to support SpecialEffect banner

Red Kite Games, Barclays and Escape Technology sign up as Official Partners to support 20th Anniversary Year celebration of Game Republic

Game Republic, the largest network of the games industry in Yorkshire and the North, will be celebrating 20 years supporting games development in the region with a year of events bringing the region’s industry, new developers, suppliers, Universities and colleges together.

The year-long celebration is being supported by three Official Partners Red Kite Games, Barclays and Escape Technology. Jamie Sefton, Managing Director of the network hopes the anniversary events will support and draw attention to the region’s games industry, as the latest figures have UK’s games output valued at over £7.16bn (data: Ukie, 2022).

Jamie Sefton comments, “In twenty years, we have supported incredible growth and success in our games industry for Yorkshire and The North. There is so much talent and innovation happening with games produced in the region being exported around the globe. I am delighted that we have been able to support companies based in the region to make connections with suppliers, platform holders, publishers and investors, and with the incredible pipeline of talent through our excellent Universities and college educational partners. Yorkshire and the North is producing world-leading games and technology and we will be celebrating that throughout the year.”

Company members have expressed their appreciation of the network over the years. Simon Iwaniszak, Studio Director of Red Kite Games believes the milestone is significant for games companies across the region and was quick to sign up as an Official Partner for the year. He explains “Red Kite has been partnered with Game Republic for over 11 years. In the early days, when we were just getting started, Game Republic helped us in more ways than I can remember. Since then, Red Kite has grown into one of Yorkshire’s biggest and most successful games studios, but the support of Game Republic is still as valuable as ever. Jamie works tirelessly to support the Yorkshire games industry and is a true champion having helped it become the powerhouse that it is today.”

Barclays has been supporting Game Republic over the last four years and has chosen to be an Official Partner for the year – Elaine Dowman, Head of Games and Creative for Barclays, explains “As a member of Game Republic for the last four years and working with them, we have seen the great support they give games developers in Yorkshire and the North. We are delighted to be part of their 20th anniversary of supporting success in the games industry. We are looking forward to a fantastic year of events to celebrate, and help further propel growth in the sector.”

Neil Parmar, Account Director at Escape Technology, has been a long term member of the network “20 years ago it all started out as a gathering, here we are today, an organisation worth every penny. I’m proud to be supporting Game Republic, it’s more than just another networking event but more so a network of family members from this amazing gaming industry here in the UK”

The 20th Anniversary Game Republic events programme kicked off in Sheffield on Thursday 26th January, where the events for the Anniversary year were announced including new Game Republic Awards and a Summer Arcade Birthday Party. It was also announced that all events in this milestone year will raise funds for the charity SpecialEffect which supports physically disabled people to participate in videogames.

Commenting about Game Republic’s fundraising efforts, Nick Streeter, fundraiser for the SpecialEffect charity said “Game Republic have been fantastic friends and supporters of SpecialEffect over our 15 years and we are so grateful as they celebrate their 20th anniversary that they have chosen to support SpecialEffect as their charity partner. We look forward to working with the Game Republic community this year to make a difference to the lives of more and more gamers with disabilities who need our help.”