Train2Game News Insomnia Game Festival Returns

Since its inception, Player1 Events have continued their endeavour to grow and diversify their flagship show, Insomnia, with the next event in the succession announced for 15th-18th April at the NEC, Birmingham.

Living up to its namesake, it’s now a 4-day gaming expo with a non-stop LAN running 24 hours a day alongside prominent esports titles, teams and tournaments.
 

With previous activations at the event such as The Call of Duty World League, Ubisoft Experience, WWE, League Fest and even a night of the Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses music world tour. A concert consisting of a 66 piece orchestra and a visual accompaniment on an LED panel screen, all planned, promoted and event managed by Player1. 
 

Alongside the LAN, Insomnia Gaming Festival is the longest-running UK games festival featuring a huge exhibition with content, tech, activations and brands.

The event attracts an impressive 100,000 gamers each year, solidifying itself as a must-attend event for gamers and families alike.
 

With new ways to engage your attendees than ever before, events are in a truly unique position. It’s one of the reasons we’ve invested in the latest equipment so we’re ready for the exciting opportunities that come with the return to events. From casual titles to the latest AAA releases, we’re kitted out and can’t wait to get stuck in.“ Phil Crawford, Marketing and Social Media Manager, at Player1 Events remarked on their new and improved offering.
 

More recently, following a transformative 12 months in the industry, Player1 have focused on expanding their extensive inventory available for rental.

From entry level specification to the very latest high-end kit, their arsenal includes high-quality peripherals, PS5s, Xbox Series X’s and PCs well equipped with RTX 3080’s graphic cards to handle both intensive tournament and VR play.
 

The team supports a range of partners to help them deliver their events; including full show logistics management, conferences, esports events and bespoke gaming content. With these new additions and ample experience in the space, Player1 Events are primed for the return of in-person events, ready to support brands in developing their own activations and communities.

For more information on Player1 events and their upcoming hand in events, visit www.player1events.com.

Train2Game News The Game Awards Has Record Number Of Views

The Game Awards, the video game industry’s year-end celebration, today announced that its eighth annual show set a new record with an estimated 85 million global livestreams.

With appearances from Keanu Reeves and Carrie Anne-Moss, Jim Carrey and Ben Schwartz, Guillermo del Toro and Hideo Kojima, Simu Liu, Ming-Na Wen, Giancarlo Esposito and more, plus spectacular performances by Sting, Imagine Dragons (featuring Darren Korb, Ashley Barrett and J.I.D.)  and The Game Awards Orchestra, conducted by Lorne Balfe, The Game Awards reaffirmed video game’s position as the preeminent force in global entertainment. 

  With an all-digital, no friction approach to global distribution, The Game Awards streamed live across more than 30 digital networks around the world, including YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok Live, and Steam, as well as more than a dozen digital platforms in China and Disney+Hotstar, MTV, and other networks in India. 

  2021 viewership and engagement highlights include: 

  – On Twitter, The Game Awards delivered a record-setting 1.6 million tweets about the event in 2021, it’s best-ever performance. The show trended #1 worldwide for the 8th year in a row, commanding 11 out of the top 30 worldwide trends at the peak of conversation.

– On YouTube, the official livestream set a new record for watch time with over 1.75 million hours watched on the main feed (not including any co-streams), up 14% over 2020’s record-setting livestream.

– On Twitch, The Game Awards delivered 3.35M unique viewers across all participating channels, including co-streams.

-In China, The Game Awards reached new viewership peaks with double-digit growth on platforms including Bilibili, DouYu, Huya and Tencent Video.

– On the web, authenticated fan voting for the awards increased 27% YoY to more than 23.2 million on TheGameAwards.com and Bilibili in China.

  “We are grateful we could return to an in-person ceremony in 2021 and continue to build on our success with significant international growth in 2021,” said Geoff Keighley, producer, The Game Awards.

  The Game Awards gave fans a glimpse at what’s next in gaming and entertainment with more than 30 world premieres of upcoming projects, including Star Wars Eclipse, The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 Experience, Alan Wake II, Sonic 2 and Sonic Frontiers, Wonder Woman, Horizon Forbidden West, and many more. Hazelight Studios’ It Takes Two won a total of three awards, including Game of the Year. Forza Horizon 5 from Xbox Game Studios and Playground Games, took home the honors for Best Sports/Racing Game, Innovation in Accessibility and Best Audio Design, and Bethesda and Arkane Studios’ Deathloop picked up Best Game Direction and Best Art Direction.

  Here are the historical live stream numbers for The Game Awards:

  2021: 85 Million
2020: 83 Million 
2019: 45.2 Million 
2018: 26.2 Million 
2017: 11.5 Million 
2016: 3.8 Million 
2015: 2.3 MIllion
2014: 1.9 Million

  The Game Awards aired globally across more than 30 digital video networks including Twitch, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook Live, GameSpot, IGN, TikTok Live, and Steam. Internationally, the program aired on more than a dozen networks in China including Huya, DouYu, Bilibili, Tencent Video, YouKu, PPTV, and NetEase CC, in India on Disney+/Hotstar, MTV, Jio TV, MX Player, Voot, and Loco, as well as live distribution in Japan (NicoNico), Russia (VK), South Korea (Afreeca TV, Naver) and in immersive formats including Horizon Venues in VR, in Cinemark Theatres, and in the CORE metaverse. 

  The Game Awards Sale offered discounts on games across major platforms including PlayStation Store, Xbox, Steam, Nintendo eShop, and Epic Games Store.

  The Game Awards also announced its second annual Future Class list, composed of 50 talented individuals around the world who represent the bright, bold and inclusive future of video games. The Game Awards Future Class featured a diverse group of builders, thinkers and dreamers whose voices elevate and diversify the artform of gaming and whose passion makes the industry stronger.

  The Game Awards is executive produced by Geoff Keighley and Kimmie Kim. LeRoy Bennett is creative director, and Rich Preuss is director. 

Train2Game News D3t Partners With UK Unity Centre of Excellence

d3t the award-winning, co-development studio within the game technology sector is delighted to announce its partnership with the UK’s only Unity Centre of Excellence at HOST, the Home of Skills & Technology.

Based at MediaCity and operated by IN4 Group, the centre promises a mixture of guidance and supported learning for games programming students, with industry professionals on hand to ensure that they are provided with the tools and knowledge to enable them to flourish within the industry or their existing roles. 

d3t, with its combined 450 years of industry insight and experience, will be supporting the centre through a combination of workshops, roundtables and guiding new start-up projects. 

Cheshire-based d3t is also part of Keywords Studios, the international technical and creative services provider to the global video games industry and beyond.

Commenting on the partnership, Phil Owen, Head of Engineering at d3t said: “We have a close relationship with the team at HOST and we were keen to be a part of this project right from the get-go. Entering at such an early stage ensures that both students and members alike can start to get the advice and support they need without delay. 

“At d3t, supporting and mentoring the next generation of games programmers, on a wide variety of game development environments, including Unity and Unreal, is a key focus of ours. We also work with universities and initiatives both locally and nationally to ensure that students get the support they need to enter and thrive within the games industry, and we are excited to continue this with HOST.”

Simon Benson, Director of Immersive Technology at HOST, said: “d3t has a wealth of industry experience and we’re excited to bring their knowledge and expertise of gaming technology to the HOST community. The support on offer will be vital towards developing digital pioneers with the technical skills they need to innovate and grow in their careers.”

The Unity Centre of Excellence at HOST offers cutting-edge, industry-relevant skills development and fast-tracks students into leading professional roles in the technology sector. 

To find out more information on the Unity Centre of Excellence and HOST, please click here

Train2Game News Free Women In Games Virtual Event

The Women in Games Careers & Networking Expo will provide a unique opportunity for anyone to gain valuable insights into the many career options and pathways available in games and esports – and, importantly, put you in touch with studios and organisations who are currently hiring.

This full day of talks and networking is unmissable – whether you are planning your first steps in games and esports, or looking to take your career further forward.
 
A truly global event, the Women in Games Careers & Networking Expo will run from 8am to 10pm GMT to allow delegates from all over the world to attend virtually. A series of talks throughout the day will throw the spotlight on influential and inspirational women. They include:-
 
Alice Middleton, Programmer, The Multiplayer Guys
Donna Morrison, People & Culture Manager, Gram Games
Elizabeth Loverso, VP Product Development, Red Storm Entertainment
Eve Crevoshay, Executive Director, Take This
Heather Bales, Game Product Owner, Big Fish Games
Helen Fitzhugh, UEA Researcher into HR Practices, University of East Anglia
Hollie Bennett, Head of Influencers & Development, Frontier Developments
Jade Cavanagh, Events & Social Manager, London Esports
Kate Edwards, CEO, Geogrify
Steph Marcus, Lead UX/UI Designer, Sprung Studio
Sandra Castro, Journalist, Tan Grande Y Jugando
Sofia da Silva, Environment Artist, Gunzilla Games
 
The day has been designed to allow time for visiting our virtual booths in the Expo area, where the likes of Riot Games, Unity, Virtuos Games, Dovetail Games, Sports Interactive, StarStable, Cloud Imperium, AWS, G into Gaming, GINX TV, Grads In Games and more will be discussing opportunities within their organisations.
 
You can also meet up with friends and peers, old and new, using Hopin’s Networking feature. You can choose between chat roulette or speed meeting; you can meet for the first time and get in touch again using the video chat in a virtual one to one. Or look for your existing connections at the event and arrange to meet for longer catch-ups.
 
Don’t miss this must-attend event. Register for your free ticket today.

Train2Game News Women In Games On Harassment In The Industry

Women In Games, the global not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting equity and parity for all women and girls in games and esports, has issued a statement following the recent media reports on discriminatory and toxic behaviour within the games industry.

  Women In Games CEO Marie-Claire Isaaman said:

  “International, widespread news of the growing furore mounting around Activision Blizzard, stemming from allegations reported across the media about a Californian Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) lawsuit, and the subsequent response from the company, shine a harsh spotlight on a culture that Women in Games is actively working to reform.

  “All of the media coverage points to a work culture gone badly wrong – harming women through discrimination and harassment – issues that are horribly familiar. 

  “Perhaps what is genuinely new, is that the world, connected as it is now by global movements such as MeToo and Black Lives Matter, as well as the continuing global disaster of the COVID-19 pandemic, is more equipped and ready to vociferously reject such a culture.

  “In addition, we are seeing high level efforts from The UN through its sustainable goals, the EU with its strategy for weaving gender equality through all of its policies, and the UK’s presidency of the G7, integrating gender equality into all of its strategies – all demonstrate support for radical change.

  “Women in Games brings its proactive support to both the popular demand for change and the wider political will that provide a more formal backdrop. As an organisation we are actively engaged in a range of initiatives and activities to counter discrimination, harassment and inequality for women in the workplace and in online spaces. 

  “The problems that confront women, whether they are players or makers of games are not history, and are not news, and Women in Games is proud to highlight our ongoing initiatives to achieve change.”

  Toxicity directed at female gamers online is taking on an increasingly sexual nature: results of latest Bryter research to be presented at the Women in Games Conference
Since 2018, Women in Games has worked with Jenny McBean, Director of Research at Market Research Company Bryter, to better understand the severity, and persistence of online harassment.

  Toxicity directed at female gamers is taking on an increasingly sexual nature in 2021 and one in five say that such toxicity makes them not want to play again. Almost half of gamers in the US and UK feel there is a lack of female representation in streaming, but toxicity discourages them from streaming themselves.

  A talk on the detailed findings of this research will be presented by Jenny McBean at the forthcoming Women in Games Conference, which takes place on September 15th & 16th as a virtual event, alongside a host of other initiatives central to tackling real world problems.

  The Conference, which has long been a starting point for effective action, sits at the heart of a larger event this year: For the first time, a Women in Games Festival will be a global online event, and between September 6th – 18th will encompass an ambitious array of events including the Conference, which will be broadcast and scheduled to suit all major time zones, allowing delegates around the world to tune in to inspirational speakers, fireside chats, panels, stories.

Train2Game News Jagex Expands With Recruitment Drive

Jagex, a global leader in the development and publishing of living games has today announced an expansion of its internal production teams with a slew of new hires from across the games industry.

The addition of an executive to oversee Game Operations and several Lead Producers will enable the company to continue the development of its long-standing RuneScape franchise as well as other new projects.
 

Ben Wibberley joins Jagex as Vice President of Games Operations where he will focus on providing industry leading QA to all of our games, the maturation and growth of Jagex’s Localisation efforts, and oversight of Jagex External Services, that manages outsource efforts for the game studio. A 25-year game industry veteran, he has worked with many of the most prominent studios in the business. Ben’s expertise includes operational strategy, business development, strategic account and program management. 
 

Chris Stamp has been appointed Lead Producer for an unannounced Jagex game. With over 18 years of experience in the games industry and in software engineering, Chris has worked across multiple projects from first person shooters at Acony Games to cockpit technology for military aircraft at BAe, previously also having held leading roles at Earthbound Game, Reagent Games and Ubisoft. 
 

Jay (Jaeyoung) Cho has joined Jagex as Lead Producer on Old School RuneScape.  Formerly at EA, Jay worked as a Producer responsible for online F2P and Mobile game development of AAA franchise titles, with a focus on monetisation, data analysis, corporate strategy and regional leadership. Jay has been developing games for more than 18 years, having begun his career at Xenon Games working on MMORPG MooC Online before moving on to Producer and Director roles at Eyasoft and Smilegate in Korea.
 

Nick Beliaeff, SVP Development at Jagex, said: “We’re extremely happy to be in a position where we can bring so many new and talented people into Jagex, especially in such challenging times. Hiring the very best and adding to the depth of experience we already have remains pivotal to our ongoing success, and to maintaining both the RuneScape franchise and other projects in development. 
 

Phil Mansell, Jagex CEO, added: “As we celebrate 20-years of the RuneScape franchise, we continue to evolve RuneScape and Old School RuneScape for our amazing community across PC and new platforms – with both games now available on mobile and Steam. When you factor in publishing our first third-party game Space Punks, developed by Flying Wild Hog and released under our the Jagex Partners banner, it’s clear that we’ll continue to build our teams and expand the reach and appeal of our games to old and new audiences alike.”

To find out more about further career opportunities at Jagex, visit the studios careers portal at www.jagex.com/careers

Train2Game News Buzz Capital Game Funding

Buzz Capital is delighted to announce the successful completion of a second-round £500k equity raise for video games studio Dream Harvest and video games publisher Fundamentally Games.

Premiere Capital led the investment round, with support from the team at Buzz Capital.

The raise comes after trade body UK Interactive Entertainment (Ukie), in it’s annual UK Consumer Games Market Valuation, announced that the UK market for video games reached a record £7bn in 2020, an increase of +29.9% from 2019, beating 2018’s previous record by more than a billion pounds.

Buzz Capital has again demonstrated its commitment to start-ups and the business sector through helping these exciting companies find the investment they need to scale. The games sector is one of the few industries to have made huge gains during Covid as more and more people embraced video games during the various lockdowns to pass the time and remain connected to friends and family. It’s an ambition we will continue building on over the coming months.” – Adam Betteridge, COO at Buzz Capital

Buzz Capital seeks to support businesses across a range of sectors by providing, simple and straightforward finance solutions. The team has many years of experience structuring bespoke financing arrangements, such as cash flowing facilities secured against tax credits and other receivables across all the creative industries, including film, video games, animation, theatre, as well as for research & development and property development.

  The first of the two investee companies, Dream Harvest, is an award-winning game studio building games that combine rich, deep narrative experiences and expansive, diverse worlds for players to get lost in with mechanics that drive genres in new directions.

We’re thankful for the continued support from the team at Premiere and Buzz Capital who have been long term partners of Dream Harvest and who believe in the long-term vision we have for the studio; Building worlds filled with amazing characters and stories, told through games that push genres in new, bold directions and doing this with a community centric approach” – Justin French, CEO at Dream Harvest

The second investee, Fundamentally Games, is a video games publisher focused on living games. They offer LiveOps + Publishing + UA. Fundamentally Games started trading in 2019 and is run by Ella Romanos & Oscar Clark, who have industry experience spanning over 33 years.

“We’re thrilled that Buzz and Premiere have doubled down on its support of Fundamentally Games at these early stages of our journey, not only through our recent UA funding partnership for games we publish, but also now a second equity raise. We’ve made good progress over the last year and having a partner who believes in us and who is on that journey with us is something that any company would be lucky to have and demonstrates their commitment not just to us, but to the UK games industry too.” – Ella Romanos from Fundamentally Games

Train2Game News Guild eSports Academy

Guild Esports today announces the opening of the Guild Academy – the world’s most comprehensive and innovative esports online academy.

The online academy will welcome budding players aged 11+, and provide a range of resources designed to nurture their learning and life skills, as well as gaming abilities. The Guild Academy will provide all players of any ability individualised support and personalised challenges.

Academy members will be able to access detailed training programmes, designed to improve specific areas of play. They will also be able to test their skills in tournaments, and have gameplay performance analysed by Guild’s team of experts.

For beginner and intermediate players, Guild will offer peer-to-peer coaching and advice, whereby players are able to record specific areas of gameplay which can then be reviewed by more experienced players and feedback and advice given.

Guild’s vision is to use its unique academy structure to find the next generation of talent within esports by scouting players showing the most potential. These players will be offered live player development, greater 1-2-1 support, and invitations to bootcamps to participate in local area network (LAN) tournaments. This is part of Guild Esports’ path to pro strategy – using its in-house talent scouts to recruit the next generation of players.

The Academy is launching first with Fortnite & Rocket League specific training, with more esports to follow in the next six months, including FIFA and Valorant. The Guild Academy online platform is the first step in creating an esports talent pipeline based on the traditional sporting model.

The mission at the heart of the academy is to ensure all players leave having acquired new skills, both in gaming and life, regardless of whether they turn professional. Guild’s priority is to put the person first, the player second. The academy will take the personal development of each player beyond gaming – with its industry-leading team delivering masterclasses designed to both improve learning, and provide knowledge and skills to succeed in later life.

Guild understands the importance of taking parents on the journey with their ambitious gamer children. As part of the online academy, there will be a dedicated Parents Centre, keeping them involved and informed about careers in esports. Robust policies will be in place to ensure a safe and friendly environment, and players will need the appropriate parental consent to join the academy, depending on local data protection laws.

Outside of esport-specific coaching, The Guild Academy offers a holistic approach to player development where the focus will be on building good habits through better nutrition, work-life balance and much more. The first activation will be alongside Guild’s main partner, and official Academy partner, Subway. Working together to develop a fully integrated programme to the Guild Academy which will provide opportunities and education to the membership—ranging from from career opportunities to health and wellbeing leaning on Subway’s values of empowering people to make better choices.

New players will be able to sign up to a 30-day free trial – access to The Guild Academy will be £4.99, or local currency equivalent, per month after this period.

Carleton Curtis, Executive Chairman at Guild Esports, said: “Over the last year, people have recognised us for building some of the most talented rosters in esports. The Guild Academy represents our vision for the future. The academy will contain the most comprehensive training platform in esports, with individualised support and tailored training programmes provided to develop the esports stars of tomorrow. Ingrained in all aspects of the academy will be our culture of excellence, and our priority is nurturing aspiring gamers to develop in all areas of their life. We’re thrilled to launch, and help to push the industry forward.”

Joe Sutton, Director of Academy at Guild Esports added, “We’re very proud to have created such a special and unique academy. The level of training and development resources we have on offer to players of all abilities, is what sets the Guild Academy apart. We’ll be working to provide each player the tools to reach their gaming potential, whilst also setting them up with life skills for the future. This is just the beginning, and we’re excited for the future of the academy.”

For more information go to http://www.guildesports.com/ and join the conversation on social media using #GUILDGANG.

Train2Game News Online Festival Of Games Writing

The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB) is delighted to announce its second, week-long mini-festival on the craft of videogames writing, this time sponsored by Articy.

It follows the inaugural festival in June last year and kicks off next Monday 26 April 2021.

All the events are free and participants just need to register ahead.

The calendar of events follows (click on the Eventbrite links below for more detail, including panellists).
Closed captions are available for all the events.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Monday 26 April, 6pm-7.30pm
Writing for indie games – creating narrative for independent studios
Find out more and book via Eventbrite

Tuesday 27 April, 6pm-7.30pm
Interactive writing portfolios – creating interactive portfolios
Find out more and book via Eventbrite

Wednesday 28 April, 6pm-7.30pm
Dialogue as text – the unspoken secrets of writing interactive dialogue
Find out more and book via Eventbrite

Thursday 29 April, 6pm-7.30pm
Creating narrative in procedural worlds – writing narrative with and for procedural generation
Find out more and book via Eventbrite

Friday 30 April, 6pm-7.30pm
Implementing game narrative – taking the words and making the magic
Find out more and book via Eventbrite

Train2Game News E3 All Virtual For 2021

It’s “Game On.” for E3, as The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) officially unveils plans for a reimagined, all-virtual E3 2021 that will engage video game fans everywhere.

With early commitments from Nintendo, Xbox, Capcom, Konami, Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive, Warner Bros. Games, Koch Media, and more to come, E3 2021 will take place June 12 through June 15. 

Developers will be showcasing their latest news and games directly to fans around the world. The ESA will be working with media partners globally to help amplify and make this content available to everyone for free.

“For more than two decades, E3 has been the premier venue to showcase the best that the video game industry has to offer, while uniting the world through games,” said Stanley Pierre-Louis, President & CEO of the ESA. “We are evolving this year’s E3 into a more inclusive event, but will still look to excite the fans with major reveals and insider opportunities that make this event the indispensable center stage for video games.”

While maintaining E3’s longstanding position as a central destination for industry networking — where new partnerships and connections between video game publishers, developers and media are made — the digital format for E3 2021 means more people than ever can participate.

The ESA looks forward to coming back together to celebrate E3 2022 in person, in the meantime see you online this June!