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
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
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.”
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!
Registration is now open for VIP studio and publisher executives and external services providers to attend the Game Services Forum.
The Forum (www.gameservicesforum.com) is a highly focused event that brings senior games industry professionals together for matched one-to-one business meetings and educational seminars.
Throughout this two-day event delegates will meet with trusted vendors who will be able to talk through projects, concerns and obstacles, offering the best advice as well cost-saving solutions.
From Tools, External Development and QA to Analytics, Data and Ad Networks, the Game Services Forum has everything in one virtual place, saving studio professionals time, research, travel and money.
Attendees will also have the opportunity to attend seminars hosted by industry thought-leaders.
The Game Services Forum is brought to you by Forum Events & Media Group, a pioneer of the unique concept of face-to-face meetings events, based on matching the interests of procurement decision-makers with suppliers.
The company boasts a portfolio of over 30 highly-focused events including the Smarter Payments Summit, Security IT Summit, Digital Marketing Solutions Summit and Contact Centre & Customer Experience Summit.
The Game Services Forum is supported by MCV/Develop.
Today marks the launch of the first Annual Games Careers Week: a diverse programme of events dedicated to getting more people to explore careers and education in one of the UK’s highest growth and most exciting creative industries.
Running March 26th- 2nd April 2021, over 75 event partners – including video games studios, nonprofit organisations, and educational institutions – will come together for this free online festival to provide exhibitions, interactive workshops and panel discussions, with the aim to encourage students, parents, career advisers, and teachers, to explore the potential of and many pathways into video games careers.
The week will provide a comprehensive guide for anyone interested in a career in video games. Participants of all ages and backgrounds can benefit from the experience and advice of some of the UK’s top industry leaders – from how games are made, useful subjects and skills to study, to portfolio building, networking and how to break into the industry, and more.
Key themes and insight into games careers from social, political, cultural, and economic perspectives will include:
Highlighting the need for greater access to education and advice on games careers to people from all backgrounds
Tackling industry stereotypes and misconceptions
Improving diversity and inclusion in video games by showcasing the diverse talents, viewpoints, and experiences behind critically acclaimed bodies of work
Unconscious bias in parental perceptions of careers for their children
As part of the event’s focus on diversity in video games, the event organisers have recruited a very diverse range of spokespeople from the sector. They also called for an industry-wide sourcing of diverse images of studios, makers, and the people behind the games, to create a royalty-free image bank for games careers. The aim is for would-be game designers, programmers, artists, producers and anyone from diverse backgrounds to be able to see people like themselves already in the industry, showing that it’s a career option available to all, regardless of race, gender identity, sexuality, neurodiversity, or having a disability.
Games Careers week is a non-profit event funded and organised byThe BGI, Grads in Games, and Into Games. It has amassed the support of over 75 partners, all recognising the necessity for educating the public about an industry with a global sales value of over £100 billion in 2020 (Nielsen) – and the fact that many of the world’s top games development studios are UK based.
Rick Gibson, one of the founders of Games Careers Week, commented “We want to help diverse young people, their parents, and their educators to learn more about why creative technology are so important for their futures. The games industry should be a poster-child for the UK’s export-driven knowledge economy. Most parents don’t know the UK supports over 25,000 stable, exciting and well paid jobs, which number grew by over 12% in 2020 right through the pandemic. We recognise there are education and knowledge gaps about games careers, especially amongst women and underrepresented communities, and we think the best way to build a more diverse workforce is to provide the tools, advice, and information to encourage a range of diverse new talent to explore their digital skills and career potential.”
Games Career Week has also received support from UK Minister for Employment Mims Davies: “Gaming can traditionally be a rather challenging sector to break into, so it’s great to see the industry giving such exciting opportunities to young people this Games Careers Week.
“Many companies in the gaming world have already signed up to the DWP Kickstart Scheme to help our next generation of workers into brilliant new roles as part of our Plan for Jobs, and I encourage other employers to get involved across the sector as we push to build back better from the pandemic.”
A full schedule of the Festival’s events, news, as well as a permanent information resource on games careers can be found at https://gamescareersweek.org/
Games Careers Week, the free online festival for inspiring people from every background to discover prospects in one of the UK’s most lucrative careers, has announced its initial lineup for the year.
Over 20 events from Grads in Games, BGI / National Videogame Museum, Into Games, Ukie, Women in Games and Tranzfuser have been scheduled between 26 March and 2nd April 2021.
Games Careers Week is packed with events aimed at reaching millions of parents, learners, teachers and job-seekers. Designed to inspire and inform diverse people about career opportunities available within the games industry, the week will showcase scores of online events for all ages and levels of expertise.
Games Careers Week is organised and funded by the charity the BGI, and nonprofits Grads in Games and Into Games. The week is trying to tackle low awareness of career opportunities in the British public, especially amongst diverse groups, and low diversity in the UK games workforce through a pan-industry public education campaign.
The first events are detailed below, with nearly 100 organisations interested in hosting careers events during the festival.
Key events for Games Careers Week 2021
Games Careers Exhibition at the National Videogame Museum [March 26th onwards]: An online careers exhibition for families in which children ask games developers about games careers and educational choices.
Ukie Student Conference [March 26th]: Ukie’s huge event for college and university students returns with a packed programme of talks, keynotes, and Q&As from games developers and educators.
Into Games Portfolio Pitstop [March 27th]: A day of free, essential portfolio advice and tips from dozens of industry professionals for any learner posting their games portfolio on Twitter with the hashtag #portfoliopitstop.
Career Talks at the National Videogame Museum [March 27th onwards]: Livestreams by new Sumo Digital developers for young people and parents to ask questions about how to start games careers.
The Grads In Games Student Conference [March 29th]: A day of speakers from leading studios talking to students about the work they do and what life at a games studio is really like. Includes panels featuring recent grads on how they got their first games job, and a live masterclass session where you can create a perfect CV for applying to games industry roles.
Grads In Games Education Fair [March 30th]
Dozens of universities that offer game development courses will be congregating at our education fair ready to talk with FE, A-Level, and GCSE students about the courses they have to offer.
Gamesindustry.biz Careers Week Features [all week]: A series of careers week content, interviews and discussions will run online during the week.
Grads In Games Career Connector [March 30th]: A new format of online careers fair for the games industry, providing opportunities for studio professionals to be skills-matched with students for private meetings.
Women in Games Career Pathways [all week]: Developers from Women in Games’ pioneering ambassador programme will share their career pathways in a series of online talks for young adults.
Games Education Summit March [31st March to 1st April]: 30 speakers from top studios and games universities gather to share state of the art tips and hear students, mentees, and recent hires reveal their career pathways.
The Grads In Games Awards 2021 [March 31st]: Recognising the people, studios, and educators that have made a real impact in improving the links between the games industry and education, the GiG Awards celebrates the valuable work of those behind the scenes of games education and employability.
Tranzfuser Career talks [all week]: Tranzfuser are hosting a series of live chats for university students focusing on bolstering career paths into professional video game development.
Into Games Champion Sessions [all week]: Into Games’ 12 industry champions, each a diverse representative of their discipline (art, programming, QA, etc) will be running talks and events throughout GCW.
Digital Schoolhouse Games Careers Lesson Pack [all week]: A videogames careers lesson pack in partnership with Into Games bursting with expertise and insightful support for schools including a database of 50 One Minute Mentor careers videos, lesson plans and assembly scripts.
Search For A Star & d3t Rising Star 2021, Winners Announcement [April 1st]: Check out the future stars of the games industry as we announce the winners of this year’s student game dev challenges across programming, art, animation and VFX.
Studios, publishers, educators and members of the industry can get involved by registering at gamescareersweek.org.
February’s Interactive Futures event will welcome Caroline Dinenage MP, the Minister of State for Digital and Culture, to open the conference’s discussions about talent in the games industry – and the career opportunities available to children and young people in Leamington Spa and beyond.
Interactive Futures (www.interactive-futures.com) takes place from Tuesday, February 16 to Saturday February 20 as a virtual event. It will provide practical advice and guidance to students, young people and children – plus their parents – on how to navigate their pathways into the games industry.
Conservative MP for Gosport, Stubbington, Lee-on-the-Solent and Hill Head, Caroline Dinenage was appointed Minister of State for Digital and Culture at the DCMS in February 2020. She has also held roles in Government within the Women, Equalities & Early Years departments, amongst others.
Her keynote at Interactive Futures will take place on the morning of Wednesday, February 17.
Other confirmed Interactive Futures 2021 speakers include:
Rick Gibson, CEO of the BGI – which runs the annual Games Education Summit – will be hosting a keynote panel session discussing how Leamington Spa studios are working with educators to support and nurture the next generation of video games creators.
Dr Jo Twist, CEO of Ukie, will deliver a keynote speech outlining how the games trade body is working hard to provide educational resources for all ages – and why it’s important that the UK games industry nurtures its future pipeline of talent.
Declan Cassidy, Chief Executive of Into Games, will discuss why it’s important for the industry to support and advise children from as young as primary age about a career in games.
Interactive Futures is hosted by the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), Warwickshire County Council and Warwick District Council.
Sarah Windrum, board director at the CWLEP and chair of its Digital and Creative Business Group, said: “This is a really exciting line-up of speakers led by the Minister of State for Digital and Culture Caroline Dinenage MP which is a real coup for the event in its third year and testament to the hard work of the team.
“Interactive Futures is an ideal opportunity for students and parents to find out more about a sector which offers a really wide range of careers and to hear about the importance of the industry throughout the UK and particularly in Coventry and Warwickshire.”
The full Interactive Futures programme (https://interactive-futures.com/conference-2021/) will include a series of dedicated conference sessions for primary school children, secondary school children and young people, Further Education and Higher Education students.
Interactive sessions will also be featured, courtesy of Digital Schoolhouse and Into Games, while one-to-one Portfolio Reviews and Advice Clinics will run throughout the four days.
The London Games Festival has unveiled its GAMES ARE GOOD FOR YOU theme, supported with a city-wide and social media ad campaign, as its full programme goes live for 2020.
LGF 2020 takes place from 26 March to 6 April with 100,000 expected. Yearly tentpole events like Now Play This, EGX Rezzed and the festival’s own Trafalgar Square takeover will have a variety of experiences to offer games fans while the B2B strand for professionals grows to include more international attendance than ever before.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “The London Games Festival is a great showcase of our booming games industry and the significant investment and jobs it brings to our capital. Across 12 days, it brings together professionals, businesses and games fans from across the world to celebrate this thriving sector and provide opportunities for our creative talent. I’m delighted that this year’s event will be delivering a positive message to the industry, as we show the world that London is open to business and innovation.”
50 speakers from around the world will talk about the art, craft and business of making games at festival programming including summits on Games Impact, Interactive Narratives, and Games Culture. Dedicated Global Games and Hollywood XP events will delve into international business and connections between films and games respectively. Tickets are now on sale via www.games.london.
Entirely free to attend is the LGF Business HUB, which will not only provide a meeting place plus roundtables and one-to-one mentoring sessions, but also provides the first official showcase for Ensemble, the festivals’s annual exhibition showcasing BAME video games developers and creatives, plus a range of exhibitors from international games studios.
Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie, said:\u2028“Video games and interactive entertainment are a valuable part of the UK’s creative and digital industries. Games provide billions of people around the globe with entertainment, ways to connect with friends, and compelling stories, worlds, characters and themes. For 12 days across the city, the London Games Festival will showcase the creative excellence, the talent, the scaling innovative businesses and the positive impact games have in people’s lives.”
London Games Festival is backed by the Mayor of London with funding of £1.2m over three years and seeks to make London the games capital of the world. It is delivered by Games London,an initiative from Film London, the capital’s screen industries agency, and video games trade body Ukie (The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment).
Games London has become a key driver for global business in the capital’s games sector through its Festival plus trade missions – latest research proves that since 2016 it has created over 550 jobs for London through its work connecting games studios with funders and investors.
Adrian Wootton, CEO of Film London and the British Film Commission, said: “London’s games sector is a billion-pound industry, generating £1.4bn for the economy and directly employing over 5,100 roles. It is fantastic to see the London Games Festival expanding its reach and ambition, building on the success of last year’s festival and doubling our presence in Trafalgar Square, bringing games to life in the centre of London and celebrating work from around the world, drawing on the creative clusters outside of the capital and reflecting the terrific success of the UK industry.
“Creative industries are the big success story of the UK and London economies and the games industry is a key, cutting-edge component of this success. As well as celebrating this achievement with such a strong programme of events and activities embracing the culture and creativity of games, I’m delighted that the festival will once again enable major new business opportunities through initiatives such as the Games Finance Market, which draws in up to 60 major investors to the UK for pitch meetings with games businesses.”
The full list of highlights for London Games Festival 2020: Ensemble – Thursday, 26 March onwards
Various locations across the city
The acclaimed exhibition focusing on BAME games professionals can be seen across London EGX Rezzed – Thursday, 26 March to Saturday, 28 March
Europe’s biggest showcase of indie PC and console games WIN – Friday, 27 March
Venue to be announced
Fifth edition of our event for women in games with added mentoring support for attendees LGF Business HUB – Monday, 30 March & Tuesday, 31 March
Embankment Galleries, Somerset House
The B2B week of LGF starts with our all-in-one base of networking, conferences and learningGlobal Games Summit – Monday, 30 March
Embankment Galleries, Somerset House
A new invite-only conference for our international guests to kickstart the B2B weekGames Impact Summit – Monday, 30 March
Embankment Galleries, Somerset House
Dedicated to examining how games positively influence livesInteractive Narratives Summit – Tuesday, 31 March
Embankment Galleries, Somerset House
The second year for our afternoon examining how games are written and tell storiesGames Culture Summit – Tuesday, 31 March
Embankment Galleries, Somerset House
One of the longest running LGF events looks at the artistic practitioners shaping and reacting to gamesGames Finance Market – Wednesday, 1 April & Thursday, 2 April
Games London’s signature event connecting games studios to investors and publishers Games Finance Workshop- Wednesday, 1 April & Thursday, 2 April
Institute of Directors
A two-day course on learning the fundamentals of games financing and then how to perfect your pitchHollywood XP – Wednesday, 1 April
The Strand Palace Hotel
A brand new event examines the crossover and connections between video games and other screen industriesBAFTA Games Awards – Thursday, 2 April
Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank
The world’s most iconic games ceremony honouring the past year of creative excellenceNow Play This – Friday, 3 April to Sunday, 5 April
A key part of LGF since it started, showcasing installations and interactive experiencesTrafalgar Square Games Festival – Friday, 3 April & Saturday, 4 April
A tentpole consumer moment in the festival bringing games to life in the centre of London Cosplay Parade – Saturday, 4 April
The fourth year for this family event, and this time integrated into the Trafalgar Square Games FestivalPower UP – Saturday, 4 April to Sunday, 19 April
The Science Museum’s retro games showcase starts during the final weekend of the games festival