Train2Game News FREE Rare insight to Games Development in Coventry

Fans of video games can find out what goes into making a hit that attracts four million players at an exhibition in Coventry.

Entitled Rare: From 8-bit to Xbox One, this is the first ever exhibition dedicated to a video games company, tracking the 33-year life of Twycross-based Rare.

It runs alongside Play: An Exploration of Toys, Games & Fun, a broader celebration of the history of play which features more than 200 items. Both will be running at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum until September 23.

Rare gives visitors the chance to try their hand at some of the company’s international gaming hits – such as Donkey Kong Country – and also find out more about the planning and creation of a new video game.

Further to that, there is also an opportunity to discover what it takes to work in an industry which is proving to be a major success story for the region.

James Thomas, Lead Engineer at Rare, said the exhibition provided the perfect platform for the company to raise its profile in the local area and highlight how gaming is the latest form of play.

He said: “The company has been operating for more than 30 years and is a great success story for the area and for the industry. It began as an independent gaming business – set up by the Stamper brothers – creating and selling games for the ZX Spectrum.

“Rare, which was later bought by Nintendo and, subsequently, Microsoft, has produced some ground-breaking games over the years such as GoldenEye, Banjo-Kazooie and Viva Piñata.

“Our latest release, Sea of Thieves, has attracted more than four million players to date and has more than 200 people working on the game.

“So this is a great time to be able to share our story with people from the area because this is a really positive period for gaming in the region.

“I think many people see a distinction between traditional play and gaming but my view is that this is just the next generation and, more and more, games are becoming social activities when friends play together rather than in isolation.

“It is cementing ‘real life’ friendships rather than detracting from them which, again, isn’t something that is always appreciated or understood.

“The fact that Play is running at the Herbert meant this is a great opportunity to showcase Rare and its games, to show people what goes into making a global hit and, also, to give them an insight into careers in the industry.”

The Play and Rare exhibitions are kindly supported by Rare and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Francis Ranford, Cultural and Creative Director of Culture Coventry, said it had been a positive start to the exhibition.

Francis said: “The partnership with Rare has been incredibly positive for the Herbert and has added another exciting dimension to the exhibition. This collaboration has enabled us to showcase aspects of play which we would have otherwise been unable to and will ensure more visitors can relate and connect with the exhibition.

“We’ve had fantastic feedback so far and are looking forward to welcoming many more visitors over the course of the summer.”

To potentially feature in the exhibition, you can donate photos of your own toys to the Virtual Museum by using #playattheherbert on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

For more information on Play and Rare, go to http://www.theherbert.org/

Train2Game News Insomnia 54 record breaking attendance

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Multiplay, organiser of the Insomnia Gaming Festival, is pleased to announce that its first event of 2015 Insomnia54 was also its biggest ever with a footfall of over 30,000 across the weekend.

Continuing its incredible growth, Insomnia54 saw the introduction of new areas including a dedicated Esports Stage, and Broadcast Studio, complimenting the huge Main Stage which saw packed live shows featuring globally popular Special Guests from the worlds of YouTube and Twitch. Insomnia54 welcomed brand new exhibitors into its thriving Exhibition Hall such as Sony XDev plus returning exhibitors featuring brand new games such as Jagex’s Chronicle: RuneScape Legends, WB Games’ Mortal Kombat X and Stainless Games’ Carmageddon: Reincarnation. With more Special Guests than ever before, Insomnia once again featured a broad range of activities from across the realms of modern gaming culture providing a unique live gaming experience for fans of all ages and backgrounds.  This was all made possible thanks to the support of Event Sponsors GAME, SCAN & Logitech G.

The post-event coverage of Insomnia also experienced an unprecedented amount of growth, with over 11m combined YouTube views for videos relating to the event and over 2m views of photographs uploaded to the official Flickr account. The event is also set to feature in a segment on BBC’s The One Show, a digital segment for BT Sport, and a series of short online films produced by Channel 4.

Multiplay MD Craig Fletcher said: “Insomnia continues to go from strength-to-strength, with Insomnia54 breaking our previous records for our long-running festival. ” He continued, “We are delighted to have curated such an incredible community unlike anything else in the country, and the plans have already started for Insomnia55 this Summer, set to be a truly unmissable show.”

Tickets for Insomnia55, taking place at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena on August 28th-31st are on-sale now, and available via http://insomniagamingfestival.com/. This summer’s event will bring even more exclusive content than any Insomnia festival to-date, with huge esports tournaments across a variety of popular titles plus popular returning features from previous events.

Train2Game News Insomnia 51 big success

InsomniaMultiplay, hosts of the UK’s biggest gaming festival has reason to celebrate following its biggest ever spring Insomnia event. Insomnia51, Multiplay’s first event at the Ricoh Arena, saw an unprecedented footfall of over 20,000 across the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend.

Thousands of gamers from a variety of backgrounds gathered to enjoy a schedule packed full of engaging content, with Main Festival Stage presenting from We’ve Got Game Founders, Matt Littler and Darren Jefferies. The festival’s activities spanned the range of modern gaming culture, from high level Esports tournaments to a thriving exhibition hall including Minecraft, Indie, Tabletop Gaming, and Retro zones.  There were also panel talks in a 650-seat dedicated auditorium, and of course the UK’s biggest LAN gaming halls.

Following on from the success of Insomnia49 last summer, Insomnia51 featured appearances from special guests from across the globe. Providing fans with the chance to meet them in person, Insomnia51 enabled YouTube stars to connect with their communities through Meet & Greet sessions, panel talk sessions, and main stage shows.

As the first Insomnia Gaming Festival of 2014, Insomnia51 saw increased entries for not only Esports tournaments on PC, but also on console. As part of their pledge to help grow the console tournament scene at Insomnia events, Multiplay delivered the Console Esports Arena, an area wholly dedicated to console Esports including tournament stations, a spectating zone, and an area for press.

Last year the Insomnia Gaming Festivals hit several milestones, with both its largest ever event and it’s fiftieth outing. 2013’s rapid growth and increased attendance inspired a change of venue, and the UK’s biggest gaming festival found a new home at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena resulting in the highest attendance for an Easter event in Multiplay’s 17-year history.

“There is no equivalent to the Insomnia Gaming Festival in the UK. There’s no single event that combines the LAN halls, the tournaments, the exhibition, the special guests, the stage activities, all into a single weekend-long gaming-focused festival experience,” said Craig Fletcher, CEO & Founder of Multiplay. “With each passing year Insomnia grows bigger and better, in no small part due to our incredible community and the fantastic partners we work with. With our summer plans for Insomnia52, 2014 is shaping up to be an unstoppable year for Multiplay events.”

To view all photos from Insomnia 51, please visit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mpuk/collections/72157644032424851/

For more information on Insomnia52 visit http://insomniagamingfestival.com. More announcements will be made in the coming months.

Train2Game News: Insomnia coming to Coventry

InsomniaOne of the UK’s biggest gaming festival will be staged in Coventry for the first time in 2014, when the Insomnia gaming festivals takes place at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena.

The Insomnia series attracts tens of thousands of gamers from across the UK to compete in the UK’s most competitive eSports tournaments and see the best games first, while millions watch events unfold online on Twitch.TV.

The first Insomnia festival at the Ricoh Arena takes place over Easter Bank Holiday weekend, Friday, April 18 to Monday, April 21 2014.

Insomnia will take over the Ricoh Arena to give visitors the chance to sample new games, watch live product demonstrations, buy the latest products and merchandise or watch the eSports tournaments unfold.

Offering the same unrivalled atmosphere as previous Insomnia events, visitors will be able to camp in their thousands across the weekend, bringing their own PCs and consoles with camping facilities and security on-hand.

Craig Fletcher, chief executive officer of Multiplay, said: “At Multiplay, we’re always looking to grow our business, and choosing a location that gives the Insomnia festivals strategic growth opportunities is of paramount importance to us, as well as our loyal community that attend our events.

He continued, “We’ve worked closely with the passionate staff at the Ricoh Arena and Coventry City Council to deliver a new home for Insomnia. “We are also delighted to be able to welcome back the Easter weekend dates which we haven’t been able to secure since Insomnia 42. “It’s incredibly exciting to be able to hold an Easter weekend extravaganza full of new content and awesome activities.

“We’re really pleased with the commitment and drive shown in bringing the UK’s largest gaming festivals to Coventry, and it’s a partnership we’re excited to move forward with in 2014.”

Jacky Isaac, Interim CEO at the Ricoh Arena, said she was thrilled one of the biggest dates in the calendar for gaming fans was being held in Coventry.

“It is the first time we will have held a gaming festival at the Ricoh Arena and this is great news for the venue and for the city,” she said.

“This is a festival for gaming in all its formats and is due to attract over 10,000 visitors from around the country.”

Tickets are available online now at www.insomniagamingfestival.com