Train2Game News London Game Fest 2021

The 2021 London Games Festival will showcase a range of unreleased titles from around the world, explore how games have aided players’ lives under COVID-19, and connect creators with global investors when it returns next year – running from Friday 19 March to Sunday 28 March

Next year professionals and players alike have a wealth of activity to enjoy, the majority of it from home. This includes a brand new showcase of new games, some of which will be playable at home for free, broadcasts and streams from iconic London locations and a must-attend business track.

A select number of outdoor elements are also planned for LGF and will be fully unveiled in early 2021. These include a public exhibition celebrating Ensemble, the festival’s showcase of Black, Asian and marginalised ethnicity UK video games talent, plus events run by Now Play This, which returns to Somerset House at the end of March.

London Games Festival is backed by the Mayor of London 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).

Highlights for London Games Festival 2021 include: 

  • For the first time in its six years, LGF will curate an Official Selection of titles across key themes such as narrative excellence and diverse creators while offering enhanced ways for players to experience these games, from developer sessions through to streaming gameplay
  • Ensemble, Games London’s acclaimed exhibition of Black, Asian and marginalised ethnicity UK video games talent, returns with an outdoor exhibition in partnership with the City of London Corporation, showing in Aldgate Square and Guildhall Yard across March, April and May 
  • Games Finance Market, running across 22 March to 25 March, which will connect 60 major investors with games businesses for private online pitch meetings curated by Games London
  • BAFTA Games Awards, the games industry’s most prestigious accolades, broadcast on the night of 25 March
  • Plus another head-turning collaboration with Now Play This. Now Play This runs 25 March to 28 March and is set to feature experimental gaming installations and activities at Somerset House
  • All content will be underpinned with daily broadcasts from London. This includes keynotes with major developers and creatives, plus explorations on key themes such as games’ impact on culture, how creators can address burning issues such as sustainability and diversity, collaborations with filmmakers, and the ways audiences found solace in virtual worlds while living under lockdown

LGF was one of the first events globally to switch to digital platforms in early 2020 and to great success: its programming this year generated millions of pounds of business for 402 participating global games companies. The call is now open for game submissions and applications for investor meetings in 2021.

Adrian Wootton, CEO of Film London and the British Film Commission, said: “London Games Festival will unlock more potential for the capital next year. The festival was one of the first events to switch to all-digital and we’re proud to see it evolve the model further with a dedicated games showcase and more. The games sector has proven its resilience in 2020 and we remain hugely committed to championing London and connecting the city’s game businesses to colleagues across the world, all while continuing to promote this exciting sector.”

Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie, said: “London Games Festival will focus on topics that are close to our industry’s heart – namely diversity, sustainability, and the ways many of us have used games to escape to at challenging times. As games continues to prove its value commercially, it’s never been more important to build invaluable connections between creators and funders to support the creation of world-changing games businesses in the UK.”

You can discover more about the programme in the coming months via www.games.london and @londongamesfest.

Train2Game News London Pokémon Center Pop-Up

The Pokémon Company International is excited to announce its plan to
open a special pop-up Pokémon Center retail location in London this
October.

Located in Westfield London
(Ariel Way, Shepherd’s Bush W12 7GF) and open only for a limited time
from October 18 to November 15 2019, the store will give fans a chance
to browse and purchase a range of Pokémon Center-branded products,
including exclusive designs not found anywhere else.

The pop-up Pokémon Center London celebrates the highly anticipated launch of the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield video games for Nintendo Switch this November; paying tribute to the United Kingdom’s role in inspiring the design and feel of the all-new Galar region players will explore in the games.

Further details on opening times, products available to purchase and additional in-store activities will be revealed in the coming months.

Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield will be released worldwide on November 15, 2019, exclusively for Nintendo Switch.

Train2Game News Green Man Gaming raises money for GamesAid

Green Man Gaming yesterday presented GamesAid, a UK based video games charity, with a cheque for £30,163.33 at the London Games Festival at London’s iconic Somerset House.

The funds were raised by Green Man Gaming customers who purchased the GamesAid 50 bundle, which was created in partnership with GamesAid and sponsored by 18 leading game publishers to raise money for the industry charity. Released in August 2018, 100% of the proceeds raised from the sale of all 50 games in the GamesAid bundle were donated to GamesAid thanks to the support from game publishers and customers.

Customers that purchased the GamesAid 50 Game bundle received fifty PC games from hit indie titles such as Human Fall Flat and The Flame of the Flood to must-have big games including Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain, Batman Arkham Knight and Mount and Blade. Gamers saved over £500 (RRP) through this bundle.

The game publishers sponsoring the GamesAid 50 game bundle include Konami, Fatshark, New World Interactive, Rebellion, Green Man Gaming Publishing, Headup Games, Tripwire, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TaleWorlds Entertainment, Team 17, 11 bit studios, Curve Digital, 505 Games, Bethesda Softworks, Codemasters, Paradox Interactive, Double Eleven and Aspyr.

“We’re so delighted to have presented a cheque for such a large amount to GamesAid during the London Games Festival this week. We’d like to thank all of the publishers that partnered with us for this bundle, and to our customers purchased the charity bundle that helped raised a fantastic amount for such a good cause. This charity bundle was our first collaboration with GamesAid with more to come in the near future so watch this space,” says Paul Sulyok, CEO and Founder of Green Man Gaming.

GamesAid is a UK based charity made up of games professionals who raise money to support a number of small UK charities, helping disabled and disadvantaged children and young people.

Train2Game News London Games Festival Parade

The Guildhall Yard in the historic City of London will turn into a celebration of cosplay and games culture when the London Games Festival’s annual Games Character Parade and Family Day returns on Saturday 6 April.

The parade is part of the twelve-day Festival of video games and interactive entertainment across the capital and is back in 2019 for its third year. The family day boasts a range of free activities for the whole family throughout the day including game exhibits, costume making and a unique VR experience in a historic location.

Games fans will gather in Guildhall Yard for the annual Games Character Parade and an onstage fashion show hosted by Costume and Play, while retro games come to life with interactive exhibits by Actual Reality Arcade.

Meanwhile, in Guildhall Art Gallery, young people can create their own costumes for the Character Parade with Boxhead Craft and SamiArts, and use Minecraft game technology to understand traditional crafts in Minecraft Knit, with help from its creator Gemma May Latham.

Minecraft Knit will return to the Gallery the following weekend on Saturday, April 13 as part of the Family Day for Seen and Heard: Victorian Children in the Frame (23 November 2018 – 28 April 2019).

In the Gallery’s ancient Amphitheatre, an interactive virtual reality experience by Professor William Latham will introduce new audiences to the latest innovations in digital art in the historic home of games in London. Professor Latham will also lead a lunchtime symposium for game developers, digital artists and academics working at the cutting edge of digital art.

For more details and information on how to attend, head to www.games.london/parade2019

London Games Festival runs from 2 to 14 April and is organised by Games London, a partnership between the capital’s screen industries agency Film London and games trade body Ukie, supported by the Mayor of London’s London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP).

The event is supported by the City of London Corporation and Arts Council of England. It is free to attend but those wishing to participate in the cosplay parade are required to register in advance at www.games.london/parade2019

The London Games Festival Character Parade and Family Day is just one of 40+ cultural or B2B events across 30 venues from 2 to 14 April.

London Games Festival is responsible for a series of thought-provoking summits and conferences, plus the Games Finance Market welcoming financiers with over £200m to spend on games investors. Other highlights include EGX Rezzed (4-6 April), Now Play This at Somerset House (6-14) and the BAFTA Games Awards (4 April).

More information and details on how to buy tickets can be found at www.games.london.

Train2Game News New UK Games Companies Opening

Games technology company Improbable today announces that it has commenced development of its own online multiplayer games, powered by SpatialOS, with game development in two studio locations.

These and future Improbable studios will create cutting-edge games for release, whilst spearheading major technological advancements that will be fundamental to improving the tools and techniques for our partner network.

Improbable’s game development will be initiated by its internal games studio based in Edmonton, fronted by Aaryn Flynn, former head of studio on BioWare’s Dragon Age, Star Wars: The Old Republic and Mass Effect franchises. Improbable also announces the creation of a London-based games studio, which will be led by new hire John Wasilczyk, previously Executive Producer at Epic Games and EA DICE.

Herman Narula, co-founder and CEO at Improbable, says:

“As our network of partners has grown we’ve come to work with an incredible range of studios and projects. We see our internal studios as a way to further support these partners by pushing technical and creative boundaries and then sharing those learnings with our developer community.

“We look forward to seeing what our highly talented studios – in Edmonton, London and other locations in the future – will bring not only to players but also to the continued growth and development of SpatialOS.”

The SpatialOS platform allows for rapid iteration and the ability to develop beyond a single server to create highly innovative games. The first untitled project is in development at the Edmonton studio, which already has around 50 staff covering art, game design, programming and tool development and is continuing to grow. Meanwhile, Improbable’s London-based game studio is building a team from current Improbable employees and new hires.

Improbable is initially announcing these studios but is also interested in founding or growing other studios in additional locations and supporting remote teams.

Aaryn Flynn, Improbable’s General Manager of North America, comments:

“I was interested in making a game using SpatialOS from the very first time I spoke to Improbable. Building tools and content has been a great way for our Edmonton team to master SpatialOS, but a full game was always an opportunity myself and others had in mind as the Edmonton studio took shape. Now, after a lot of great hires and great progress, we’re going to focus on creating that game using Unreal Engine 4 and building on SpatialOS’ next-generation online games platform.

“We’ve grown fast but we’re still looking for additional team members in Engineering, Art, Design and QA to build out our team further. As things progress, we’re excited to show you more in the future.”

Improbable will be at GDC 2019 to discuss the company’s move into game development, as well as the evolution of SpatialOS and its applications for developers.

It is hosting two panels in which they’ll discuss how developers can leverage SpatialOS to create the next generation of multiplayer games.

How to Build a 200-Person FPS in 20 minutes and Building Unreal Worlds with SpatialOS, are hosted by games industry leaders such as Aaryn Flynn (Mass Effect, Dragon Age) and Josh Holmes (Halo franchise, Def Jam Vendetta) along with Improbable’s own Herman Narula (co-founder & CEO) and Rob Whitehead (co-founder & Chief Product Officer).

Train2Game News EGX 2019 Tickets on Sale Now

Gamer Network, organisers of the UK’s leading video games events, is excited to announce that tickets are now available to purchase for EGX 2019 which returns to London this year, taking over ExCeL London for 4 days from the 17th to the 20th of October 2019.

Promising to be the best show yet, EGX 2019 – sponsored by Virgin Media – will feature more than 1,500 screens of interactive entertainment with blockbuster triple-A titles from the world’s biggest publishers sitting alongside a huge collection of innovative indie games in the Rezzed Zone. The show will also feature esports, retro gaming and meet and greets with notable personalities from YouTube and Twitch.

Meanwhile, the Developer Sessions and Rezzed Sessions will bring attendees the latest news on some of the world’s most exciting pre-release games and deep dive insights into the game development process.

The GamesIndustry.biz Career Fair will offer invaluable advice to those seeking to begin a career in games and the GamesIndustry.biz Trade Zone will be a vital destination for members of the UK trade looking to network.

David Lilley, EGX Event Director, said, “EGX 2019 is special to us as it marks the year we are returning to our home, London. The new venue is allowing us to grow the favourite elements of the show as well as introduce new ones. With more space, features and games than ever before we’re excited by the prospect of delivering the best show to date”.

This year EGX 2019 will include:

  • A packed show floor featuring the world’s biggest game franchises playable pre-release
  • The incredible Rezzed Zone housing the largest collection of indie games in Europe
  • Globally respected game development talent offering insights into their latest projects in the Developer Sessions
  • Various esports tournaments with some of the best players competing across the weekend
  • Meet and greet sessions with prominent YouTube and Twitch personalities
  • A massive cosplay arena with daily masquerades, competitions, how-to talks and photoshoots
  • A vast retro area with systems spanning 40 years of gaming as well as arcade and pinball machines
  • The return of the Games Library with visitors able to pick and choose from a massive catalogue of games to play with their friends
  • The GamesIndustry.biz Career Fair featuring publishers, developers, recruiters and educators offering guidance on beginning a career in games
  • The GamesIndustry.biz Trade Zone, offering meeting space and networking opportunities to the UK industry
  • Retail stands with limited edition merch and pre-order incentives exclusive to EGX
  • Community parties on Friday and Saturday nights packed with entertainment

The line-up of playable games, speaker schedules and additional features will be announced later in the year.

Tickets for the event can be purchased from the EGX website: https://www.egx.net/egx

Train2Game News Loading Lock-In

Wired Productions Ltd., a leading independent video games publisher, is happy to announce that it has teamed up with Loading Bar Shepherd’s Bush in London to host regular monthly Lock-in Community Nights.

Scheduled to run on the second Wednesday of every month, from 7 pm to 10 pm. Kicking off the first lock-in is an exclusive play of the unreleased, up-coming Epic Games Store exclusive, Close to the Sun.

The exclusive partnership with Loading Bar Shepherd’s Bush, not only serves as the perfect forum to engage with Wired’s vibrant community in an informal and friendly way but allows like-minded gamers to get hands-on with all of Wired’s games. There will be competitions, free swag, opportunities to meet – and quiz – the Wired team over a range of topics – not limited to, but including, industry gossip, help and advice!

“The community means everything to us, so this is our way of thanking them for their unswerving commitment and loyalty,” enthused Managing Director, Wired Productions, Leo Zullo. “We think that the partnership with Loading Bar Shepherd’s Bush lays the foundations for a series of memorable nights in which we get to know our growing fan base. There’ll be ample opportunity for the community to provide the kind of ongoing feedback that quite often changes the direction of a game’s development and its subsequent DLC. In short, we can’t wait to kickstart the first Wired Lock-In Community Night on 13th March.”

Wired Lock-In Community Nights are scheduled to run on the second Wednesday of every month, throughout the year, at Loading Bar Shepherd’s Bush in London.

Full details of what can be seen and played on the opening evening can be found below:

March 13th

  • Close to the sun hands on!
  • GRIP fastest Lap comp with swag
  • All wired games playable
  • Exclusive close to the sun Tee for first 20 people
  • Open to all public
  • Free entry
  • Over 18 only and ID may be needed

Train2Game News Games Finance Market 2019

Momentum is building behind the upcoming fourth annual Games Finance Market, part of London Games Festival, which has secured participation from a number of world-renowned investors and game funders.

60 different investors are expected to attend the event on 3 and 4 April in central London, running during the wider 2-14 April 2019 London Games Festival. The event has grown in popularity since its 2016 debut and continues to attract investor heavyweights looking to fund new games businesses and hear innovative pitches.

Recent research has shown that the global appetite for games investments is soaring, with $5.7bn spent on games companies in 2018 – double the amount in 2017.

New to the Market in 2019 are a range of established world-famous investors who haven’t visited before but have been attracted to London and the Games Festival by its unique mix of talent, culture and cost-effectiveness. These include Accel, Balderton Capital, BigBen Interactive, Chucklefish, DMM, ExWorks Capital, Finstock Capital, Gameforge, Kowloon Nights, Private Division, and Triple Dragon.

They join other previously-confirmed attendees including All 4 Games, Altered VC, Authentic Media Group, BFI, Curve Digital, Goldfinch Entertainment, Greenlight Games, Green Man Gaming Publishing, ID@Xbox, Microsoft, London Venture Partners, Marvelous Europe, Miniclip, Northern Ireland Screen, PlayStack and SEGA.

Developers can still apply to be part of the market and get a chance to meet these visiting investors – more information can be found at http://gfm.games.london, while the deadline to apply is midnight GMT on Monday, 18 February 2019.

The Games Finance Market is part of London Games Festival and is backed by the Mayor of London. 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).

Find out more at www.games.london and follow @londongamesfest for more updates over the coming weeks and months.

Train2Game News Method Dominating WoW eSports

Powerhouse esports organization Method have officially achieved their 11th World First victory live from the Red Bull Gaming Sphere in London, defeating all nine bosses in the newest WoW raid before any other guild.

The Race to World First for Battle of Dazar’alor began last Thursday (31/01/19) and Method defeated the final boss, Mythic Jaina Proudmore, live in front of fans on Twitch on Tuesday (05/02/19).

Method were the first guild to ever broadcast a Race to World First when they defeated Battle for Azeroth’s opening raid, Uldir, in record time from the Red Bull Gaming Sphere in September last year.

Sco, Gingi, Narcolies, Chrispotter, Perfecto, Deepshades and Cayna, part of the 20 man Method raid guild, battled it out tirelessly to become the first guild in the world to take down Mythic Jaina. The Race to World First saw over 230k views across the Method Twitch channels, with Method’s official channel and guild master Scott “Sco” McMillan’s channel combined seeing 4.49M hours watched last week alone (28/01/19 – 03/02/19.)

“We’re incredibly proud to have achieved another World First. To see such amazing success in terms of viewership a second time around confirms that we’re onto something special by sharing our progress with the community,” said Scott ‘Sco’ McMillan, Co-Founder, Method. “The Red Bull Gaming Sphere has become the perfect base for us to attempt World Firsts. We’ve spent over 96 hours in the space during this raid alone, and having a comfortable environment that’s purpose built to support gaming definitely gave us a competitive edge. Not to mention the unlimited Red Bull to keep us alert and focused throughout.”

Method were the first organisation to recognise the viewership potential of a Race to World First in September when they live streamed their defeat of mythic G’huun, the final boss in Battle for Azeroth’s first raid from the Red Bull Gaming Sphere. Both of Method’s Race to World First streams have seen fantastic viewership and represent an exciting new direction for the esports scene, spearheaded by a world renowned esports organisation in Method.

Train2Game News Interactive Futures Event

The UK’s newest games conference and festival, Interactive Futures, is delighted to announce full details of the Academic Conference taking place on the first day of the 3 day festival on Thursday 31 January 2019.

The sessions will also be hosted at Warwickshire College and feature a range of esteemed academic speakers.

The Academic Conference will allow academics and researchers, plus school, college and university students an opportunity to enjoy the insights available as part of Interactive Futures. The programme on Thursday 31 January covers a range of topics across 3 key areas; Contexts and Histories, Innovation and Application and Users and Impacts, with 12 individual sessions throughout the day.

Hosted by Warwickshire College, speakers on the programme will be representing University of Birmingham, Coventry University, Staffordshire University, Birmingham City University, Art Institute of Chicago, Bahcesehir University in Istanbul, Totem Learning Ltd and, of course, Silicon Spa itself.

Steve Taylor, Dean of Higher Education at Warwickshire College, commented, “We are really pleased to be hosting the Interactive Futures Academic Conference which has an exciting and diverse line-up of speakers who will be presenting research and work which is at the forefront of developments in both leisure and serious gaming. Warwickshire College students are studying Foundation and full honours degrees in Games Art right in the heart of Silicon Spa, and this conference will also be a great opportunity for them to gain insights into the industry, careers and further research opportunities”

Specific sessions at the conference include Historical Perspectives on ‘Serious Gaming’, Exploring Video Games to Teach Digital Skills, The Politics of VR: Who Are We Developing For?, and Can Fantasy Games Impact Behaviour in the “Real World”? among others. The full session timetable can now be viewed at www.interactive-futures.com.

The Academic Conference will form day 1 of the 3 days of Interactive Futures, which will also be hosting sessions across Friday 1 and Saturday 2 February at the Royal Spa Centre in Leamington Spa. Leamington Spa (known as Silicon Spa) is one of the UK’s largest games clusters outside of London, with a wealth of both AAA studios and indie developers at the heart of its success. The cluster employs over 2500 highly skilled individuals and equates to over 10% of the total UK games development workforce.

Other sessions throughout the 3 day event will focus on industry specific technical insight, accessibility in games, access to finance for game developers, the latest in influencer marketing, career opportunities and much more. Speakers include representatives from Playground Games, Playstation, UKIE, Space Ape Games and others. For the latest news please visit www.interactive-futures.com

As well as the conference programme visitors to Interactive Futures can immerse themselves in the Games Showcase, featuring a range of companies showcasing new releases and opportunities throughout the event, as well as a range of soon to be announced Fringe events around the town.

Interactive Futures will take place at the Royal Spa Centre on Friday 1 and Saturday 2 February and will be preceded by the academic conference for colleges and universities at Warwickshire College on Thursday 31st January.

Tickets for the Academic Conference are priced at £50 and are available now from www.interactive-futures.com.

Tickets are also available to purchase as a 2 day festival pass joint with a Friday ticket..