Train2Game News Affordable Home Arcade Cabinets

SAMBRO and TASTEMAKERS LLC are pleased to announce the first wave of Arcade1Up affordable arcade machines are available now across the UK.

Officially licenced and featuring the original artwork and styling of the classic cabinets from the Golden Age of Gaming, the machines are stocked with classic titles such as Space Invaders™, Asteroids®, Street Fighter™ II and Rampage.

The vision of US toy company Tastemakers, Arcade1Up started off as a passion project for CEO Scott Bachrach and his team. The vision was to replicate the feeling of playing in the arcades and pizza parlours of their youth… something they felt lacking on today’s console and handheld versions. Roll ahead to today, and the machines have met with critical acclaim, winning the prestigious TECH TOY OF THE YEAR AWARD at New York Toy Fair.

“Arcade1Up will transport you back to an era of button-mashing, neon lights and hours of addictive gaming fun,” said Scott Bachrach, CEO of Tastemakers, LLC. “It is a unique experience and truly brings back retro gaming the way it was meant to be played!”

Arcade1Up are ¾ scale replica copies of original arcade cabinets (full-size when used with an optional riser), complete with original artwork, authentic controls (including rotary sticks, rollerballs and joysticks). Each machine comes with multiple titles – the original-code versions of the games – complete with techniques and tactics to learn, hidden features to exploit. So, if you could master manoeuvres in Space Invaders, exploit using the edge of the screen in Asteroids or rack-up the extra lives in Defender back in the day… there’s nothing stopping you living that dream again!

The cabinets are priced at £349 each with the following titles:

Atari®️’s Asteroids®️ Cabinet:

Asteroids®️, Tempest®️, Major Havoc®️, Lunar Lander®️

Midway’s Rampage Cabinet:

Rampage, Defender, Joust, Gauntlet

Taito’s Space Invaders Cabinet:

Space Invaders™ Color, Space Invaders ™ Black and White

Capcom’s Street Fighter™ II Championship Cabinet:

Street Fighter™ II Championship Edition, Super Street Fighter™ II The New Challengers, Super Street Fighter™ II Turbo

For more information, visit:

Arcade1up.com

Train2Game News Codemasters Opens Birmingham Studio

Codemasters® today opened the doors to its new state-of-the-art development studio in the heart of Birmingham, UK.

The new office in the Grade II listed Alpha Tower, formerly the headquarters of regional television company ATV, is now home to the BAFTA award-winning F1® game development team which currently boasts 108 employees. The office space spans 14,000 square feet and has been equipped with the latest technology including a D-Box race simulator which delivers the ultimate driving experience. The new studio replaces The Custard Factory, where the company spent three years having previously been based in Tricorn House.

Codemasters’ ties to Birmingham dates back to the mid-1990s, as a development studio for the now defunct Rage Software. The studio lived-on as independent developer Swordfish Studios and was acquired by Codemasters in 2008, collaborating on titles including Jonah Lomu Rugby and World Championship Rugby. The studio’s first F1® game was the BAFTA award-winning F1® 2010 and the studio has produced F1® video games through to the present day.

“Birmingham continues to be a hub for attracting talented developers and, as our studio continues to expand, making Alpha Tower our new home is a testament to the quality of the people who want to work for Codemasters in this incredible city,” commented Ian Flatt, Head of Studio, Codemasters Birmingham. “Creativity is at the heart of every decision we make and we wanted a new home that inspires people, offers our employees the best working facilities and enables them to fulfil their potential.”

For more information on Codemasters go to http://www.codemasters.com/

Train2Game News StandUp for GamesAid 2019

UK games industry charity GamesAid is excited to announce that its hilarious stand-up comedy night, StandUp for GamesAid 2019, will be returning to The Comedy Store on Monday 13th May.

GamesAid’s Patron and MC resident Imran Yusuf will once again be your charismatic host leading a cracking crew of comedy stars, to keep you laughing all night.

This year’s line-up includes:

  • Shoot From The Hip
  • Yuriko Kotani
  • Alex Kealy.
  • John Moloney

Year after year, Stand Up for GamesAid has proven to be a whopping success raising over £12,200 in 2018 making the event the most fun and easiest way to raise money for a good cause. Last year was a sell-out, so let’s make this year even bigger!

Tickets are available right now at just £17 (+ £2 booking fee) and all profits raised will go to GamesAid and their life-changing charities.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting The Comedy Store website:

https://thecomedystore.co.uk/london/show/stand-games-aid/

GamesAid will also be holding a raffle to give you the chance to win some incredible prizes including the Black Ops 4 Mystery Box for Xbox One, Assassin’s Creed Origins – God’s Edition for PS4 and many more!

This event always sells out quickly, so grab yours now while they last!

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 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 Box Joining GameBlast19

Committed video gamers from Birmingham technology giant Box are gearing up to burn the midnight gaming oil to raise money for people with disabilities.

Around 20 staff at the Minworth-based business will be playing video games continuously for 24 hours as part of GameBlast19, the UK’s largest gaming marathon weekend.

This will be the fourth year Box has taken part in the event, having previously raised more than £2,000 for the charity SpecialEffect, which uses technology to help people with disabilities enjoy video games.

Box is asking people to help them reach their £1,000 target by donating money via www.justgiving.com/boxgameblast19

The game-a-thon takes place February 23-24.

Rodney Critchlow, store manager at Box, said: “We’re really excited to be taking part in GameBlast19. A lot of us are keen gamers, but playing for 24 hours is still a big challenge.

“We’ll have a schedule of games to play throughout the event, and people will be able to watch via our Twitch channel, www.twitch.tv/boxuk

“SpecialEffect is a fantastic charity which uses things like modified joypads and eye-control technology to enable disabled people to play games. It means they don’t have to just sit there and watch their friend or sibling having fun.

“We’re hoping to raise at least £1,000.”

Box.co.uk sells an extensive range of technology and computing products through its specialist website and retail shop, including laptops, desktop PCs, phones and tablets, components, monitors and printers.

The business was founded by Mark Jordan in 1996 and today is the UK’s leading technology e-commerce business, employing over 100 people and turning over £42 million.

Train2Game News Now Play This

Ukie has become a major funder of this year’s Now Play This, part of the London Games Festival, to support more experimental game commissions and to help extend the exhibition’s run.

It comes as part of a new three-way partnership with Games London and Now Play This CIC.

This year, Now Play This will extend from four days to nine, bringing the latest in experimental game design from around the world to Somerset House for its biggest edition ever. Ukie’s funding will enable more commissions and content to exist for practitioners to showcase their work to the public. It will also fund more workshops and key industry talks on skills development as well as networking opportunities.

The commitment from Ukie reflects the significance of Now Play This and its role as part of the London Games Festival, which is a joint project between Film London and Ukie, supported by the Mayor of London. The exhibition is a popular, family friendly part of the Festival programme and extending the run will enable more people to get hands on with the games on display.

Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie (The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment) said: “Now Play This is a true celebration of the culture, curiosity and creative breadth of games. We are delighted that this contribution from the sector means more creativity and artistry from the community. We’re also pleased that the funding will help Now Play This to have more original commissioned work and more opportunities for anyone interested in our powerful form of art.”

Jonathan Reekie CBE, Director of Somerset House Trust, said: “We are extremely grateful to Ukie for their enhanced support of this year’s Now Play This at Somerset House. This has enabled us to double the length of the festival to nine days, with more games, talks and workshops for visitors of all ages. With Ukie’s support, Now Play This continues to offer a vital platform for talented artists and game developers and ensure that experimental game design often engaging in unexpected subjects is thriving.”

Now Play This is a festival of experimental game design which runs at Somerset House in London as part of London Games Festival. This year Now Play This will run over nine days from 6-14 April, featuring exciting hands-on gameplay for all ages to enjoy, from solo games to multiplayer collaborative experiences, from a host of multidisciplinary artists and creators. Visitors can also enjoy a range of free outdoor gaming installations, as well as a series of insightful talks, workshops and activities from the designers and makers taking part in the festival.

Train2Game News Northern Exposure

Secret Sauce, producers of Northern Exposure, are thrilled to announce their day-long games event will return for its third instalment on the 27th February at the Northern Design Centre in Gateshead’s thriving digital quarter.

Cumron Ashtiani, Founder at Atomhawk, will be speaking at February’s conference and said “I’m delighted to have been asked to get involved in the latest Northern Exposure event. October’s event was a great opportunity to meet and discuss ideas with so many people who are passionate about the games industry. I’m looking forward to returning in February to follow up on my previous talk about the highs and lows of growing a business and to meet with more great people”.

Northern Exposure will be partnering with UKIE to deliver a well-rounded day of discussions including a keynote courtesy of Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO at UKIE. She said, “The games industry all over the UK is of vital importance to the creative industries and tech economies in the UK, but also globally. Northern Exposure is a great opportunity to discuss how we can continue to grow by helping local studios and developers access the opportunities the global digital economy offers, as well as inspire new ideas that will shape the industry in the years to come.”

The Northern regions of the UK have a long and proud history of excellence in the games industry and Northern Exposure is a celebration of regional success, as well as an opportunity for local studios and developers to hear from national and international industry experts.

“It’s wonderful to see the local games community come together for Northern Exposure; this is our third instalment and the talks are always super inspiring and informative”, said Katy Reilly, Project Manager at Secret Sauce. “Northern Exposure emulates the region’s famous GameHorizon Conference by bringing together local speakers as well as guests from the wider games sector. It’s a pleasure to produce an event like this and put focus on creating something which is valuable to the community and shines a light on what’s happening in the region.”

This one-day event features talks from business owners, industry leaders, professionals and experts, sharing personal stories of success, failure and lessons learned. Hear expert tips and nuggets of knowledge to inspire your own business and games. There are plenty of opportunities to network throughout the day, followed by a drinks party in the evening.

Bob Makin, Managing Director at SockMonkey, will be making a return in February to host the event and guide attendees through a full day of exciting talks and discussions. “It’s great to be asked back to host Northern Exposure again” said Bob, “we’ve got such a fantastic gaming and interactive scene up here in the North East. It’s wonderful to have an event where we can shout about what we do up here and all the great games that are developed by ridiculously talented people. I can’t wait!”.

Secret Sauce is also delighted to welcome Escape Technology on board as Networking Sponsor for Northern Exposure; Neil Parmar, Account Director at Escape Technology said, “events like Northern Exposure are vital for the continued development of the games industry. We’re thrilled to be a part of the community and look forward to sharing our insights into creative CG technologies”.

Early bird tickets are available now at £25.00 which is a whopping 50% discount on the general admission tickets. Be quick though, as the early-bird offer ends on January 27th.

Tickets can be purchased through the eventbrite page: https://northexpo2019.eventbrite.co.uk

Keep up to date with future announcements on the website: www.north-expo.co.uk

Train2Game News Ukie 30 Years Of Play

Ukie has launched 30 Years of Play, a major campaign for 2019 marking the trade body’s 30th birthday year, making it the oldest games trade body in the world.

The campaign celebrates the past, present and future of the UK’s games and interactive entertainment sector through a year long calendar of content, events and activities.

The campaign will tell the stories of the UK games industry, from its early roots, through the 1980s when Ukie (then ELSPA) was created, to the present day.

It will reveal some hidden stories and create a home for previously unseen archival materials revealing the past few decades of the political environment for games, as well house key events celebrating the major achievements of the sector and the people who have made it.

The 30 Years of Play campaign will include:

  • A dedicated microsite – 30yearsofplay.uk – hosting content detailing the history and stories of our sector, as well as information about events and other campaign news.
  • A podcast series that explores the stories behind leading UK made video games – such as Rome: Total War, Football Manager, Monument Valley, Fable and more – and the wider critical or cultural impact they had.
  • Key events throughout the year, including an event to highlight best-selling games in the UK over the last three decades, a gala dinner to celebrate Ukie’s birthday and appoint a new generation of video game ambassadors at the Westminster games day.
  • Opportunities for industry partners to contribute content, events and activities through an official partnership scheme.
  • Creating a digital archive for important interactive entertainment documentation to help preserve the history of our genre.

The campaign launches officially on Monday 21th January and will run until the end of the year.

Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie, says:

“The 30 Years of Play campaign is an opportunity for the industry to come together and tell the stories of the positive impact people and games have had on our economy, on our culture, on lives, and on society.

As the oldest games trade body in the world, we also want to dig in our own archives – three decades of publications, government reports, correspondence – to see what has changed and how far we have come as a responsible, creative, innovative and self-regulating industry. We would like to have as much of the UK sector – companies and individuals – to join in and share their stories too.”
Noirin Carmody, COO Revolution Software and Chair of the Ukie Board of directors added:

“Although this campaign is timed to coincide with Ukie’s 30th birthday, its aim is to reflect how our thriving industry has succeeded because of decades of hard work from thousands of talented, passionate individuals. From the pioneers of the 1980s through to the current generation driving the sector forward today, we want to shine a spotlight on the bright and brilliant people who contributed, and continue to contribute, to the success of our sector.

And in doing so, we want to bring that creativity and passion to a new and diverse generation, driving our sector to ever greater economic and cultural heights.”

Train2Game News Almost a Third of Students Want To Join The Creative Industries

Ahead of the UCAS deadline, new research has revealed that 71% of the future workforce, aged 16-25, have a passionate desire to join the UK’s fastest growing industry – The Creative Industries.

This sector is now worth a massive £101.5bn GVA to the UK economy, and with this growth one-fifth of all UK students are choosing to pursue roles in the industry over other sectors, according to the research, released by Escape Studios.

Despite this, 40% of students feel that they haven’t received enough information from teachers and careers advisors around the opportunities available to them within the creative industries – even though an estimated 1.2m creative workers are needed in the UK by 2022.

Confusion around the economic climate is creating extra pressure for students. 66% of 16-25 year olds surveyed revealed they believed their parents were more likely to push them into ‘traditional’ career options, such as accountancy and engineering, over a creative career path. In contrast to this sentiment, 43% of parents confirmed they would be more likely to steer their children towards more ‘traditional’ jobs, due to the economic uncertainty.

Parents seem to be one of the biggest barriers to entry into the industry, with over one-third of parents and guardians stating they would not be happy with their child pursuing a creative career – a 15% growth from research commissioned in 2018 – suggesting a growing lack of support and disconnect between parents and students.

Mainstream education fails to support creative talent within classrooms

Although there is a desire amongst students to pursue creative careers in Game Design (30%), VFX (21%) and Game Art (13%), our study reveals that support is lacking within the classroom. According to students aged 16-18 years old, one-third (33%) surveyed do not have a good understanding of the careers available in the creative industries, with 41% of 19-25 year olds agreeing they didn’t receive adequate careers advice.

The lack of advice and support offered in schools means one in three 16-18 year olds haven’t considered taking qualifications in the creative industries – despite employment within the industry itself predicated to grow by 5.3% over the next six years, double that of the average rate of employment, which will rise by 2.5%.

Escape Studios current student Maddison Gould comments; “Schools need to work harder when educating the future workforce about possible careers in the creative industries. The UK is brimming with talent; for example our art classes could hold a hub of future VFX designers. Teachers and career advisors should consider ‘less-traditional routes’ when offering information about employability in the creative industries, to ensure students who’re lost when choosing their options have a wealth of various career routes available.”

Parents are ‘out of touch’

Despite 35% of parents revealing they would not be happy if their child pursued a creative career, over a third of those surveyed stated they did not have a good understanding of the career options available within the creative industries. Showcasing a lack of support and education for parents around options for students in this booming industry.

Parents state that they would be happier if their children chose career options in industries such as Healthcare (14%), Engineering (14%) and IT (13%), even though the creative industries can offer many lucrative job opportunities.

A future Britain needs to become creative to succeed

Between 2010 and 2017, the creative industries grew by 53.1% and is predicted to continue growing despite economic uncertainty. In particular, the gaming sector now accounts for more than half of the UK’s entire entertainment market – more than video and music combined. Research from Escape Studios shows that a third (30%) of students would like to work in Game Design.

Despite all of this, students (30%) and parents (34%) still believe that Art and Design is one of the least important subjects they can take at school. Therefore, it’s imperative that schools better themselves in educating students, as it’s the future workforce who’ll help to build the continuously growing creative economy.

Dr Ian Palmer, Director of Escape Studios comments;“The creative industries continue to grow at a substantial rate; despite this, not enough students are aware of the opportunities available to them within the sector. However, we are thrilled to see that such a high percentage of UK students are showing an interest in creative careers. To support the continuing success of the UK’s creative industries, we need to take a bottom-up approach to nurture future talent. We can do this by creating an environment to inform students and their parents of the career opportunities in the creative sector and provide more support for careers advisors.”