Train2Game News Jagex Recruitment Drive

Jagex today announced key senior hires within its development teams to drive forward the company’s growth plans to continue the stellar performance of the RuneScape franchise, build new game experiences and support its third-party games publishing initiative.

With Jagex aiming to grow its workforce by 25% in 2019, Melissa Bachman-Wood joins as Vice-President of Studio, a games industry veteran holding more than 20 years’ experience. Melissa started her career at Maxis, and continued with Electronic Arts, managing cross-functional teams of The Sims franchise.

Today, Melissa is a leader in game development and live services, and has held senior studio head roles at Backbone Entertainment, KIXEYE, and Jam City.

In addition, James Burns has joined Jagex as Technical Director working on the company’s as-yet unannounced online action role-playing game. Burns holds over 18 years in the games industry specialising in online engineering with stints at PlayStation, Activision and Splash Damage.

At Jagex, Burns will be the driving force behind the game’s development, ensuring the project is at the frontline of technical innovation.

Malachy O’Neill has been appointed as Director of Quality Assurance. Formerly of Nintendo Europe, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Natural Motion and Zynga, O’Neill will head Jagex’s experienced team to deliver a range of high-quality QA services.

Nick Beliaeff, SVP of Game Development, Jagex, said:

“With the significant talent we’re able to continuously attract to Jagex, it’s very clear that big things lie ahead for the studio. These great new additions to the team add industry leading experience and knowledge, which fuel our goals to build and expand RuneScape and Old School RuneScape for players on both PC and mobile, extend the franchise to new platforms and new game experiences, and bring new living games into the Jagex portfolio.”

Melissa Bachman-Wood, VP of Studio, said:

“I’m thrilled to join the Jagex team and delighted for the chance to enable our teams to deliver even more great games to our players. I’m eager to help lead Studio strategy and execution to enable Jagex to excel in its ambition to be the home of living games, building out our world-class studio teams and processes.”

Jagex has also welcomed back Mark Faulkner as its new Director of Publishing Platform, while Ben Albon is promoted to IT Director from his previous role as Lead Operations Engineer.

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

Train2Game News BAFTA Young Game Designers 2019 Winners

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced the winners of the 2019 BAFTA Young Game Designers (YGD) competition at an awards ceremony last night at its headquarters, BAFTA 195 Piccadilly.

Four aspiring game designers aged between 10 and 18, as well as an inspirational teacher, have all been honoured with BAFTA YGD awards.

The BAFTA YGD competition, now in its ninth year, presents awards in two main categories: The Game Concept Award, for a written idea for a new game; and the Game Making Award, for a game made using computer software. The 2019 winners, chosen by a jury of industry experts, are:

  • Jesse Waymont for ‘I Seek Death’ – Game Concept Award (10-14 years)
  • Elizabeth Orji-Smith for ‘Creatively Bankrupt’ – Game Concept Award (15-18 years)
  • Maximillian Robinson for ‘LASERASE: Demolition in the future’ – Game Making Award (10-14 years)
  • Adam Pace for ‘Wip’ – Game Making Award (15-18 years)

Matthew Applegate, founder of the Creative Computing Club, was awarded the YGD Mentor Award.

This Award is presented to an individual nominated by the public for their involvement in the education of young game designers.

In a written message to attendees and the young finalists, HRH The Duke of Cambridge and President of BAFTA, said: “This year the entries have an overwhelming social purpose to them, focusing on issues including mental health, climate change, conservation, disability, bereavement, and transgender rights. Many of the game ideas strive to educate players of all ages on the social issues they address, hoping to prompt real change in people’s lives. I think it is fantastic to see young people using games to express themselves and purposes that they identify with.”

The ceremony was hosted by Alysia Judge (games journalist and presenter) and Aoife Wilson (writer, presenter and video producer for Eurogamer), with notable industry figures presenting the awards to the winners, including YouTuber Dean Dobbs, game developer and co-founder of Media Molecule Siobhan Reddy, and BAFTA Games Vice President David Gardner. BAFTA-winning game designer Mike Bithell delivered the closing speech for the ceremony, praising the young designers’ creativity and talent.

The annual YGD competition, which began in 2010, aims to demonstrate the creativity that goes in to game design and give young people, and their teachers, an understanding of the rewarding careers available within the industry. The four winners, chosen from 53 finalists, received a host of prizes, including tours of games studios, software licenses, games and a mentor from the games industry to help them develop their skills further.

Previous winners have gone on to have successful careers within the industry. Dan Pearce was part of BAFTA’s flagship new talent scheme ‘Breakthrough Brits’, before becoming BAFTA nominated for his work. Dan Smith released his game The Spectrum Retreat with Ripstone Games Publishers last year. The game went on to be nominated at the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Awards.

Dr. Jo Twist OBE, Chair of Games Committee at BAFTA, said: “It is fantastic to see such a high calibre of games from upcoming creative talent being rewarded. It’s been another great year for the competition, and with previous winners having gone on to be BAFTA nominated, I can’t wait to see this year’s winners go out and make their own mark on the industry.”

Supporting partners of BAFTA Young Game Designers include: Creative Assembly (SEGA), Criterion (EA), Jagex, King, PlayStation, Ubisoft, and WB Games.

For more information visit http://ygd.bafta.org/

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