Guerrilla to Deliver Headline Keynote and Receive Star Award

4 May 2023

Tandem Events have today announced that Horizon Forbidden West developer Guerrilla will deliver the headline keynote at Develop:Brighton 2023.

The announcement comes alongside the publication of the complete conference programme, which is now available to view here.

Titled ‘Guerrilla: To New Horizons’, the keynote session will see the studio’s leaders Angie Smets, Jan-Bart van Beek and Michiel van der Leeuw discuss challenges faced during the development of Horizon Forbidden West, Guerrilla’s ambitious sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn.

The Guerrilla team will also share a glimpse into their future vision and what excites them creatively as they head into their next chapter.

Tandem Events have also announced Guerrilla as the recipient of the 2023 Develop Star Award, marking the first time a studio has received the award, which recognises outstanding achievements and contributions to the games industry.

“Guerrilla is thrilled to be delivering a keynote session at Develop:Brighton 2023 and truly honoured to be the first studio to receive the Develop Star Award,“ said Angie Smets, VP, Head of Development Strategy at PlayStation Studios, who left her post as Guerrilla’s Studio Director in April 2023.

“We’re excited to celebrate with our peers, share development insights from over two decades of studio history, and speak to why we’re confident about the road ahead.”

Taking place 11-13 July at the Hilton Brighton Metropole, the latest Develop:Brighton 2023 speakers to be announced including representatives from Roll7, King, Frontier Developments, Interior Night, Barclays and many more.

Guerrilla will be joined by fellow keynote speaker Jon Ingold, who will be discussing narrative design in his session on Thursday 13 July. Develop:Brighton’s third keynote will be announced in the coming weeks.

Below is a selection of this year’s conference sessions. For more, visit the Develop website.

  • Concept Art In Returnal: How Creative Principles Shaped Returnal’s Visual Development (Art)
    Veera Hokkanen, Housemarque, PlayStation Studios
  • The Innards of F.L.E.S.H: Dead Island 2’s Gore System Dissected (Art)
    Dan Evans-Lawes, Deep Silver Dambuster Studios
    Aaron Ridge, Deep Silver Dambuster Studios
  • Congrats! You’re a Middle Manager! Now what? (Business)
    Marc Espinola Berestein, Sumo Digital
  • Lego Starwars: 200+ Character States Built for 384 Playable Characters (Coding)
    Ian Simpson, TT Games
  • Are Your Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Initiatives Helping or Hurting? (Business)
    Anita Sarkeesian, Feminist Frequency
  • Challenges in Creating a Completely New IP (Art)
    Josh Grier & Mike Grier, Ember Lab
  • Programming for ‘As Dusk Falls’: Using Unity Differently (Coding)
    Ron de Feijter, Interior Night
  • How to Successfully Kill a Mobile Game (Mobile)
    Allan Stowe, Outfit7
  • Creating the Epic Audio for God of War Ragnarök (Audio)
    Michael Kent, PlayStation Studios // Creative Arts
  • How to End the World: A Post-mortem of RuneScape 3’s 2022 Season Finale (Design)
    Diana Flindt, Splash Damage
  • Spreading an Indie Game on Social Media from Announcement to Release & Beyond (Discoverability)
    Brynmor Richards, Super Rare Games
  • Why You’re Already Out Of Touch on TikTok (Indie Bootcamp)
    Sam Jones, Pinpoint
  • Overcoming the Imposter Syndrome (Roundtable)
    Estelle Bailly, Hi-Rez Studios

Develop:Brighton 2023 takes place Tuesday 11 July until Thursday 13 July at the Hilton Brighton Metropole, with a range of passes available now for the conference and expo.

Passes are available at our discounted Early Bird rate until Thursday 8 June and can be booked at

Wednesday 12 July will also see the best and brightest of the game developer community celebrated at The Develop:Star Awards.

Media interested in attending Develop:Brighton should head to the Media Accreditation Form.

For the latest information on speaker announcements, the Develop:Star Awards, and all things Develop:Brighton visit and follow @DevelopConf on Twitter.

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About Develop:Brighton conference & expo

Develop:Brighton brings together the entire UK game dev industry to learn from each other, share ideas and experiences, network, and do business in a friendly and inclusive environment. The event also offers high quality conference sessions - from the industries brightest minds and talents - with practical takeaways that allow delegates to ‘skill-up’ and be inspired to make better games.

With a programme shaped to reflect attendees’ feedback and hot topics for game makers in 2023 (including AI generated content, discoverability & player acquisition, monetisation and narrative design) the Expo brings together some of the most innovative companies from every sector of games development. Guests can also keep up-to date with the latest dev tools/tech and get hands on with all the games on display.

Develop:Brighton offers three days of insight, inspiration, networking and fun on England’s south coast.

Twitter: @developconf

LinkedIn: Develop:Brighton

Instagram: developbrighton

About The Develop:Star Awards

Taking place alongside the conference, the Develop:Star Awards recognise the very best of the game development community. The achievements of developers and success of great games and creativity will be celebrated across 20 categories, plus one ultimate ‘Develop Star’ honouring an extraordinary game developer or studio for outstanding achievements and contributions to the industry.

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