Ian Downes is the founder of award-winning licensing agency Start Licensing. Start's clients include Aardman Animations, Editions Albert Rene for Asterix and media personality Nadiya Hussain. Ian has a strong background in all commercial aspects of Intellectual Property Licensing having worked in the Licensing sector for nearly twenty years. In 2016 Ian was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the UK Licensing Awards. He has also worked as a consultant to Sky Television, Channel 4 and Penguin Books, helping these organisations develop commercial activities around their IP. Before starting his own agency, Ian was Group Managing Director of Fox Kids Europe's consumer products business. Earlier in his career Ian was involved in the groundbreaking licensing programme for Sonic the Hedgehog - which resulted in a raft of products including Sonic the Comic and blue ketchup from HP Sauce! Ian is a non-executive Director of Mojo Nation and is developing a new tradeshow with them for 2020 - Brands Untapped.
According to LIMA, the Licensing industry trade body, the global licensing industry is worth US$271.6 billion. It is an industry in growth. Computer games and gaming characters have long been part of the industry - characters like Super Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog enjoyed considerable success in licensing terms 'first time round' and are now regarded as 'classic' characters. In more recent years the gaming sector has grown in popularity among licensees looking for Intellectual Property to develop licensed products from. For many, it is now a go-to sector for new opportunities and one they prefer over TV and film. One of the big licensing hits of the moment is Fortnite. Pop culture companies like Funko have an extensive range of licensed products based on gaming characters and brands. This session will provide an insight into the world of licensing and the commercial possibilities that it offers gaming companies. It will use case studies and product examples from the global industry to shine a light on licensing. Licensing can generate income for IP owners but it can also unlock new distribution opportunities , create new consumer connections and inspire NPD. We will explore these themes and try to provide attendees with a roadmap to licensing. Start licensing - you might like it.
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Develop always gets put in the diary. There are many reasons to be here, not just the talks, but the networking, people exchanging ideas about where the industry is right now and where it’s going to. It’s pretty essential to be here I think.
Ian Livingstone, CBE
If you really want to have a good interface with the British game developer community then this is the place to come.
Develop:Brighton’s a great conference. It’s got a spread of people from all parts of the games industry talking about such a wide range of topics.
Develop:Brighton is especially unique - it’s by the seaside and there’s a lovely relaxed tone that goes with that.The talks are cool, the networking is cool and having the opportunity to catch up with people – that’s always the excitement for me!
Develop is an excellent way of catching up with people – there’s a really nice community feel here.
Mike Bithell Games
A lot of the opportunities that come from being here are speaking to other developers who are doing exactly the same thing as you. And there are some good parties – it’s very much a pleasurable work experience!
Develop is the must-attend event for the games industry in the UK. It’s where we all come together and learn from each other. It’s the best way into the industry and it’s the best place to learn from your colleagues.
Building games is hard and it’s taxing physically, mentally and emotionally. So being around a community that understands that is great – there’s a comraderie here.
By coming to Develop what you get is the opportunity to network like you can’t in any other situation. Everyone knows everyone and it’s such a wonderful community feel.
I’ve been to every single Develop in the last 12 years. One thing you get here is networking - you will meet the most amazing individuals in the video games industry.
There are many ways you can be part of Develop:Brighton 2020 - including speaking in the conference, taking a booth in the Expo or becoming a sponsor.Find out more