Business

It's all very well making a great game, however without some commercial know-how and a sensible business model then you won't get very far in today's hugely competitive games industry. Our Business track brings together some of the smartest brains in games to share real-life case studies, practical advice, and best-practise tips so you can run a truly successful business as well as make great games. Also covers the challenges of game production, funding and marketing.

Business sessions

Beyond The T-Shirt: How To Maximise the Value of Your IP Through Licensing

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.

  • Understanding the value of your Intellectual Property
  • How do you go about licensing your property to third parties?
  • Should you use a licensing partner and how to find one that suits your property

Demystifying CVAA - How the Law Affects You and Your Games

CVAA is accessibility legislation that affects games sold in the USA, including through digital storefronts like Steam. CVAA requires communication functionality (which it defines as text/voice/video chat) any any related UI to be made as accessible as reasonably possible to people with disabilities, with the FCC granted authority to issue significant fines for non-compliance.

After being signed in back in 2010, the games industry was granted a number of compliance extensions to allow time for R&D and implementation. The final extension expired on Dec 31st 2018.

Even though we're now past the compliance deadline there is still a huge amount of uncertainty and misunderstanding around what CVAA itself does and doesn't mean and cover, what compliance looks like, how complaints work, and so on. This this talk aims to give you the answers you need. Compliance deadline for CVAA communications accessibility legislation was Jan 1. Find out what that means for you.

  • What is CVAA?
  • To whom and under which circumstances it applies
  • What compliance looks like, covering the criteria themselves (with example solutions), and the required process and reporting
  • How the consumer complaints process works
  • Answers to a collection of queries and concerns raised by developers over the previous several years 

Help! Games Under Attack!

It's been a hell of an 18 months and I think it is time the community perhaps had a bit of a session to contextualise the World Health Organisation 'gaming disorder', loot boxes, the blurring of lines between games and gambling, Brexit, and what the hell is next. There is a lot if uncertainty, but a lot of mis-reporting of what is actually going on, and what the potential future looks like for games, for our industry, for us as creators, innovators and businesses.

Businesses and creators of all kinds will be armed with myth busting truths, will have some ideas as to what they need to look out for, and come away comforted that It's All OK and this is just our cultural birthing pains. 

How to Grow a Studio in 365 Days...and Counting

In 2018 Big Pixel were acquired by WarnerMedia with 4 full time employees. Within the space of 1 year, the company’s headcount has grown six-fold and had almost as many studio spaces! Big Pixel’s Studio Operations Manager, Georgina Felce recounts the past year of rapid recruiting & profile raising, building a studio from the ground up. This session tackles the tough questions, ‘How do you define a company culture when you’re still growing?’ ‘How do you recruit a diverse team when time constraints mean you needed the position filled yesterday?’ ‘How do biscuits promote inclusion?’ This session offers insights on a measurable framework for encouraging thoughtful studio expansion. The do’s, don’ts and should have tried's of rapid games studio growth!

Offering insights for encouraging thoughtful studio expansion. The do's, don'ts and should have tried's of rapid games studio growth!

Monetising Live Ops

This talk will explore how to operate and monetise free-to-play-games as a service and will look into why we at Hutch use live ops. Using the case study of Top Drives, the #1 FREE car racing card collection game, we look at how to deliver an evolving and responsive experience that can keep players engaged in the long term.

Predictable Delivery with Scrum and Story Points

The session will walk through a case study focusing on how we approached our User Stories, Story Points and Velocity to and what we learned along the way. The session will look at the core principles and practices that have helped us improve the accuracy of our planning and predictability of delivery and how we have refined the approach for subsequent projects.

  • Applying User Stories, Story Points and clarity about "Done" 
  • Putting Velocity at the heart of planning and tracking
  • Lessons learned on multiple projects and how to account for inevitable change

The Big Why: How to Present Ideas and Get Buy In

Every great game starts with a pitch. Explaining ideas and crafting great pitches is hard and getting people bought into your idea is even harder. There is no perfect answer, but there are some processes and frameworks that have been proven to get your audience bought into your idea. In this session Leanne will discuss her approach to crafting pitches, which she has used on big franchises such as Need for Speed and League of Legends. This talk will cover how important the "why" is, top tips on crafting a pitch and how you can take your audience through a strong player journey which supports your idea and sets you apart from others.

Transforming for International Success: How Central & Eastern Europe Fell In Love With Xbox

Do gaming markets really vary so much by region? Can a business change to fit new markets, yet still be true to its identity? How can I take the opportunity to succeed in new international markets? These are some of the burning questions for those looking to expend their business to new markets. In this session, Chris answers these questions and more as he tells the story of how he and his team transformed the Xbox business in Central & Eastern Europe (CEE) over half a decade, to move it from a low-share, low-volume business that got "lost in the rounding" into a thriving market-leading business that set new standards with customers & partners alike. In doing so, Chris reveals how to reposition and adapt your gaming business' marketing & operations to meet the needs of new and varied markets. The session uses the learning & stories from Chris' time in CEE to dive deep into product strategy, localisation, marketing, partnerships and the how to deal with the various cultural & financial challenges faced by any business looking to grasp the opportunity of new markets.

A journey into how to effectively expand your games business across new countries based around the story of Xbox's success in CEE region.

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