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

Developing on Roblox: How a Young Developer Built a Successful Virtual Game Studio

Wednesday 11th July: 17.00 - 17.45 : Business

The Roblox platform has exploded over the last few years with game creation skyrocketing and developers earning real money for their creations. This interview will be with Roblox developer, Thomas Hoeksema, who has successfully created multiple games on Roblox. Hoeksema will offer insight into his entrepreneurial experience in creating a virtual studio that leverages expertise from developers located around the world to create successful games on the Roblox platform. Roblox is unique, as it puts the ultimate success in the hands of the developer. Ultimately, does Hoeksema see Roblox as a stepping stone to other opportunities in the game creation world or is the Roblox platform itself an opportunity to build a formidable and successful career? Find out!

Lootboxes - All In or You Lose

Wednesday 11th July: 14.00 - 14.45 : Business

This talk is all about Lootboxes. Not the scandals, legal consequences, but how they work, why they work and how to use them properly - without the danger of being called "Using Lootboxes". We will examine the origin of the mechanic, how it should not be used, but how it can be used efficiently without upsetting players (or lawyers). 

If you consider random loot in your game and are asking yourself what the loot box scandal is all about - and why this doesn't happen for many games which feature them, but only a few, then you are right here in this session. You will learn how to use them with Do's and Don'ts.

The Challenges of Attracting and Retaining a Paying Audience

Thursday 12th July: 12.15 - 13.00 : Business

All games need paying players to grow. Finding them is only the start of the challenge. This session will cover methods for exploring the right product-market fit for your games, the strengths and weaknesses of different UA channels, and the importance of optimising your campaigns and games for both paying and free players. Relevant metrics and case studies will be included.


  • Learn from experiences organising production and business for Gaming-as-a-Service.
  • Be inspired by trends in organisation and leadership to organise your teams for the future rather than the past.
  • Get best practices around building culture, managing distributed teams, and tools tips and tricks.

Come for the Game, Stay for the Community: How Empowered Players Become Invested Players

Wednesday 11th July: 11.00 - 11.45 : Business

Through 17 years of operating one of the world’s largest free to play MMORPGs, Jagex has gained first-hand experience of how a focus on elevating the importance of player engagement and empowerment can drive an increase in loyalty and retention – RuneScape’s average active player lifetime is over seven years. Jagex’s CEO, Phil Mansell, will discuss how to nurture player engagement to drive player investment and how to bond a community of players through shared experiences for long-term retention.

From the winners of the Community Management Award at the MCV Awards 2018, discover how to cultivate fandom within a gaming community, how to stoke its passion, and the essential ingredients, both inside and outside of the game experience, that contributes to player loyalty.


  • How to transform a live game service into a living game.
  • How to support and encourage your most enthusiastic fans.
  • How a deeper emotional connection between game makers and players delivers more advocates.
  •  How to scale community engagement and empowerment, no matter what size player base.

Team Organisation, Culture, Leadership and Tools in an Area of Games-as-a-Service

Wednesday 11th July: 16.00 - 16.45 : Business

In this live fireside chat, three production veterans will share experiences and ideas around how Games-as-a-Service affects team organisation, leadership, culture, and tools. The panel will address challenges of distributed development, scaling large productions, and new challenges brought by developing for VR/AR.


  • Learn from experiences organising production and business for Gaming-as-a-Service.
  • Be inspired by trends in organisation and leadership to organise your teams for the future rather than the past.
  • Get best practices around building culture, managing distributed teams, and tools tips and tricks.

Five Stars – The Best Video Games of 2018 (so far)

Tuesday 10th July: 17.00 - 17.45 : Business

2017 was a bad year for the world but a great year for video games. So how does 2018 compare, so far? How does what we’ve been playing from Jan to June reflect the current state of the video games industry? And is it just us, or have there been even more reboots/remakes/remasters than usual these past few months?
Join Jordan Erica Webber for an incredibly subjective take on what she considers the best five games of 2018 so far, and how she thinks (or hopes) they reflect the direction in which video games are headed. Place your bets now, so you can enjoy the smug satisfaction of having already guessed half the games on her list, or the pleasant surprise of learning about something new.

Keeping and Re-engaging Players (long) After Your Game is Out

Tuesday 10th July: 15.00 - 15.45 : Business

Fractured Space went into Steam Early Access in November 2014 and yet, without spending any significant marketing money, it has been playable 24/7 ever since and has a vibrant community of players and a loyal core following. This talk will be about what Edge Case Games has done across these years which has made this possible. James will also talk about what the future plans are to not only continue, but to grow the player base, and what he has learned from recent trends in this space.


  • Listeners should be able to takeaway actionable ideas that they can apply to their game and communities, for live games and also upcoming titles.

Live Ops: What is it and How to Implement it in Your Game

Thursday 12th July: 11.15 - 12.00 : Business

This session will cover the the 6 key areas that are required for any Live Ops game - events, promotions, new content, new features, community management and problem management. As well as an overview of what each area should include, the session will give insight into how to implement these within your game and your team, what tools and processes you should be using, and how to plan ahead to make the transition to live ops, and scaling of your game, as efficient as possible.


  • An understanding of what Live Ops entails
  • How to implement your game to support Live Ops
  • How to plan your Live Ops project schedule, and how to transition from development to live ops
  • The skills required within your team for Live Ops 

From Indie Puzzle Games to Esports FPS Game

Tuesday 10th July: 16.00 - 16.45 : Business

Bulkhead Interactive that started as 6 University graduates 5 years ago. Now they have over 20 developers in their studio. They have released two first person puzzlers and then gone on to create 'Battalion 1944' a back to basics WW2 FPS game. Their Studio Lead Joe Brammer will be talking about the challenges and decisions they made when striving to make bigger and better games, leading to their ultimate goal of making their biggest challenge yet; a first person shooter. Those interested in how to take your indie studio to the next level and grow to new heights will leave this talk with an understanding of what worked and what went wrong for Bulkhead Interactive. As Bulkhead Interactive is built up of graduates and with an average studio age of 26, if you're a University student or a graduate there will be a lot of relevant information in this talk for you.


In Plain English: How to Create and Scale Your Mobile Free-to-Play Game

Tuesday 10th July: 11.00 - 11.45 : Business

David went from years of running console studios to building and then selling a mobile free-to-play company. Now part of the mighty MAG Interactive, he's gone from knowing next-to-nothing about mobile F2P games to hundreds of millions of installs in the space four years. David gives an overview what he's learned in a way that anyone can understand and talks about best practice in current and future games.

Blockchains in Gaming: Today and Tomorrow

Tuesday 10th July: 12.00 - 12.45 : Business

Fig helped make equity-based crowdfunding successful and turned traditional games publishing on its head.  Now they are helping developers understand the value of blockchains in gaming.  Join Alex Amsel, Head of Blockchain Development at Fig, for this informative session, which will begin with a primer on blockchain technology and its first use case, Bitcoin.  Alex will then introduce the potential uses of blockchains to game developers whilst providing a balanced view of the nascent blockchain sector.  He'll wrap the session by taking a look ahead and offering some opinions on the future of decentralised technology and its use in the games industry.  Anyone curious about blockchain and cryptocurrency for their next game project will want attend this session.

Don’t miss out!

Develop:Brighton offers you an inspiring mix of top-notch speakers, practical how-to sessions, insights into the latest trends and technologies, plus fantastic networking opportunities. Find out about the different conference pass options and prices here or...

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