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Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

Northern Exposure gaming conference to be held this September in Newcastle

ByDave Stopher

Aug 14, 2019

Photo by David Jones/ (CC BY 2.0)

This coming September, the Northern Exposure conference will bring together industry leaders and business owners across the gaming industry. For one day on September 12th, gaming business minds will come together at Newcastle’s Discovery Museum to discuss changes in the industry, listen to talks by experts and share stories and tips with other like-minded businesses.

Prominent speakers will be in attendance

The aptly-named Northern Exposure conference is an opportunity for northern UK-based gaming companies to show off their skill sets. Announced speakers for this B2B event include the Studio Head of Rare Ltd, the Senior Vice President of SEGA Europe, and the Director of All 4 Games.

Head of Rare Ltd, Craig Duncan, will be giving his perspective on the industry and talk about his Xbox One and Windows 10 development agency. Rare Ltd made such an impression with its Nintendo games, such as Donkey Kong Country, that Microsoft Game Studios acquired Rare Ltd in 2002.

Alex Peters, of Sega Europe, will be there to provide his insight into gaming production and development in Europe, giving a perspective on a wide range of gaming business strategies.

Colin Macdonald, Director of All 4 Games, will also be sharing his stories about life as an independent games publisher, after coming out from under the Channel 4 umbrella. The Scottish company separated from the UK TV network in 2017 in order to have more flexibility over the titles it creates.

Other conference features

Exhibitors include Wolf and Wood, which will be showing off Hotel R’n’R—their first-person VR game about a rock ‘n’ roll star.

David Pattison, of Invest North East England, says:

“The North East is home to over 50 internationally-renowned, specialist gaming companies, world-class facilities, and state-of-the-art infrastructure, so we’re delighted to sponsor this years’ Northern Exposure.”

Organisers of the conference, Secret Sauce, are not new to presenting gaming conferences. They previously produced the popular GameHorizon gaming conference in the North East. Carri Cunliffe, Secret Sauce ’s Managing Director, talks about Northern Exposure’s fresh format by saying, “Every talk at Northern Exposure will be the first time they have ever been presented as this is an important part of our vision. There’ll also be plenty of networking, bringing everyone across the business spectrum of the games industry together”.

The explosion of the gaming industry

This conference arrives as the gaming industry is expected to reach a value of $90 billion by 2020. The market value of the mobile gaming sector has been rising steadily since 2011 and has jumped from $59.8 billion to $74.4 billion in the last three years. In 2018, Forbes calculated that the top-three most downloaded mobile games for that year were: Helix Jump (1), Subway Surfers (2) and PUBG MOBILE (3). Perhaps the most famous of the mobile games this year was Candy Crush Saga, which came in at seventh spot last year for the number of downloads.

Photo by @screenpostUnsplash license

Online gaming is also continuing to grow in popularity, and, along with PC gaming, it is now one of the most significant sectors in the global gaming market. Some of the most popular online gaming companies include Epic GamesSkyVegas and King.

With online and mobile expecting to rise to dominance, this conference will provide a platform to raise concerns and learn how to embrace new developments. With speakers and companies both with a regional and international perspective attending, this gaming event provides a valuable sounding board for those ambitious gaming businesses out there.

To find out more about the conference, visit the Northern Exposure website, where you can find the latest schedule. The one-day event runs from 10am and culminates in a drinks party at 6pm. Tickets to the conference cost £70 (plus fees and VAT) and can be purchased through the website. It will be held at the inspiring Discovery Museum in Newcastle’s city centre, in keeping with the theme of fun and innovation that the gaming industry offers.