Among the video game events, expos and conferences of April and May 2010: The first Inside Social Apps conference for Facebook-focused games studios and businesses takes place in San Francisco the day before Facebook's own annual conference, MCV's trade awards are in London, England, and the Nordic Games Conference celebrates the vitality of the games industry in Malmo, Sweden.
Inside Social Apps
San Francisco, California, USA
The first conference run by the Inside Network, a group of websites dedicated to highlighting and analyzing trends in the social media industry, features talks from many of the business' leaders, including those at Zynga (
FarmVille), Playfish (
Pet Society), Playdom (
Tiki Farm), CrowdStar (
Happy Aquarium), and RockYou! (
Zoo World). There is also a significant presence from digital commerce companies (eBay, Offerpal), legal advisers, and venture capitalists. Facebook's own annual f8 conference is close by the very next day.
MCV Industry Excellence Awards 2010
MCV, a UK-based video games trade magazine and website, hosts these annual industry accolades with awards available in 19 categories including online, high street, and supermarket retailers; sales, publishing, PR and marketing team excellence, best gaming accessories, and advertisements. Dom Joly, British comedian and columnist for T
he Independent, will be master of ceremonies. Ubisoft's surprise Wii success
Just Dance has to be the odds-on favorite to win the 'Sales Triumph' award at least.
Nordic Game Conference
Part of the Nordic Game Program, a co-operative project set up by the Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish governments, the NGC includes an awards ceremony for Nordic games and developers, talks from staff at BioWare, DICE, Remedy, Funcom, RedLynx, Playfish, and a night for Nordic independent game developers. With DICE riding high from the success of
Bad Company 2, Avalanche having released
Just Cause 2 mid-March, and Remedy preparing to launch the long-awaited
Alan Wake, there should be some interesting presentations to say the least.
Game Developers Conference Canada
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
No sooner than one GDC ends than the countdown to the next one begins. Eager ears will be listening out for talks on the rise of 'social' or mainstream gaming and any tidbits regarding the new motion controllers for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 as Sony and Microsoft play catchup to Nintendo's Wii. Talks from bigwigs at Insomniac, Obsidian, IUGO and Zynga are already pencilled in. On-site registration is CDN$895 (€670) for all access, CDN$695 (€520) for the main conference, or CDN$149 (€110) for the career seminars only.
Seattle, Washington, USA
Aimed at company chiefs, vice-presidents, and directors, LOGIN's schedule is a mixture of development sessions, seminars, conferences and workshops and intends to provide an environment for those looking to make the most of networking opportunities. There are also 75 speakers confirmed including boffins from NCsoft, TrialPay, Real Networks, Slide Inc, Audiosurf, and Altus, various legal representatives and advisers, a corporate psychologist, and an addiction counselor.
DreamHack Skellefteå V
DreamHack's main event is a summer gathering of gamers in Jönköping, Sweden, a mass celebration of PC-playing enthusiasm that started in a secondary school back in the 1990s and grew to become one of Northern Europe's largest video gaming party. Now with a Winter event complimenting the Summer meet since 2002, Skellefteå is the newest and smallest of the three, taking place in the remote and scenic northern Swedish city of the same name. Those intending to participate fully pay 399 SEK (€40) for a desk and access to a power outlet, net connection, sleeping area, tournaments and competitions, and even money off at the local swimming baths.
Games Beyond Entertainment
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
The GBEW is an umbrella for seven other conferences and events taking place in Boston: The Games for Health Conference (May 26-27) which investigates the role of video games in physiotherapy and exercise; The Serious Games Festival & Conference (May 24) and its offshoot Out & About: The Mobile Serious Games Conference (May 25) examine the use of commercial and bespoke video games as learning tools. The Emerging Markets in Videogames Symposium (May 25) looks at new opportunities amongst emerging countries, demographics, and technologies, while there are also the Games Accessibility (May 25) and Virtual Worlds & Health days and practical bootcamps for those wanting to learn more about Serious Games Design & Development and iPhone Design & Production (both May 25). Registration costs from $199 up to $849 depending on the combination of events chosen.
Intent Media's Mobile Entertainment news service have booked out the British Academy of Film and Television Arts' Piccadilly address for this conference focusing on getting the most out of the mobile market. Speakers from Pearson (Penguin,
Financial Times, Dorling Kindersley), Sky, and Samsung are scheduled to talk, as well as those from the Shazam music identification service, advertising platform AdMob, the Ustwo design company, the Scoreloop mobile gaming social network service, business analysts GamesBrief, and the cross-platform app store GetJar.
Games Village, London MCM Expo
The ExCel center at London's Royal Victoria Docks plays host to the twice-yearly MCM Expo, for this its 17th iteration. The Expo as a whole encompasses anime, manga, and other aspects of popular Japanese culture such as cosplay (dressing up as a favorite cartoon or video game character), and plenty of actors, artists and writers from sci-fi and fantasy franchises. The Games Village track usually manages to pull in playable demo pods for some of the hottest upcoming games and at MCM 17 there will be a Guinness world record attempt as Nintendo DS owners congregate for what is hoped to be the Largest Handheld Game Console Party yet. The
Dance Dance Revolution UK team will be there with a large selection of arcade and console games. Standard tickets to the MCM Expo cost £10 (€11.43) for adults (over 15s), £5 (€5.72) for 11-15s, and free for minors accompanied by an adult. Early entry tickets allow the holders access to the show floor up to two hours before the general public and cost £13 (€14.87) regardless of age.
Festival of Games
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Part conference, part expo, part careers fair, the Festival of Games held at
the Jaarbeurs convention center also features networking events and parties on both nights of the festival. Confirmed speakers include Alan Yu (iPhone game Rolando), Martin de Ronde (charity game foundation OneBigGame) David Perry ( Earthworm Jim, the Gakai web game portal), and Professor Toru Iwatani, the inventor of video game granddaddy Pac Man. The conference's first day focuses on the past and present of video games, the second on business issues and future tech.