Yesterday was the first ever Games Growth Summit London, so me and Taya went along to check it out.
Held at the brilliant venue of the Barclays office in Canary Wharf, developers, publishers, and games industry service providers all gathered to hear panels and fireside chats about a variety of topics: advice around the investment process, scaling your business, marketing and an awful lot more.
The day was jam-packed, with 15 sessions in total, so there was a LOT of content to take in. It was well worth the trip. The morning sessions kicked off with a focus around investment, giving top tips on how to be investment ready, working towards a solid valuation, and where the investment opportunities currently are. They were very informative talks with plenty of takeaways around the importance of the management team and making sure you're proactive, and about having as much in place as possible that shows you're thinking about your investors, before you seek the investment. Another salient point was about resisting the urge to trend jump, and remaining authentic to your project. Getting on board with the latest trend just to secure investment is a bad idea in the longer term, unless it is genuinely applicable to your game. Ultimately, games is a creative industry, not a technology industry.
Later the topic of remote/hybrid working was discussed. Everyone works in different ways: some people want fully remote, others want to be in an office. Among the issues discussed were different life situations, training and development, and collaboration. There isn't a perfect one-size-fits-all solution, and ultimately no easy answer, but lots of great insights into how games companies can try and adapt to the best fit for them and their people.
I thoroughly enjoyed the session with Kim Turner, the Finance Director of Double 11, who have seen huge growth in the last few years. Hearing about how they scaled themselves up and the journey they went on was very insightful. It was refreshing how candid this session was, sharing the things that went well, the things they got wrong and offering a strong rationale for the decisions they made.
Another highlight for me was the marketing panel, hosted by the fantastic Nerd Pirates, and featuring marketing powerhouses from Jagex, Green Man Gaming, and Excalibur Games. Marketing for games companies who are in a growth stage is a lot of what we do here at Etch Play, so it was great to compare my own notes with what other experts in the industry had to say, both backing up some of my own ideas and giving me some new things to think about. One of my favourite takeaways from the session was around data and information, and the driving home of the point that it's information that is key - which is data with context.
Other topics were covered too: web3, recruitment, funding options, and life after an acquisition - rounding off a day that covered a lot of bases. No-one can deny that there was certainly value in having a ticket to the day!
After a full on day of learning, there was of course some time for networking, and it was great to mingle with lots of other fantastic people in the industry, catch up with old friends, and make a few new ones.
Thanks to the Analog team for organising, and we're definitely looking forward to the next one!