The digital gaming and entertainment industry is coming en masse to Hull this March.
Platform 2012, a huge showcase of the sector, is aiming to attract up to 10,000 visitors with its unique combination of education, business and fun.
It takes place at the University of Hull over the weekend of March 17 and 18 and has secured a list of well-known industry experts, with more to be announced over the coming months.
Building on the success of Platform 2011, held at the KC Stadium, the event aims to create wealth for the region by helping young people find career paths and start businesses in the global digital gaming and entertainment industry.
Confirmed exhibitors include international games company, Ubisoft, which is hosting a Just Dance 3 stage and bringing ‘live’ Rabbids from Rayman Raving Rabbids. High street retailers Game and Game Station will demo the PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS.
Experts speaking at Platform 2012 will give valuable insight by imparting their creative and commercial knowledge, covering subjects as diverse as script writing, app development and venture capital.
Organiser Lindsay West, managing director of Garthwest Ltd, said: “It is a full weekend where delegates can meet people who are at the cutting edge of this massive global industry, as well as taking part in a full programme of fun, games-themed activity.”
Mr West, whose own business counts Universal Studios and Sony Music among its clients, believes that there is nothing to prevent the region forging a strong business sector.
“The UK games industry is one of the largest in the world after the USA and Canada, and Platform Expos will assist budding entrepreneurs by demonstrating that there is a great amount of expertise out there to help them create successful enterprises.
“Many people are not aware that the University of Hull has one of the UK’s most respected computer games degrees and its students are regularly approached by global names in the business. This is just one example of the level of talent emerging from the city.”
Speakers at the event include Charles Cecil, MBE, of Revolution Games, who is regarded as an ‘industry legend’; Mark Estdale of OM, the UK’s most experienced dialogue production team working with video games; Steve Ince, an award-nominated writer and designer with 18 years of game development experience; Louis Harwood of leading independent app development company Avalore Studios and The Triune; Arif Majothi of Arif Games, and Missy Tetra, a UK-based award-winning cosplayer.
Game Republic, an industry-led games network that supports and promotes the Yorkshire and UK games industry will put on two workshops with panels of experts.
Entertainment for visitors includes a retro gaming section, a LAN gaming event featuring Call of Duty Black Ops and more, a Cosplay hall and Cosplay parade and family entertainment in the form of Skylanders and ‘live’ Star Wars characters.
A 24-hour race to create a game in secure conditions will be organised by the University of Hull’s Computer Science Department and has attracted involvement from three major global players with development strands for PC, phone and portable computers.
Platform 2012 is being supported locally by World Trade Centre Hull & Humber, the One Point, the University of Hull, Hull School of Art & Design, Hull College, Hull City Council and East Riding of Yorkshire Council.
For exhibitor, sponsor and tickets information: www.platformexpos.com
Pictured: Award-winning designer Mike Tierney with the organiser of Platform 2012, Lindsay West.