BAFTA Presents: Digital Distribution In association with the GamesIndustry.biz Network

by danhon

WEvent description:

Key games industry figures discuss how they’re making money from web-based advergames, PC and console download services, and the iTunes application store – revolutionising the old model where publishers paid developers to make games, and customers paid publishers to buy them in the shops. But can these new revenue streams generate the large incomes needed to create the rich experiences that gamers expect – and are many of them swapping dependence on one kind of publisher for another?

BAFTA: Presents Digital Distribution, in association with the GamesIndustry.biz Network is a panel session taking place on April 28 to explore the new opportunities and hear from several different sides of the argument. Fredrik Wester (Paradox/GamersGate), David Lau-Kee (Kerb Games), James Brooksby (doublesix) and Simon Oliver (Rolando) will all be on-hand to discuss the impact that digital distribution is having on the industry.

Andy Pane from Mastertronic – on the Games committee – part of Bafta’s access all areas programme to improve access to the film, videogame and tv industry. Planning many more of these events – Newcastle’s games horizon, workshop on digital distribution for filmmakers in May. Whether or not a Bafta member can sign up at bafta.org for details of live events – webcasts, competitions etc. Partner tonight is Gamesindustry.biz network – business networking tool.

Here to introduce the panel is Managing Editor of Gamesindustry.biz – Phil Elliot.

PE (Phil Elliot): Really pleased to be here hosting event tonight. First itme that we’ve co-organised an event, great to see a lot of people having registered through gamesindustry.biz network. First launched this time last year, 1.0 release, added little bits and pieces over the past year, lots of people signed up, hopefully some people getting benefit. Will launch a tool helping people to manage their time at conferences. Will be useful for Gamehorizon. Always reminded of crushing faux pas of school days end of term assembly – full of confidence, everything going great, referrerd to my self-defecating sense of humour. Luckily, not doing most of the talking tonight.

Digital Distribution – something everyone’s talking about it. Usually, a pretty good reason for it. Explore some of the issues for developers, publishers, retailers, nice spread of representation. Sitting at miy right, Frederik Wester, CEO of Paradox; David Lau-Kee, co-founder at Criterion, chairman of Unity, non-exec of Kerb Games; James Brooksby – doublesix, branch of Kuju dealing with downloadable platforms; Simon Oliver, responsible for Rolando on iPhone platform. His past four months have been pretty interesting.

What I want to do first of all is get everyone to talk about their own experience. Simon. You chose the iPhone platform, what made you go for it?

SO: When it was announced, ti was the newness and excitingness. So much looked like it had potential for games, accelerometer, multi-touch screen, frontier of exploration, so much from interaction point of view. Haven’t really done with anything yet. Second reason – felt, with the SDK, they were welcoming everyone with open arms. Thirdly, distribution platform – appstore, plus iTunes distribution and iPods existing. As a platform, it’s very viable, not going to tank, not unproven.

PE: That definitely helps, having a lot of devices out there. The iPhone itself, that wasn’t the first digital platform out there. Some benefits – did you look at XBLA? Your background – you’re not worked for a studio, coming at this as a bedroom coder perspective. What were the barriers for the other platforms that steered you in this direction?

SO: No financial commitment – PC very fertile platform, think that I really wanted ot make something for a conusmer device, not anything comparable to it, the investment – already had a Mac, only £59 to get into the programme – only investment is your own time, when I had something that could go somewhere, I spent some of my own money, bringing someone else to do the art.

PE: Risk was pretty low?

SO: Exactly, not paying for anything other than the development programme, or you can get simulator for free.

DLK: Did you consider any of the other platforms?

SO: iPhone – as a games platform – no fragmentation, make it on one platform, runs perfectly on all devices, reasonably powerful 3D graphics, big screen, felt more like DS or PSP.

PE: And free data with every handset.

SO: Yeah, you can sit on a beach downloading games. DSi happening more and more, but at he time, yeah.

PE: Who’s got an iPhone (2/3 audience)

PE: Who’s not got one too expensive? (a few)

JB: Lack of STCs, TLRs, lack of [barriers], compliance?

PE: Talking of compliance, you work on XBLA, James, give us an idea of platforms you’ve developed for.

JB: Doing PSN, XBLA, iPhone, PC, not doing WiiWare, that’s something we’ll be looking into. Covers most of them, DSi and PSP coming up as well. Cover most places.

PE: Talk to us about differences between studio perspective. You have a different direction than Simon, the people making six quadrillion apps on appstore. How different is it?

JB: Lots of different features on different platforms. Have to be careful to say that does this cool thing, this does this cool thing, will dig a massive hole. Will restrict the features you want to go for, even if it’s going against trends boxed products are going for, target your audience, they will be satisfied at a certain level and you can enhance as you go on, you can go back to it in time, you don’t need to get that first game have every single thing crammed in, that can be dangerous to try to attempt.

PE: Business models – will talk about how they’ll compare and opportunities, devs, publishers, whoever. David. With your Kerb hat on – Kerb games was launched recently, talk a little bit about plans for that studio?

DLK: First time I got into digital distribution, 98, Criterion still exists as a part of EA, known for Burnout and Renderware. Back then we started a division, Fiendish Games, building game content specifically for online play and downloadbable content, entire business model. Programmer with artist, 3-6 months and finish it, then look at distributing it. COmplete and utter disaster. Unmitigated complete failure. Exaggerating for sake of effect here but to succeed with digital distribution, it’s more than build it and they will come, it’s more than produce game, throw into the channel and it will be successful – and everyone on the panel will vouch for that. That’s what interesting at Kerb, at Kerb, there’s a realisation that it doesn’t end with a great game, it doesn’t even start with a great game, it starts with an understanding that you need engagement with your audience, a community you built, engagement, you know how to draw traffic, build community, provide a game as a service, unless that you will fail. All about trying to leverage that and bring it into place what we know about games.

PE: Kerb Games – advergaming, Flash.

DLK: In essence, that’s interesting as well – any game developer, pure play, what I would say is, really, when we’re looking at digital distribution, there’s a temptation to say we’ve disintermediated entirely, don’t need these people. You’re not going to be successful, there’s a thousand others like you, you have to differentiate.

PE: You were nodding your head there, Frederik, Gamersgate is a digital distirbution platform on the PC, business is booming right now, how much of that is management of community?

FW: Started as division of Paradox, 1.4m community, we can’t buy your games in Argentina, Steam is not a good service, but we sell our own games on Steam now, so we built the new service, without DRM, e.g. We built Gamersgate 3 years ago, then started experimenting with other things, could never be a Blizzard or SOE, only 25 people, including publishing and development inhouse. We thought – maybe we can do small addons based on what customers want to see – $10, £8 each, started with the games that sold the worst ever in retail – then we know the rock bottom, the downloads we’ll sell. That’s another interesting model I’ll never use again. That’s how we started – how do we reach these customers and expand our gates. A lot of people are talking about revolution – revoultionising the experience. THat’s crap. If a gamer finds a game they really like, they want to play over and over again, you can add stuff to it. Even to Wii Fit, you can add stuff to it. Just add it for $2 for that, you’ll have a new experience. That’s how we built gamersgate, we separated now.

PE: Interesting when a company like EA that has strong ties with retail and physical distribution, announces something like Battlefield Heroes based on free-to-play, microtransaction. How much of a statement?

DLK: Used to work with EA, EA bought Criterion. EA views itself as an IP company, will exploit IP, to date, channel has been retail. That doesn’t mean the others aren’t hugely important. To the extent they can exploit in different ways, they will do that, but the risk is taking a retail product and putting it in a different channel, you alienate retail, lose leverage. Battlefield Heroes isn’t appropriate for the channel, tailoring content for that. There’s an overlap, certain forms of content over multiple for channels, more content developed for a specific channel.

PE: Frederik, you’re the only one – product that goes into retail. What percentage as Paradox – what sort of split of revenues comes from retail vs online?

FW: I’ve heard there are a lot of retailers here?

PE: Retailers? [ no hands up]

FW: In numbers of units, 80% in retail this year, but 40% of revenue in download. That’s the difference. We are much more keen to get digital downloads, that’s the easiest. There are several other reasons, we want to communicate with customers directly, one patching system, we create almost games that are perfect, sometimes, it happens. So Digital Distribution is aesier from lgistics, more revneue, lot of great things about itthat you can’t disregard, retail is still a majorp art of our business.

PE: For now?

FW: For now.

PE: It makes perfect business sense to reduce the percentage of retail, increase the percentage direct to consumer, but you have your own platform through Gamersgate as a publisher, James, how do you, you working through PSN, XBLA, you have to go through a publisher – MS or Sony, do you feel you have a one on one relationship with consumers?

JB: Different models for different platforms. Certainly,  South Park for Microsoft – standard model, developing for them, their relationship to take and carry on. For [] for PSN, relationship is much different. Sony see themselves as a channel. They have a store, they take a percentage, but you have a great deal you can do within that channel and you can do things inside that space and I think it will evolve a lot. We have had a really good relationship with our consumer, we’ve upgraded our website with WordPress, you can comment, twitter, activity on Youtube, once it’s released, listen to what people are saying, then we do our first patch, it will have the features people have asked for, expansion pack wil be tailored to what people are looking for and what they say they think of the game, can do that on short turnaround and that’s a big thing we can offer there, we started on that oroute, started with a great realtionhsip, can only get better -got a long way to go, games as a service is the right phrase.That’s where we want to go. Burn Zombie Burn will bemore of a service.

PE: Games as a service – as a studio, marketing – as a full on develompent studio, how much money can you – how lucrative can these platforms be. If you have high overheads – higher than a one/2 person team – then the platform holder’s taking a cut. How does that work? How do you make the business model work?

JB: You have to pare down, be efficient, enthusiastic multi-talented staff, game designer and community manager, a bit – cliched – old days, it’s true – it does feel like everyone has more of an infludnece over that game. That team careas so much more. This could be an entire team for an XBLA/PSN game, we can talk aout the problems at a pub ,not huge meetings, not people influencing from up on high, we are the team, it’s our decision, if the game is rubbish, it’s us who made it rubbish, we can’t blame other people in a work for hire agreement.

DLK: Numbers here – given out at GDC this year. Have a Google for Games and Sales Statistics 101, Simon Carless. He broke down sales figures that you’d expect on average ont hese platforms, really tricky, produce something for PSN and you don’t get right promotion, visibility, then 5k units. Then figure out what you’re getting. Cut can be 35-70%. Rest to platform holder. That’s the same on PSN, XBLA and WiiWare. Some other little nasties, gotchas in WiiWare. Can get to large numbers. Is Martin Brown here? Do people know Martin? Martin runs Team 17. They produced Worms. One of the biggest sellers on XBLA [It's doin' alright] Can you tell us the numbers? What I’ve heard – in the first 2 months, sold 200k units on XBLA at $10. [Quite possibly, yes] Clearly you can do big numbers on XBLA. The thing I found challenging is intermediation, barrier between you as developer and you as the consumer, that is the biggest issue I have with format holder platforms – Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo – restricted, closed platform. You will be at a disadvantage compared to the format holder.

PE: I guess it means you need to be creative about marketing your title. If you look at next-gen titles, well trodden marketing path, specialist press, screenshots, reviews, previews, hard with downloadable titles – my impression, maybe I’m wrong.

JB: Not really, we actually follow a conventional marketing path for that kind of thing, employed a Euro PR agency and US agency, and followed a conventional route. PR packs, review code, to all magazines and online. Found that worked really well, people enthusiastic. Similar to boxed product. What you need to do in parallel is left-field things, runnig around GDC putting stickers on walls, not that I know who did that, guerilla things , getting people’s attention. There’s a whole bunch of activities, some coming up soon, that will boost sales massively, much easier to do on digital than in boxed space.

Worth checking out VT charts, worth looking at.

FW: From a PR perspective, working in a few different ways, sometimes it feels like there’s no justice in this world because we can work really hard on a title that we feel like is such a great title and no one is interested. Tomorrow, we are launching Stalin vs Martians –

PE: Go to youtube, search for Stalin vs Martins, you want the one with Stalin dancing

FW: We had no marketing budget, two trailers, one has a dancing stalin in full uniform, 2m views, the game, I played it, the voiceover is beautiful, the voiceovers are great. It still feels like – there is no justice in the world, I hope we sell a lot. It’s an all digital download, platform on the PC.

JB: Interesting that you said the budget that you had, for Burn Zombie Burn, we set aside a large chunk of money for marketing, as a developer, we also have someone on board who is doing marketing, someone you might not have as a developer, also community management, budgets, becoming the marketing manager, everything has an extra zero I didn’t expect. We’ll do this, do that, add on serious zeroes.

PE: Don’t want to be pigeonholed?

JB: Not the guy who wants to make the wheels – people who want to make games, have a varied, and interesting day, not sure what they can be doing, can be interesting to work in this space.

DLK: Caution – all experienced programmer artwork – it’s rubbish. Got to be careful, with marketing, community management, engagement, there are people who can be ver ygood at that – get people who are great at that to do that. As I, a technical person – you can find people who can be very good at it. Youd ont’ fidn tehm in traditional fields, in traditional publishers, publisher, developer, reatiler – huge blurring, challenge of publishers to understand they have to cede responsibliity and developers have to take responsibility.

JB: Wouldn’t say we’re experts, would say we’re better than amateur, definitely things we can learn and bring forwards, and experts that crop up in this field and… we can’t charge the earth, but rates.

PE: Thanks, that’s – can see headline tomorrow; JB – we’re better than amateur.

SO: Had the idea of self-publishing, initially,put trailers together, once it got to a stage, this is something I should turn into a project, got the artist involved, put trailer up online, hoping it would get some interest, it went – got really popular, 100k views in a couple weeks, and that’s how ngmoco saw the trailer and got in touch with me. People who are going without the publisher, getting content out there, a lot can be done with that, have gone down that route. Hvae you been watching Pocketgods? Charting high in appstore – every week they release a new app, Touch Arcade, invovlement with community is amazing, canvass ideas, give them credit, so many updates so frequently. Method of getting people involved. Been in top ten for weeks now.

PE: Want to throw it open to audience in just a moment. Before I do that, the feel seems to be – do games developers still need publishers – it seems to be yes. Digital distribution – whether platform holders, or people who do marketing, David you seem to suggest publishers still have a role to play. Simon?

SO: Definitely. I could’ve released without ngmoco, wouldn’t have been as good, wouldn’t have had as much success, they took care of QA, localisation, experience helped as sounding board, so much more valuable, can bounce off people, so yeah, from my perspective, turned out much better.

JB: I think there’s – it’s more like partly the answer is can developers become publishers – yes, they can. That’s what I feel is exciting, Duke Nukem – it’s not new, way back, there’s a time that seems to be coming righ tnow, catching peopels’ attention and gogin through consoles making a difference, developers can become publishers, publishers need to change as well. Will happen over the next 3-5 years.

DLK: Traditional publishers, blood-sucking leaches – no place in the future. I was careful to say traditional – some looking to do it in different fashion – traditionally, they’ve brought finance, distribution, marketing, margin. Not necessarily in that order. The margin first and then the others. And they own IP. Anyone in game development for any amount of time is giong to have legion of terrible stories about bad publishing deals and how they were ripped off, the publishing industry has done itself a huge disservice – not to say there haven’t been huge sucess stories. Got people like ngmoco, that’s Neil Young, who came from EA, and said – we can do things in a different fashion and how to engage with development comnuinity in a different way. Publishers who are unreconstructive, don’t have time for day for them, finance is the only thing they can bring and no longer do you need to spend 10-15m dollars, marketing. Traditional marketing is so yesterday in this new world, we no longer care about what authority and verticality – buy this, here’s an ad spot, that deosn’t work today at all. Now we care what our peers say, what my friends are playing. Again – retailers are largely put to one side, we don’t need publishers for that either. Traditional publishers – some bloodsucking leaches, but what they’re reinventing could be something you as a developer can do yourself.

JB: And sources of finance that are less vampiric.

FW: I believe you, I agree. I do a lot of publishing myself, blood-sucking leaches, start with the margin. I got a big bonus, I learned from TV. If you can’t finance yourself, you’re stuck. If you can’t do marketing, you need a publisher. You can do both of those things for iPhone and PC – what you all should do is send an email to Nintendo – we’re a 3-man no name developer and we want to do a game for a DS and get 20 other people to do thes ame thing, no one will reply, they don’t rerply to anyone.

DLK: It depends on who you are. If I send an email, I get a reply. There are people who would get a reply. My point being – publishers have exstablished relationships and a developer or individual will ahve that relationship. Then we’re back to individuals who can be assholes, they’re oppressing creative people.

DLK: Traditional publishers are bringing an awful lot less than they used to be bringing. A number of sources to get that, one from old-school publishing, another from other mechanisms and means.

FW: MS, Nintendo, Sony need to be more geared toward handling independent developers. We have Braid from Blow, but hey, he’s an MS guy. That’s the only example. He’s the one man team.

DLK: You have closed formats on one hand, Xbox, Playstation, Wii, then open platforms. I consider iPhone to be an open platform.

JB: Not utopia.

FW: In society, always a problem for good stuff to get to the surface. Look at TV.

PE: Good. Audience questions?

Nicholas Lovell from Gamesbrief: How optimistic are you that games teams can stay small?

DLK: Really good question. Value proposition has changed. When you had to get out there, go to retail store, get something. Element of activity, not happy getting £1.50 of value. One thing is we can be happy buying something that’s £1.50 or £5 of value. That can be a guy in his bedroom. Or, sell for more than that. Is it going to stay like that? Is it going to be pushed upwards? You’d like to think it will stay that way? The truth is we will expect more. Content as a service – might make first version in 6 months in bedroom, but if it’s a succcess, in terms of servicing, you may well want to take other people on. You can start with small people, but then will expand.

JB: It will be diverse. Right now, you’ve got Warhawk on PSN, that’s a big team, a higher price, they buy that, they buy games that are a couple of puounds, it will get more diverse, digital distribution is a huge part of the future, everyone would agree. There are going to be huge games, there will also be small games. People are going to say: I want a couple of hours, I want only a pound or so, I don’t want to pay thirty pounds for the next FPS.

Tom Dolan: Was going to say – Simon is a hugely talented flash developer who’s been doing this a long time, there’ sa lot of – there’s a bigger question, there’s a lot of peopl elike him out there, do games developers need to be traditional games developers. At Kerb you have huge views on this?

SO: Flash guys are moving over to iPhone, Flash conferences – there are now sessions dedicated to iPhone. Excitement of people who like to make things, wanted an outlet, things that were considered forbidden, the VIP room – anybody can develop software, but areas have been no-go, but with this there are opportunities for people who have an idea can do it. They might not become a commercial idea, but the people who want to make stuff… there’s something that will satisfy the desire to create. The tools are getting easier. Unity, the open source movement, I used bogs2d in Rolando, no way I could do that myself, barriers are coming down. Don’t need to be a traditional games developer. Just a matter of time and effort.

FW: Anyone is a broad definition. I meet a lot of indie developers, you can see that there’s a difference betweeen people who think they can do games in their spare time and make money and people who put their heart and soul into something and a labour of love.

JB: You can tell if they put that love in.

FW: We did that, a man and his wife, now they’re eight people/

JB: But if there’s someone who wants to create, those barriers aren’t there.

FW: Having it as an extra job…

DLK: It’s a positive thing. As a previous existence, I worked with game developers, looking at how they were doing it, their practices, 90% of game developers weren’t game developers, they were technology developers who wanted to knock out a game to pay the bills. Now what we’re doing, barriers are coming down, it’s creative people with passion to express themselves. It will improve the content that will be produced. Not retreading same tired-old paths.

Chris from Gamer[?] – Valve are a developer and have steam. The games they publish, discrepancy between how often they update on Steam – TF2 – and how often they update on Xbox360, but directed to Frederik – discrepancy between updating over own platform and retail? Putting people off buying games in shops?

FW: Hmmm. That’s a very good question. We can see that. I follow sales stats a lot, we can see as soon as we put an update up, the sales go up for a product. That’s why we’re trying to get an update out as soon as possible. That’s the way it works. The reason why there’s a discrepancy – the 360 needs more approval than the PC does. Normally, it’s easier for people to create on the PC platform than 360.

PE: You sell through gamersgate and steam – when you update, does it do it simultanteously.

FW: In the best of worlds, our platform first.

PE: WIth TF2, Steam is Valve’s own platform. It’s very easy.

FW: It’s built into the engine, the Source engine, Steam cloud. Two separate things, you can never separate them. As soon as you update the engine, updated in the game. At least 4-6 weeks for Xbox, that’ a big thing for enthusiast gamers.

Michael Rawlinson, Elspa: FW, you mentioned you provide via your platform, non DRM restricted is anyone on the the panel worried about P2P filesharing.

FW: I can take that. The worst thing you can see is your game being pirated. That’s terrible. I personally think that you can’t avoid. I was a gamer in the 80s, I had a Spectrum, I copied games when I was 8, 10 years old. It will continue in some form, they will copy games. It’s reasonable to believe that. On the other hand, the large scale, through the internet, we have to prevent it. We have to do it in a way that doesn’t affect the gaming experience in a negative way. That’s the only way. Internet connection, maybe automatic updates for those who purchased, specific forums, a forum icon you only get through keys that you win the game with the copy you bought. So people can see if you bought the game in the forums – they can ask you why oyu din’t rgister online.

JB: Depends on the platform, PSN, XBLA, WiiWare, they’re pretty good. PC has issues. Steam is a good way, Steam is better.

DLK: Piracy is brilliant! We’re locked into this that I have this game, it will cost $60. Games are a service. What we want is everyone to have access to our games, play them for free, copy them, we’ll monetise using in-game transactions, subscriptions, building the community, the more people who have access the better.

JB: models like freemium, that’s how they work. That will happen on console. I can see the argument, the more the merrier.

PE: Very strong counter-argument. Could kill off a section of the games market. As a PC gamer, I don’t want to see that happen.

DLK: maybe it will kill off quicker than it will die anyway. You can’t put the genie in its bottle. Seen it in the music industry. You can’t do it. YOu have to change the business model, provide something where they’re happy to monetise, to pay in some form.

FW: Can we pirate… Unity?

DLK: Those are development tools – in the future, there are mechanisms so there’s a community.

FW: Perfect! It’s a deal! You have a new customer!

DLK: Talking about games, content.

FW: What customers want. People point fingers – that’s a problem. We do whatever want to do. We’re an independent company.

DLK: There are opportunities out there – socioeconomic changes, how people wanna behave, if you can take advantages, you are in a strong position. To say  – look at piracy, pretend you want it to go away, that isn’t going to happen. Opportunities in how people operate and want to, give them what they need.

PE: Next question?

Jadahl [?] – whole gaming experience is a fantastic experience for me as well, it’s a creative field, and for a musical point of view, we create something from nothing. So I was wondering, can you give any throw some light on collaboration – gaming people with musicians. Any impact?

FW: A lot of people are interested in the games industry, not sure about your case, they are interested because there’s a lot in the media about it, making a lot of money, getting a lot of calls from musicians – can we do stuff for you guys? What do you want to do for us? I think that – I don’t know how to put it.

JB: For me, digital distribution for the way we’re developing, hasn’t changed the way that we’re working creating games. I don’t think DD is changing that. I’m afraid there isn’t… hasn’t suddenly changed. Potentially some really cool things, musical games, but actually, something – your genius will connect with a developer and go from there.

DLK: Studio model – work for a studio. If that changes, working more idnependently, freelancers, then more scope for specific skills to apply to a number of different media forms, movies, tv, videogames.

JB: Always worked with freelance, they work with us, movies and TV.

PE: Couple quick questions.

Does the panel think Nintendo has anything to do with digital distribution – does the Panel care? Not Nintendo. Does the panel care?

JB: They care a lot. They’re playing a slightly different game. Wait and see. Don’t bet against them.

DLK: They don’t really care – it’s other people’s content on it. What Nintendo has done is change the demographic which has changed platforms that lets other people… digging its own furrow so other people can play.

Obviously you’re promoting and marketing your own companeis – views on existing hegemony correct, David I’ve brought stuff of you before, avoided yoru less good stuff, you know how to get things out there and there’s a market: question is, if you start taking these people on, will you start getting good at marketing, publishing, PR, what do you guys want form a publisher? Do you think they have a role, what do you want to see from them, besides money?

DLK: I think there’s some…

JB: The er, there’s – potentially some new publishers arising that will be more forward thinking in terms of service they provide, don’t think developers – I want to be spending all my money on marketing, the things a publisher would provide, I don’t ahve mayn other options right now, there will be services I can take on so I can focus more, so I can get a specialist. They’re arising right now. I would rather focus on what we’re good at. Hope that answers a little.

DLK: Specialisation of skills – do one thing really well, offload those things to other people, publishers being what they were – intended to be provocative – publishers can’t bring what they used to bring to the party to the new world, not top down, peer to peer, virally, understanding about running community, service, servers, all that is hugely valuable. What I woulnd’t want to see is intermediation, blocking me from my consumer, they want tobe part of a community, the people who developed it. Not I produce it, throw it over, publisher publishes. How it works out, not sure, needs new relationship to emerge.

PE: Last question

Matt Spall from Gimme5 games: talked a lot about formats, specifically, Sony, Nintendo, PC, technically Microsoft’s format – what does the panel think about browser based content, Flash and Silverlight.

FW: I think it’s great. We’re looking at several projects in web-based games. In Korea and China, huge for many years, what we’re doing is baby steps for what they’ve been doing for a lgno long time, not revolutionising anything, what they’ve done, avoiding the pitfalls, moving on from there. Web-based content, flash games, has a fantastic future.

JB: Not particularly my field, but very impressive what’ sgoing on there – one or two PCs or Macs in the world, people sat there, playing away, filling their time, browser games, downloading things. Spending bits of money, can’t deny it.

DLK: PS4 – value that format holder brings is platform service. Walled garden, hardware is irrelevant. Future of browser games is the future of games.

PE. Wrapping up there – shame we couldn’t get through a few more questions, thank the panel.