Dr Jo Twist OBE
Chief Executive Officer at UKIE – The Association for UK Games and Interactive Entertainment
Ian Livingston CBE
– English fantasy author and entrepreneur. Co-founder of Fighting Fantasy and prominent games company Games Workshop.
– Unity Account Executive, Gaming EMEA
Introductions (5 Mins)
Keynote (10 Mins)
Panel Discussion (30 Mins)
Q&A (15 Mins)
Gaming contributes more than £1.35 billion, employs more than 16,000 people and each employee contributes more than £80,000 to the UK economy (Ukie, 2020)
The days of the stereotype of a gamer being a 16 year old boy are long gone, 57% of gamers are female and 58% of gamers are parents (YouGov, 2020)
This demographic change has been fueled by the advancements in technology e.g. 4G/5G, Mobile Gaming, The Internet
Apple App Store downloads grew by 35% to nearly 3 billion, while Google Play installs increased by 38% to 10.3 billion (Gaming Industry Biz, 2020)
1. Dr Jo Twist OBE is the CEO of Ukie, the trade body for UK games and interactive entertainment, making the UK the best place in the world to make, sell and play games. She is also Deputy Chair of the British Screen Forum, London Tech Ambassador, Chair of the BAFTA Games Committee and BAFTA Trustee, an Ambassador on the Mayor of London’s Cultural Leadership Board, Creative Industries Council member, and Honorary Visiting Professor at Ravensbourne University.
She is a VP for games and accessibility charity SpecialEffect, Patron of Safe in Our World a mental health and games charity, as well as a Trustee for Royal Historic Palaces.
In 2016 she was awarded an OBE for services to the creative industries and won the MCV Women in Games award for Outstanding Contribution. In 2019 she was named MCV Industry Hero and Devcom Hero for Leadership in the European games industry. She was also named as one of the Evening Standard’s Progress 1000 Most Influential People in 2019.
2. Ian is Chairman of Sumo Group plc and co-founding Partner of Hiro Capital, a VC fund investing in video games studios. Acknowledged as a founding father of the UK games industry, he co-founded Games Workshop in 1975, launching Dungeons & Dragons in Europe, Warhammer, White Dwarf, Citadel Miniatures and the Games Workshop retail chain before embarking on a very successful career in the video games industry.
He co-authored The Warlock of Firetop Mountain with Steve Jackson in 1982, the first gamebook in the Fighting Fantasy series which has sold 20 million copies worldwide. He has written 15 books in the series including Deathtrap Dungeon. Fighting Fantasy gamebooks are credited with improving children’s critical thinking and literacy levels.
In 1995 he co-led the merger that created Eidos plc where he served as Executive Chairman and launched Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. On leaving Eidos, he became an angel investor in games studios including Playdemic, developers of the global hit mobile game Golf Clash, where he served as Chairman, and Mediatonic, developers of Fall Guys.
He is a leading advocate for ‘the power of play’ and digital creativity. In 2011 co-authored the Livingstone-Hope Next Gen review published by NESTA, recommending changes in ICT education policy to include computer science in the national curriculum. He chaired the Next Gen Skills campaign, working with government to introduce the new Computing curriculum in schools in 2014. He is opening The Livingstone Academy Bournemouth in September 2021 in association with Aspirations Academies Trust.
Directorships: Chairman Sumo Group plc, Partner Hiro Capital LLP, Non-executive Director Fusebox Games Ltd, Chairman Flavourworks Ltd, Non-executive Director Antstream Ltd, Chairman Midoki Ltd, Non-executive Director Polyarc Inc, Non-executive Director Playmob, Chairman The Secret Police Ltd, Non-executive Director Steamforged Ltd.
Not-For-Profit Directorships: Non-executive Director National Citizens Service, Non-executive Director Aspirations Academies Trust, Non-executive Director Foundation for Education Development, Non-executive Director Creative England, Member of Raspberry Pi Foundation, Vice President Special Effect, Patron GamesAid, Patron The National Videogames Foundation, Patron ScreenSkills and President of British Games Institute (BGI).
3. Fabian Obi is a Gaming Account Executive at Unity Technologies. He combines his love for technology with his career, having gained a wealth of experience as a salesperson, and as a technology enthusiast since he was a young child. He completed his Masters in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Surrey, and has been working in the Software/Technology space since. Drawing from his experience as a technologist, and as a sales person in the software industry. He works directly with Gaming Studios and Publishers who utilise the Unity Engine to create, develop, and manage their projects. Fabian believes that gaming truly democratises technology for the masses, and putting users first is at the core of his work.
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