Ahead of PC Connects London 2019 on January 21st and 22nd we are catching up with some of the big names that we have on-stage at the show.
Today, senior director of business development Brooke Van Dusen from PC Connects London 2019 gold sponsor Xsolla tells us about his journey into the games industry and what trends he predicts will define the games industry in the next year
Tell us a bit about the company.
Xsolla provides a comprehensive suite of tools and services that eliminate friction in distributing, promoting, and selling games globally for games studios of any size. We aim to level the playing field by giving all companies access to the solutions that were previously only available to the largest companies in the industry.
What does your role entail?
My role at Xsolla is to help studios successfully publish their PC titles. If you’re interested in learning more about how to make the game you’re working on into a successful business, let’s chat.
Why did you want to work in the games industry?
I was lucky enough to “happen” upon gaming. In 2011, I joined a startup in San Francisco called Justin.tv, that launched a crazy new website called Twitch a few months after I joined.
So...while joining wasn’t really a choice for me (more accurately a trial by fire) I decided to stay in games because I felt that gaming, did and still does more to enable art, creativity and storytelling more than any other industry. It’s a unique blend of business, technology and creative expression that I find absolutely fascinating.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into it?
There are an incredibly diverse set of roles and responsibilities within gaming. From art, to writing, to production, to engineering, to business and marketing - there’s an opportunity for every skill set to contribute. And, there’s no shortage of resources out there to help you understand what all these different roles entail.
Spend some time researching and learning about the industry, pick a passion, and create. The more you create, the more you’ll have to talk about when you finally get the chance to impress.
What are your thoughts on the industry in the last 12 months?
It seems like every twelve months is different in gaming. I think these past twelve months destroyed every assumption one would have made from the previous year.
VR did not become the consumer platform many thought it would. Premium single player games continue to perform well (and arguably drive PlayStation’s continued sales lead over Xbox)
Nintendo Switch has become the most important platform for many developers. The 30 per cent platform fee standard is finally being challenged
Despite all this, would I say that 2018 was an especially volatile or crazy year in games? No, of course not. This is games. There are profound and important changes all of the time, but the industry is agile and continue to adjust and adapt when needed.
What major trends do you predict in the next 12 months?
User-generated content will continue to become more and more important for games. That is, the ability for studios to enable their communities to constructively contribute to their game’s ecosystem will be what separates many runaway winners from the rest.
I also see the adoption of alternative business models within games to continue to grow in importance. Game subscription services will draw more customers, affecting how players spend their time and developers monetise their games.
Finally - I think we’ll see a lot of new AR titles that go far beyond what Pokemon Go has pioneered...pushing our limits and understanding of what it even means to be an AR game.
How has the games industry changed since you first started?
The biggest change is how much it has grown. Not only on the consumer side, but the developer side as well. As tools and services such as Unity, Unreal, Playfab and Xsolla make it easier and easier for small teams to create incredibly high-quality player experience, the variety and depth of what’s available has exploded. Frankly, it has never been a better time to be a gamer.
However, on the developer side, this means more competition. More services vying for consumer attention, with better products. It is getting harder and to get notice, and there seems to be an ever expanding set of things you must do to make your game launch successful.
That’s tough...but this is where Xsolla is here to help.
Which part of the Connects event are you most looking forward to and why?
As this is the largest B2B show for PC games event in the UK, we’re excited to meet as many current and potentially new partners alike from around UK/Europe. With strong PC content focus alongside the mobile and blockchain and XR, we’d love to talk with every PC game developer in attendance to see how we can help.
And of course, some fish and chips at the pub.
Tickets for just PC Connects London 2019 are available right here, with tickets for the entire show on sale here - buy now to save big.