PC Connects London 2019 - Meet the Speakers - Nicholas Beliaeff, Jagex

PC Connects London 2019 - Meet the Speakers - Nicholas Beliaeff, Jagex

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 we catch up with Jagex SVP of game development Nicholas Beliaeff to talk about the changes the PC games market is undergoing at the moment 

Tell us a bit about the company.

Jagex is the creator of the RuneScape living game, now celebrating its 18th year, and Old School RuneScape, which recently expanded onto mobile, where it has been featured several times worldwide. RuneScape has generated over £1bn while entertaining tens of millions of fans.

What does your role entail?

I work with our live dev teams to ensure that our players are well served with great content and new features. I help expand our games onto to new platforms beyond PC and am a big fan of the opportunity PC and mobile cross play provides. I also drive new product development, both internally and with external partners. At the end of the day, it is my job to create an environment where the teams I work with have the best chance at success and happiness every single day.

Why did you want to work in the games industry?

As an avid gamer, being able to do what you love on a day to day basis is amazing. And being in an industry where if your mind is open you really can learn a new thing every day is beyond stimulating.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into it?

Never give up, never surrender! It is a hard industry to crack into, but perseverance is well served. If you are a designer, build out a design portfolio. Use mod tools. Make levels. If you are an artist, create art. If you are an engineer, write code. Having real-world samples that show your ability to translate your skill into something meaningful for games is filled with win and will get you noticed.

What are your thoughts on the industry in the last 12 months?

Change is the only constant. Companies understanding that the relationship with the player begins with the download rather than ends with sale and becoming much more service oriented is better for games and gamers alike. Understanding how global we really are as a business and seeing the effects of China pause and then restart their game approval engine was really interesting.

What major trends do you predict in the next 12 months?

Online will continue to dominate games as a core feature regardless of platform. Companies will be surprised, yet again, at how brutal a console transition is once new hardware is announced. Store competition starting on PC will hopefully migrate to other platforms and drive down the 30 per cent platform holder fee, which makes no sense in today's digital age. AR and VR will not have a killer app and will still continue to struggle to figure out what their respective audiences are.

How has the games industry changed since you first started?

I am a 30+ year vet now and started off on 5 1/4" floppy disks and ziploc bags for packaging, so change has been huge. I guess we have come full circle on blocky graphics, though :) It has certainly gone from something hobbyists did as a passion play to a real industry with substantial cache and it has been a pleasure to be a part of it as it matures and grows.

Which part of the Connects event are you most looking forward to and why?

Meeting with the people that attend Connects. Networking and catching up with peers and friends is the best part of the show.

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. 

More info about the event can be found right here

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.