By Michael French, Head of Games at Games London
Earlier this month Games London completed its first major outbound trade mission, taking nine companies to Helsinki’s increasingly influential tech event Slush.
Games London supported a range of companies working across a variety of areas with assistance, accommodation and introductions at the show.
Our delegation consisted of:
Dream Reality Interactive
This was a mix of start ups with new propositions and established names preparing for new funding rounds.
Already, initial feedback suggests the trip has been very fruitful, with potential investment deals and offers as a result coming in worth millions of pounds. Our delegation between them had over 100 meetings with VCs and other funders attending the show.
Slush itself is a unique experience unlike any event on the conference calendar. While a lot of attendees can tell you about the event’s look and feel (and rock concert-like stagecraft, see pics here) the most important goal was to connect with the thousands of investors that are there hungry to put money into the next big potential hit.
Slush isn’t a games event per se, covering tech in the broader sense from the future of food manufacture or how developers are thinking about space travel But it is pulled together by Finland’s impressive tech scene which includes Clash of Clans developer Supercell, the highest-earning games studio on the planet, so games are in its lifeblood.
Over the last 18 months Games London has attended key international events like Gamescom or GDC or supported activity at the likes of ChinaJoy (China) or G*Star (Korea). It’s important for us to target events like Slush with our outbound activity and not just the classic core shows because they attract investors and other sources of funds that otherwise might not attend games-only events on the West Coast or in Europe. Or if they do, their time is devoted to meeting existing partners or local companies.
At Slush there’s a potent attitude of encouraging connections and inspiring a hugely cross-industry and very diverse, international crowd. I’m not ashamed to admit that’s something Games London is keen to learn from as we build the London Games Festival over the next few years and build London as the world capital for games.
Speaking of which, the Slush organisers published the results of a major industry survey during the start of the show, with very promising stats that show UK and London out on top in key areas. ‘The State of European Tech’ said that London has the biggest developer headcount out of all the cities in Europe – with a developer population greater than New York. It also says the UK is the top destination for tech talent and the leader in mobile software development.
This was our first major outbound mission, and we have plans for an even more prominent international programme including attendance and visibility at other shows plus an expected return to Slush in November 2017. If you’re interested in finding out more, either as delegate, investor or even a sponsor, contact Michael French.