We’re just wrapping up the LA Games Conference here at the Hollywood Roosevelt and I thought I’d share some snap observations.
1. This hotel is SO cool! Ultra groovy, old Spanish mission architecture updated with modern awesome – just beautiful.
2. On the still growling desire to see an effective bridge between Hollywood and gaming – I don’t know that it’s likely to happen any time too soon. The core difficulty is that both sides are trying to sell the other side on their way of seeing IP and of doing business but they are miles away from one another in basic thinking. One of the examples I can give that just gobsmacks me is the way of approaching a budget. Hollywood has such a long history of budgets that are an order of magnitude higher than games that they literally can’t conceive of a five-figure product that generates significant revenue. As a result, before any business conversation has even started, the participants are thinking in markedly different terms and even when they are using the same words they are saying different things.
3. The conference itself is really interesting in terms of format and content. One day of sessions and mingling with decision makers as opposed to enthusiasts. On the one hand that means a higher likelihood of meeting somebody in the power train. On the other hand, I’ve never been so aggressively ‘sold to’ by conference vendors who aren’t content to sit in their booths and let you wander by. I suppose that’s to be expected and I’m not complaining, I just wasn’t expecting it.
4. Based on several conversations here, the same thing we saw at GDC has happened here – namely that the AAA console folks seem to be markedly thin while mobile is in clear ascendency. Many people do not see that as good news and they’re not sure what to do about it.
I think I would have liked to hear more forward thinking at the conference and less dueling statistics but I know the heart of that is really just a question of everybody trying to make a living. In the absence of real clarity everybody has little choice but to look at what few things they do know…even if they can wind up being dim indicators at best.
Still, on balance this conference was a lot of fun, well worth the effort, and I hope we’ll be invited back next year.
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