Game developers coming to Dunedin to pass on expertise

Adam Clark. Photo: supplied
Adam Clark. Photo: supplied
Star Wars Battlefront II senior producer Adam Clark and Star Stable Entertainment chief marketing officer Tabitha Hayes will be heading to Dunedin this week to help spread the gaming gospel.

The two Stockholm-based game developers follow gaming luminaries Hiromitsu Sasaki, of Final Fantasy XV, and Delaney King, of Unreal Tournament 2004, who visited the city late last year as guests of the Centre of Digital Excellence, or Code.

Code, which last year was granted a $10 million stimulus from the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund, is focused on growing the region’s share of the $200 million-a-year gaming industry.

Ms Hayes spent 10 years at North American interactive entertainment company Electronic Arts, where she held senior management roles including head of global brand management and marketing.

Mr Clark, a former pupil at Dunedin’s Macandrew Bay School, has worked across multiple franchises, including Need for Speed, Fifa, Battlefield and The Sims.

He is the senior producer of Star Wars Battlefront II at the Dice Studio in Stockholm.

Runaway Play managing director Zoe Hobson said it was a "huge plus" to be able to tap into expertise of this calibre.

Tabitha Hayes
Tabitha Hayes
"Having Delaney King visit at the end of last year was really useful for our studio. She did a public talk plus our artists got to spend some time with her talking about processes and tips which have been really useful," Ms Hobson said.

She said bringing more senior talent to the city to speak was very useful for professional development opportunities.

"There are so many different roles and career opportunities. My advice to anyone is to be curious, open to the possibilities and build relationships,” Ms Hayes said.

Dunedin City Council’s Enterprise Dunedin economic development programme manager Fraser Liggett said the visit would include meeting the Code establishment team and working group and attending the University of Otago Summer School to speak with game development students.

According to joint industry and government report Interactive Aotearoa, more than two-thirds of all New Zealanders play video games regularly, interactive entertainment playing a strong role in digital literacy.

A 2019 Newzoo Global Games market report noted that about two thirds of the global population played digital games in 2018, creating a global interactive media market worth $US152.1 billion ($NZ238.1 billion).

The report suggested that globally, interactive games were expected to grow 9% annually over the next four years.

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