Casual Connect: ‘There’s never been a better time to be a creator in this industry,’ says Tretton

James Brightman, Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 8:01 pm

Jack Tretton stepped down as Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO only five years ago, but his love for the industry and the developers that are the lifeblood of the thriving gaming medium hasn’t faded any. Just over a year ago, he announced his fund for indies, Interactive Gaming Ventures (IGV), and now he’s coming to Casual Connect London (May 28-30) to share his insights from three decades in the video game business. 

Tretton will kick things off at Casual Connect on Day 1 with a fireside chat that looks back on his fondest PlayStation memories, what he sees as the biggest opportunities in the games landscape today, his views on the biggest pain points for indies and more. 

“I hope to lend some perspective on what has worked and proven challenging for publishers and developers over the years and what I think will be some of the keys to success in the future,” he commented. 

Tretton had a long 19-year tenure at PlayStation and oversaw the launches of some truly tentpole franchises for Sony’s games business. He’s got an eye for talent and knows a good game when he sees it.

“I’m passionate about all the gamers who put so much of their time and hard-earned money into playing the games and platforms I’ve helped bring to the market. I want to continue to help talented developers bring new and exciting experiences to gamers all over the world for years to come,” he added. 

Helping talent bring their creative vision to life was the impetus for launching IGV. He’s not looking to build out a sizable portfolio of games; he just wants to work with the right creative partners.

There is an almost endless supply of talented developers looking for funding and assistance in developing and publishing their games. The key is to find the teams that mesh with our goals and philosophies. I’m pleased that we’ve identified and partnered with several,” he confirmed. 

In a previous GameDaily interview, he noted, “I think especially in our first few projects, we have to be extremely selective, because, you know, it’s going to pave the road for future projects, both financially and from a reputation standpoint… We’re just another source for a small group of developers, and over the course of a body of work, over a seven-year period, I mean, I hope we’re in mid double figures, or at least, you know, upwards of 20 projects that we’ve worked with over the course of the five to seven years.”

A lot can happen in five years, especially in games. Technologies rapidly evolve, business models change, and players’ and consumers’ tastes and buying habits can swing one way or another. Change, indeed, is the only constant. But Tretton has never been more optimistic for this industry.

“I’ve been in the industry since I joined Activision in 1986 and I’ve seen an amazing expansion of gaming as an entertainment and art form,” he said. “There has never been a better time to be a gamer or a creator in this industry. The advent of digital publishing has opened the doors to game developers of any size to become publishers and bring their games directly to consumers.

“The key is having the right go-to-market strategy to ensure their games don’t get lost in all the available offerings and platforms. I think we’ll see continued expansion vehicles for games of all sizes and budgets to find their way into gamers’ hands.”

Tretton’s fireside chat on May 28 is going to be a hot item, so don’t forget to reserve your tickets to Casual Connect London now.  

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