Games industry leaders announce global Horizon(s) conference

Jon Yelenic, Monday, July 11th, 2022 9:08 pm

The inaugural Horizon(s) event, a new conference aimed at the decision makers of the games industry, will be held on October 5 and 6 at the National Opera of Bordeaux in France. The event is a joint effort between video game developer association SO. Games and the Groupe Sud-Ouest, led by Julie Chalmette (Managing Director, Bethesda/ZeniMax France), Nicolas Cannasse (CEO Shiro Games), and Per-Arne Lundberg (Amplifier Game Invest AB), among others. It will feature conferences, roundtables, and workshops led by game industry leaders, including Headbang Club and Hi-Rez Studios.

Horizon(s) fills a gap that emerged during the coronavirus pandemic, when it was impossible to hold in-person conferences.

Pre-pandemic, a strong event called Videogame Economics Forum existed for industry executives. Unfortunately, it disappeared, and we saw lots of requests for it to return in a new format,” Stéphane Bonazza, SO Games president told GameDaily. “Similar to an event like DICE, we hope for Horizon(s) to be a place for the industry at large to meet together and discuss the state of the games industry regularly.”

Horizon(s) will feature conferences and seminars centered around five main themes: 

  • The working environment
  • Finances
  • Emerging markets
  • Publishing
  • Business models

These broad categories include a variety of topics, such as  games as “political soft power,” publishing and mobile strategies, and how games deliver messages, alongside diversity and inclusion, healthy workplace practices, and more.

The organizers said Horizon(s) will place a significant emphasis on recruitment, particularly of younger talent and for specialized roles such as QA through a game jam event and “job dating” sessions. 

In recent years, many reports have highlighted both the poor working conditions and inadequate compensation commonly seen in careers throughout the video game industry, especially for quality assurance workers. GameDaily asked Bonazza whether Horizon(s), geared toward the decision makers of the games industry as it is, would also stress the importance of fair wages.

“As the industry’s focus on worker rights grows, we’ve proactively pursued presentations that can highlight these issues and how to address them to the attendees,” Bonazza said in response.  “Horizon(s) will champion the importance of properly compensating and caring for workers as part of its mandate, though as a global event, what is true for one country might not apply to another.”

While 2022 will be Horizon(s) inaugural event, its organizers hope it will evolve into a regular meeting ground for the video game industry professionals. © 2024 | All Rights Reserved.