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A Bolder Return – Games at Slush 2019

After a brief absence from the gaming space, we made a return last year by organizing Press Play, an Official Slush Side Event around gaming, together with Supercell, Hatch and Play Ventures. The year also featured a Small Talks event in Berlin around gaming. We can happily call the return to gaming a real success. Building on this, we’re doubling down on gaming content this year with an even bigger event.

Goodbye Press Play – hello Press Start

Press Start kicks of the Slush Week on Nov 19. This time, the focus is entirely on the art of making games. Press Start gathers 1,000 game developers and investors around all things gaming. You don’t even need a Slush Pass to attend, it’s entirely free and attendance is by application only. And games are not the only old favorite making a return as we’re invading the original venue of Slush, Helsinki Cable Factory. Joining us are our Main Partners, Supercell, Epic Games and Jam City.

We’re diving headfirst into game development, design, and production across platforms. From PC to console and mobile, we’ve got it all. Not to mention games that haven’t seen the light of day before. To give you an idea, here are a few examples of what to expect:

It has been difficult to miss Fortnite as it became such a cultural phenomenon. Celia Hodent, the former UX Director at Epic Games, will give a peek into the cognitive science and psychological principles behind the UX of Fortnite.

Camilla Avellar, Game Designer for Hay Day, will step on stage to speak about the struggles they faced during the development of the Valley, the game’s largest feature update so far. Pushing a massive update to a seven-year-old game can be a daunting task. Camilla will share the approach her team took to navigate the hurdles.

Staffed by former Sulake veterans, Small Giant Games has made a massive splash with Empires & Puzzles, their new take on RPGs, combining match-3 combat and stronghold-building. Joining us on the Press Start stage is Markus Halttunen, their Co-Founder & CTO, who will share with us a look into the Small Giant way of approaching the development and management of live games.

And what would a gaming event be without the actual games? The last hour of our program will feature a bunch of demos of unreleased or soft-launched mobile games, presented through live gameplay demos on stage. So if you’re ready to show off a sneak peek of your project to a collection of peers and investors, you can apply here until the end of October!

After the Press Start demo showcase ends at around 6:30 PM, Jam City and Slush present the Press Start afterparty starting at 7:00 PM and going on until 10:30 PM! Check out all of our speakers, find more info and apply for Press Start here.

What’s next for games – Slush Main Event

The Slush Main Event will, of course, feature gaming and here are just a few examples of topics and speakers from the gaming track this year:

Founded in 2011, Jam City has quickly become a real force within the mobile market. Did you know that their founder and CEO, Chris DeWolfe, was also the Co-founder of Myspace? How did the founder of one of the first social networks end up helming one of the most successful modern mobile game studios and what can you learn from his experience? Join us on the Saga Stage on Slush Day 1 at 11:45 AM to find out.

Through juggernauts like Fortnite and Clash of Clans and Roblox, we’ve seen that games are becoming more and more like social networks. Long gone are the days of games even remotely being a solitary experience. On Slush Day 2 at 4:30 PM, Saga Stage will host a Fireside Chat on the social side of gaming with
Selcuk Atli, Co-founder & CEO of Bunch
, Kelly Mayers, Senior Director of Product at Roblox and Langer Lee, Director at Mixi.

Cloud gaming? Sure thing!

And what about cloud gaming – one of the most exciting emerging technologies in the games industry? With the looming release of Google Stadia, all eyes will be on how Google’s experiment plays out. Previous cloud platforms haven’t been able to make a dent in the market. Will this time be different? 

One of the other players leading the charge in cloud gaming is Polystream. We are extremely excited to have Polystream joining us to host Fast Forward, the Official Slush Side Event around cloud gaming, held on Nov 22 at 1:30 PM in the Factory area of the Slush venue

Join us for an afternoon of discussion about different ways the cloud is being used to deliver and experience video games and demanding 3D applications on a never-before seen massive scale, and what we can expect from the future. The Fast Forward stage will feature forerunners from companies like Intel, Mainframe Industries, Ustwo, Google Play, Hatch, and Hadean – just to name a few. Stay tuned for more!

Now if there has ever been a year to attend Slush with gaming in mind – this is the one. Grab your Slush Pass now to take part.

Author is a person who has been playing DOTA for 15 years and is still not bored.