Develop Brighton brings together thousands of developers to the seaside every year, championing the continued progress of indie studios being brought to the foreground of the games industry.
So how does Develop 2019 coincide with the increased diversity seen in studios and games in this industry?
Investment is peaking in gaming, with GI.biz recently reporting that $3.8 billion has been invested in just the first half of 2019. Investors are seeing massive potential in this ever-changing and innovative market. There is money to be made from established companies to fledgling startups, particularly with the dawn of cloud-based game streaming services and ray-tracing.
Indie studios that are in need of financing are seeing a massive benefit to this spike in investor interest. Without shareholders being a major concern for indie studios, it's clear to see why investors are attracted to them. They are able to put money into an extremely lucrative market, while indies can make headway in developing projects that would have been a huge struggle to make without significant support.
Accessibility will also increase with the rise of cloud streaming services, as people can play what they want, on whatever device they want, at a better price. It also means small studios can reach a far bigger audience than ever before and by putting their products onto democratised subscription services, they can compete on a more level playing field.
The demand for diversity in gaming studios is also evident in the types of new games being produced. With growing concerns that the public is becoming disengaged with standard AAA games that are considered by some unoriginal and exploitative, this is a welcome opportunity that gamers are actively encouraging.
Develop Brighton shows the effects of this studio and game diversity. Walking through the tightly packed expo, indies and university students showcasing their work outnumber big companies. From an interactive comic book game made by students at Norwich University of Arts to Special Effects technology for people with specific needs such as only using eye movement to play, there is a large number of clever games in such a small space.
Develop continues to accelerate this diverseness, and there is an obvious excitement here in the innovation and fresh talent that the UK has to offer the industry. Although there is a long way to go, progress has definitely arrived at Brighton.