Quo Vadis '14 is over, but the things that happened there remain.

The biggest QV so far with more than 2500 participants, including all parties and side events, could also expand their star-potential with a lot of awesome speakers and guests. 170 speakers had come to propose answers to such questions in a total of 110 lectures and workshops. Among the presentations were contributions from Amazon, Google, Sony, Microsoft, CD Projekt RED and CCP Games.

In his talk, Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, head of CCP Games, voiced his thoughts on no less than saving the world: If developers were able to shift people’s urge to consume toward the virtual domain, real resources could be conserved. This would require highly immersive game worlds which allow players to truly live out their emotions, personality and desire for self-fulfilment in the game. According to Pétursson, the CCP title “EVE Online” provides such a game world in which players play a greater role in shaping and determining events than the makers.

Don Daglow invited participants to completely rethink the notion of ‘next-gen’. “Our brains hurt because old ideas are stuck inside,” the legendary industry veteran remarked, whose witty and entertaining session was punctuated by applause time and again. One of his main points of criticism regarding the status quo of the industry was that the existing business models lagged years behind the industry’s current technology and creative concepts.

In their presentation, “Why it makes sense to be independent”, CD Projekt RED’s Michal Nowakowski and Marcin Iwinski spoke about the advantages of operating as an independent game developer. The Polish studio holds the rights to the successful game series, “The Witcher”, the third part of which is currently in development. Both speakers made a strong case for the use of proprietary game engines, so as to allow the technological potential and capabilities of next-gen game consoles to be utilized more fully and to make screens truly come alive with graphics of unprecedented quality.

The panel discussion “Quo Vadis, F2P?” saw Maximilian Schenk (BIU – Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware e.V.), Harald Riegler (Sproing Interactive), David Reitman (Hybris), Hendrik Lesser (Remote Control Productions) and Tino Hahn (IGN Germany) debate the challenges of F2P game development. All were in agreement on the fact that the days when poorly made online games could be hyped to success with a big marketing budget are indeed over. As David Reitman rightly pointed out, the games industry is the only trade in which millions of euros are spent on the development of content distributed to users free of charge – while working profitably at the same time.

Heiko Klinge, editor-in-chief of Making Games, shared extensive knowledge on the kind of preparation that is essential for running successful crowdfunding campaigns to finance game development using platforms such as Kickstarter.

An additional highlight at Quo Vadis was the presentation of the European Games Awards on Wednesday evening. All award winners are listed on www.european-games-award.com. The award ceremony was followed by the official Quo Vadis Party.

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