Edinburgh Interactive Festival 2008 is bigger than ever

The Edinburgh Interactive Festival 2008, the world’s most important festival that seeks to expand the creative culture of games and interactive entertainment, opened its registration today, confirming dates and a number of new initiatives and changes to the event from this year.

EIF 2008 will take place from Sunday 10th to Tuesday 12th August, and will this year move to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre as part of a move to develop the scale and profile of the event.

2008 will feature a major two-day conference programme, an array of networking events, an expansion of the EIF Games Screenings programme covering three cinema rooms, a major public area with gaming features, retail and recruitment sites. Dare ProtoPlay, the public showcase event of Dare to be Digital, UK’s premier video games design competition, will also take place under the same roof as the Edinburgh Interactive Festival and will run from Sunday 10th to Tuesday 12th August alongside the public areas and Games Screenings.

Edinburgh Interactive Festival is the only event that brings together the games industry’s key decision makers from games publishing, hardware and development alongside Government, TV, film, press and other entertainment industries as well as students seeking to work within the creative industries.

In 2007 delegates included professionals from Ubisoft, Nintendo, Sony Computer Entertainment, Microsoft, Codemasters, BBC, Channel 4, 19 Entertainment, Endemol, Rare, Electronic Arts, Gamestation, Ncsoft, Havok, Midway, Eidos, Realtime Worlds, BAFTA, BERR, BSAC and Rising Star Games.

Chris Deering, Chairman of Edinburgh Interactive Festival, said: “Edinburgh holds a unique place in the heart of the games industry. It mixes games into a cultural melting pot that is the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe. Our move to the Edinburgh International Conference Center is designed to make the event more approachable and accessible for the public and other elements of the Festival. It’s free to the public and is a great way for people to spend some time looking at new games from new young development talent, to be inspired by the Games Screenings, to see and experience some hands–on time with new games and perhaps pick up their first games machine at the retail store.

“Of course, we are delighted that we have been able to mix this year’s developments with a partnership with the Dare to be Digital programme, originated by Abertay University. It’s a wonderful project and we are a natural fit for each other under the EIF banner.”

He added: “For those of you that have not attended, I’d urge you to get along. The ethos and personality of EIF is unlike anything in the global games calendar. It’s rich in content and innovation and provides a unique level playing field on which everyone from CEOs to students mix, talk and enjoy.”

“EIF’s focus on the creative culture of games makes it the perfect partner for Dare ProtoPlay and our proximity will create a real win / win for industry delegates and public visitors alike, creating a real festival atmosphere,” said Paul Durrant, Director of Dare to be Digital project.

Now celebrating its sixth year, the Edinburgh Interactive Festival is powered up to showcase the continued popularity, growth and influence of video games. And this year, the Interactive Festival is more synchronised with the world famous Edinburgh Festival than ever, appealing to the press, public and professionals from film, television and interactive media backgrounds alike, offering a bigger event for delegates, more consumer focusing – an overall spectacle for all.

New to Interactive Festival 2008 will be Features, Exhibition and Recruitment areas specifically tailored to cater for the public – allowing them access to the latest games and job opportunities in games.

As ever, the three-day Interactive Festival wouldn’t be complete without the cornerstones of conferences, keynotes, panel sessions, debates, games screenings and even more people than ever jostling to get through the doors.