Today’s Platform Expos debate was well worth the trip up town. Even more so because a bunch of our students had managed to make it as well. They, like the rest of us, found the conversation very interesting as he panel moved from Cloud Gaming, to networks (some really interesting opportunities coming to Hull with the rollout of fibre optic cables right to people’s houses and the coming of 4G to the mobile space) to, of all things, insurance and liability.
I’d never really considered the insurance issues relating to games that run in the cloud, but as soon as you start letting players buy content in the game, using the so called “Freemium” model a whole bunch of liabilities suddenly appear. What if customers change their mind? What if you lose their content? What if someone “steals” content from another player. What if you inadvertently release sensitive data about your players? I’m not sure we have all the answers to these questions now, but one thing I am sure about is that if I was moving into that space I’d take some advice about it.
One other thing I took away from the session was that as soon as you start selling stuff, even if it is 79 pence for a copy of CheeseLander, you are running a business. If there are a bunch of you working together you need to agree on who owns the intellectual property in the game you are selling (or how you are sharing it) and how you will share out the earnings. In fact, after the talk I approached Rob from Andrew Jackson solicitors and asked him if he would be willing to come and give a chat to our student about this. I’m very pleased that he reckoned he could sort something out. Next semester I’m going to be running some “Rather Useful Seminars” about stuff it is good to know and that is one subject that we’ll now be covering.
After the hard nosed business talk we were able to have a go with Assassins Creed 3, which looks lovely. The demo was set on a pirate ship with a beautifully rendered environment and some lovely looking water.