London is set to play host to a new games conference this September. The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences has announced a European version of its annual DICE conference.
The U.S. version of DICE (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) takes place in Las Vegas every February and features the AIAS awards ceremony, speakers and social activities like golf, karting and poker tournaments. It's a high-level event for game developers willing to pay between $2,000 and $3,000 for a ticket. The AIAS was founded in 1996 and represents video game creators and publishers.
DICE Europe is scheduled to take place at the Royal Garden Hotel on Sept. 24-25. Speakers lined up so far include Wargaming chief Victor Kislyi, 22Cans' Peter Molyneux and EA's Rich Hilleman.
AIAS president Martin Rae told Polygon, "We've always had a lot of people coming to DICE from Europe and they've said to us, ‘why don't you do something in Europe,' so we did just that. It's hard to get to Vegas. It's a long way from Europe. And the people in Europe are looking at different challenges and a different way of looking at things."
Britain already offers some home-grown trade conventions. Industry newspaper MCV runs the London Games Conference, set for November this year, as well as a number of awards ceremonies and social gatherings. Editor-in-chief Michael French said, "The U.K. has one of the most vibrant and varied games markets on the planet. Our development sector is fast transitioning to the online business, as shown by the new wave of indie and mobile developers. We're also home to some very important publisher-owned core developers, such as Creative Assembly, Sports Interactive, four Sony studios plus Rockstar North."
He added, "All of that makes for a territory that matters on the global stage and to international execs too. The U.K. market has a distinct flavor."
Martin Rae said that DICE Europe would seek to replicate the original event's "exclusive and collegial" atmosphere, but will be targeted towards "conversations people in Europe want to have." The event is being organized with research company Video Game Intelligence.