Ed Relf, Director of Marketing for Codemasters Online Gaming
Connect 2008 marked the first big ticketed event to come from Codemasters Online Gaming. SPOnG was on-hand to take in the sights, the sounds, the chap dressed as Gandalf (or Saruman, I couldn’t be sure).
Between negotiating the banks upon banks of PCs, learning to deal with a lack of natural daylight and munching on pizza bread, I managed to catch up with Ed Relf, the director of marketing for Codmasters Online. Read on for his thoughts on the future of the label and a few opinions on the industry at large.
So, how’s the event
going so far?
Pretty well! It’s an interesting one for us, because obviously; we’ve never done this before! It’s all a bit of an unknown. It’s the first one, the first day, we’re nine hours into the event, about 17 hours into my day but it’s going well! Really well. I mean, today is press day. Tomorrow’s consumer day. We’ve sold out tomorrow, we’re going to hit capacity tomorrow. So that’s about 500 people down here, which is really good for our first ticketed consumer event. So we’re really happy.
Gandalf? Saruman? You decide...
What made you decide to do this?
A number of different things, to be honest. I’m not gonna argue, some of our competitors in the market already do these kind of conventions, so there’s a little bit of that.
To be honest with you, we never get the chance to sit down with our community and meet these guys face to face and get direct feedback. This is really the first opportunity we’ve had since the establishment of Codemasters online to sit down with them. A lot of this event is giving back to the community. They’ve been talking about having an event where they could meet their friends and fellow gamers, and we’re fortunate to be in the position where we can give it to them. I’m hoping that, fingers crossed, as long as everything goes to plan, this will be something that we can do on an annual basis.
The other thing as well is that there’s the potential to do something like this out in the US, as well. You’ve got the Omega Sektor
here in the UK – very convenient for us because obviously Codemasters HQ is just down the road. But, clearly we have more people in the US playing our games than any other country and we need to be out there with this kind of event, and I’m hoping this will be a stepping stone for that.
I know you said it’s press day, but there are some community guys out there. Have you had chance to speak to any of them?
Unfortunately not! My day has been shouting into microphones, bashing people over the head with rubber swords… No. As people leave the centre later today, we’ve got questionnaires to get some direct feedback from those guys… what worked, what didn’t, what can we improve next time, what they particularly liked, and hopefully we can use that information for the next event we do.
The main thing for today, of course – it’s a Friday, people are working. Obviously, today’s a bit of a press day for us. Unfortunately, if we did the entire event over the weekend we probably wouldn’t have as many press here (grins). So, we had to do a bit of juggling.