'Plug and play' consultancy for game developers launches

12 July 2017 Consultancy.uk

Former marketing director Stephen Hey has established a new consulting firm specialising in video gaming. The Manchester-based company will offer clients the opportunity to leverage Hey’s extensive experience in the industry, which spans almost a quarter of a century.

The global entertainment and media outlook by Big Four consultancy firm PwC recently projected the UK entertainment and media sector will reach a worth of £72 billion, boosted by a video games industry set to remain Europe’s largest market and the fifth largest globally. With revenue forecast for a 6% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) over the coming five year period, by 2021 the UK gaming market will be worth £5.2 billion. The video game market remains a prominent sector in the entertainment industry then, with approximately 1.8 billion gamers in the world, whose time is also increasingly spent playing computer games, rather than viewing traditional media.

It therefore comes as little surprise that a new generation of start-up consultancies are looking to offer industry players advice on how to best tap into the market, and Stephen Hey, a former marketing director at major developer Electronic Arts, along with previously heading marketing at EA Chillingo, has recently established just such an operation. The new firm, HeyStephenHey, focuses on advising video game producers, offering “plug and play” marketing expertise for independent developers and publishers. Hey boasts 24 years of experience in the gaming industry, having begun in PR – which he studied at Bournemouth University –  helping to promote Ocean’s ‘Jurassic Park’ way back in 1993, which was released onto the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES).

Since then the industry has been in a constant state of re-development and innovation, which saw Hey’s most recent involvement taking place in the mobile sector rather than the specialised console market, with the ’WarFriends’ app. As a marketing consultancy aimed at the independent game developer community, the new self-titled firm will seek to advise clients on marketing techniques and expertise for teams throughout a game’s lifecycle from the first marketing vision to the creation of the PC game.

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The consultancy firm is geared to offer large range of services, from defining market position and consumer profiling to marketing tactics for clients. Hey, who is based in Manchester, also aims to combine PR with advertising and marketing with key partners Sony, Apple and Google in order to achieve respectable results for clients from all across the globe. However, rather than play it safe by purely advising more traditional technology companies, Hey decided to specialise in a new branch of consulting, utilising his close industrial ties to asset creators to leverage support from CGI houses or video production studios, and PR companies toward a wider marketing campaign.

Commenting on the new venture, Stephen Hey commented, "I've always loved working in games but always wanted to work with independent developers who are rich in ideas but don't necessarily have the resources for full time marketing teams. This role allows me to work with developers and publishers who are developing some of the most creative and innovative games in the industry and I can't tell you how exciting that is.”

Hey also explained his choice for the location of the new consultancy firm, favouring the North-West over the UK capital of London, “I’ve always lived and worked in Manchester, but over that time the games scene here has changed dramatically, from having big publishers like Ocean, to the landscape now which has some great developers but no large publishers. The great thing is that Manchester, and the region, is still very active in creating games that compete on a global basis, so it’s a perfect base for HeyStephenHey.”

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