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Lisa Opie: The Future of Gaming and the Media Industry


Lisa Opie, managing director of Ubisoft, delivered a thought-provoking speech at our recent annual HR Forum. Lisa covered many important topics but we have summarised some of her key points:

A Different Landscape:

  • Opie began by highlighting the surprising contrast between the television and video game industries. While television boasts a freelance-heavy workforce with constant movement between companies, video games have a more permanent structure with a siloed approach.
  • Opie emphasised the demographic differences, with video games having a younger workforce (39% under 30) and a significant gender gap (only 30% women). This lack of diversity presents challenges for the industry.

Beyond the Screen:

  • Opie debunked the myth of video games being solely for young men. She highlighted the artistic merit of the industry, recommending titles like Ghost of Tsushima and Stray to showcase the creative potential of video games.
  • Interestingly, Opie pointed out the growing use of game engines like Unreal and Unity in television production for virtual production purposes. This demonstrates a fascinating crossover between the two sectors.

The Power of Storytelling:

  • Opie discussed the rise of transmedia IP, where successful video games are adapted into television shows or movies. She acknowledged past attempts that weren’t entirely successful but highlighted the recent triumphs of The Last of Us (HBO) and Fallout (Amazon) as prime examples.
  • Opie emphasised the collaborative aspect behind these successful adaptations. Creators from both mediums coming together, like Neil Druckmann (video game) and Craig Mazin (television) for The Last of Us, is a key factor in their quality.

A Look Ahead:

  • Opie concluded by expressing her optimism about the future of video games. She believes the industry’s inherent focus on digital creation positions it at the forefront of entertainment, constantly pushing boundaries.
  • Opie ended with a quote from Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, hinting at the unimaginable future video games hold: “Movies are going to become video games and video games are going to become something unimaginably better.”