Iceland is a strange, beautiful and complex country with a thriving digital industry and a rapidly expanding creative sector.
That is what all the evidence pointed to at Reykjavik conference You Are In Control, which saw an international delegation of designers, musicians, creative entrepreneurs and industry observers come together against a backdrop of raw fish and raw music talent which guests were lavished with between talks, forums and workshops.
Livingstone says that as games become more advanced gaming companies are required to pool talents from across the creative indsutries.
‘You need 150-200 people over two years, it costs $20-30m and you need artists, animators, musicians and people with movie making skills,’ says Livingstone.
Games will continue to be given away free and ‘episodic game play will become more prevalent,’ says Livingstone who expects there to be a rise in the production of shorter, bite-size games.
Iceland’s creative industry was until this conference an unknown quantity for many – even to Iceland itself perhaps, which commissioned consultant Colin Mercer as Director Towards Creative Iceland.
Mercer, who has mapped the cultural and creative landscape of Iceland, delivered news that between 2005-2008, the number of people employed in the creative industries rose from 13,000-17,000. In 2009, turnover in cultural and creative industries reached ISK81bn, outstripping agriculture which is worth ISK25bn and almost matching fisheries which turned over ISK114bn the same year.
Notwithstanding a potential dip brought on by the aforementioned meltdown, it’s all looking rather rosy for Iceland.