Odgers Berndtson has hired Scott Dodkins, one of the most senior and experienced leaders in the European Interactive Entertainment industry, as part of a major investment to address soaring industry demand for business executives who can drive growth via digital channels and new technologies like augmented and virtual reality.

Dodkins is believed to be the first senior hire into European executive search from the interactive gaming industry, giving Odgers Berndtson notable expertise in this rapidly growing area. Over 20 years as an executive in the games industry, Dodkins helped to launch Call of Duty, whilst European MD of Activision, later becoming MD of Eidos. Later he headed the virtual reality start-up Oculus in Europe, continuing after its acquisition by Facebook for $2 billion in 2014, and is a former chair of the UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE) trade body.

Interactive entertainment is a booming industry, with 2016 UK sales of digital games exceeding £2billion – a record and figure out-stripping combined revenues from digital video and music. Global revenues from gaming reached almost $100 billion last year, with $26bn generated in EMEA (UKIE). Within Europe, the UK is a key hub for interactive entertainment due to the number and concentration of businesses and total revenue.

“From start-up studios to multinational publishers, companies across interactive gaming need digital-savvy leaders to take them from a boxed-product to a digital business model. Producing great games that gamers want to play is one thing, but executives and leaders who understand how to engage with players across digital and mobile can bring real commercial advantage” said Andrew Bulloss, Head of Odgers Berndtson’s Global Gaming practice.

“As a growth sector, operating on a global scale, the demands for, and on, senior talent in the gaming industry are significant. We are building a dedicated global practice – drawing on the best executive talent from the industry as well as in other related sectors - to help companies address this changing market,” he added.

“The UK is fantastic at generating new tech businesses and has a wealth of creative talent driving the interactive gaming industry forward but companies need robust business models to address wider opportunities in the digital economy and reach their full potential. We want to help with that,” commented Dodkins.

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