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Game Developers Conference Europe 2010 Opens With Strong Content Lineup

August 16, 2010 by  

Web Host ServicesBERLIN – Game Developers Conference Europe® 2010 (GDC Europe) has opened its doors at the Cologne Congress Center East in Cologne, Germany.  Produced by UBM TechWeb Game Network, organizers of the leading Game Developers Conference® series, GDC Europe is the largest professionals-only game event in Europe, and has increased in scope compared to its inaugural debut event in 2009, encompassing a robust selection of keynotes, lectures, panels, and sessions.  GDC Europe returns to Cologne, Germany on August 16-18, 2010 for three days of learning, networking, and inspiration.  For more information on GDC Europe visit: www.gdceurope.com.

“We are very pleased with the opening day of GDC Europe,” said Frank Sliwka GDC Europe Event Director and UBM TechWeb VP European Business Development.  “We hosted several great talks today including our keynote addresses from Bo Wang and Warren Spector.  GDC Europe also received a popular response to our newest conference addition: the Games & Movies/TV Workshop.”

Highlights of today’s activity include:

* Talking in a packed keynote, Creative Director of Disney’s Junction Point studio Warren Spector delivered a lyrical discussion of video games and how the medium should — and shouldn’t — learn from other media to shine in its own right.  Referencing film, radio, comic books and board games, Spector illustrated the importance and power of the user’s imagination and videogames’ ‘power to transport’ – the ability to become another character entirely, and how they can immerse people in worlds that appear completely believable.

* At his keynote on Monday, Tencent Games VP Bo Wang discussed how the billion-dollar revenue Chinese tech/game company has risen to the top of the pack, citing massive growth rates and key routes to success in Asia.  Wang noted than in the six months to the end of June 2010, the gigantic Chinese-headquartered firm, which deals with instant messaging, virtual currency, and video games as its major parts, had revenues of $1.3 billion U.S. dollars.  Wang noted that Chinese gamers have a much lower disposable income, so there are unique ways Tencent attracts these gamers.  Tencent tries to have 1,000 hours available at launch in its typical MMORPGs, and also encourages gamers to have fun by playing against each other in games. As Tencent also has the top instant messaging service in China, plus a top free email service, a massive web portal at QQ.com, and even a search engine, cross-marketing from all of Tencent’s properties seems to have catapulted the firm to the top of the pile in the Chinese market.

* In the one-day Games and Movies/TV Workshop, Jorg Tittel of BreakThru Films spoke about his multiplatform-vision.  Discussing how his vision is not a marketing idea, and based more on creativity than on a business model. Tittel feels that the industry has to learn from the younger generations who already live in a multiplatform way.  After defining three important problems—licensing models, lack of communication and marketing-driven business—and the challenges of needing to reeducate the industries, determine where the budgets come from and getting legal counsel from both sides at an early point, Tittel focused on the main challenge—mining new creative talent, people who understand both film and games.  Tittel said that the concepts of Convergence and Multiplatform shouldn’t be mainly about the sharing of assets, but about sharing a common vision. And for that, he feels we need a new generation of film- AND gamemakers who care about and have been educating themselves about both platforms equally, and who understand the rules of both and respect them equally

* In the first of the “Focus Russia” series of sessions, Dmitry Lyust and Konstantin Popov gave an overview about the Russian market concerning PC-, Console- and Online Gaming, providing statistics including the fact that the current market value is $820M USD and predictions about the growth of Russia’s online games market.  Predictions are that Russia’s online games market will grow from $223M USD in 2009 to $400-410M USD by 2012, and that the Russian market for casual games will grow from $32 M USD to 42 M USD by the end of this year.  Lyust and Popov discussed how there is Russia’s recent welcoming climate for business and investments from abroad. The government sees the economic gain of the games industry and plans to support and develop it as part of a governmental plan for modernization the country.  They also discussed government plans to build up a “Russian Silicon Valley” inside a special economic zone near Moscow.

* In a session titled “Rethinking a Studio for the digital Space,” THQ Digital creative director Don Whiteford discussed the publisher’s burgeoning specialization in the digital space, discussing learnings from his rebranded THQ studio and revealed its debut XBLA/PSN title, top down vehicle combat title Red Faction: Battlegrounds.  Whiteford also revealed a companion product for THQ’s key Red Faction franchise, Red Faction: Battlegrounds, a topdown car, mech and rover combat title for Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network with up to four players on the same screen. In addition, various achievements in the game — which was built by a core team of just four people — will unlock unique elements in Red Faction: Armageddon.

* BioWare’s Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk delivered an account Q&A style of a look back on the founding of their studio and the creation of the seminal Baldur’s Gate franchise.  The duo referenced their early years inexperienced in conventional game business yet success with Baldur’s Gate through their passion and a love of the art.  The duo ended with a teaser of some potentially exciting new titles, as yet unannounced, coming out of the Virginia-based BioWare Mythic office that currently operates stalwart, still-profitable titles such as Warhammer Online and Ultima Online.

In addition to the conference content, GDC Europe provides several opportunities for creative exchange and business development, with venues including the GDC Europe Expo Floor, VIP Lounge, and the GDC Europe Business Lounge at gamescom, plus a host of industry parties.  More than forty exhibitors and sponsors from Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, Sweden, the UK and the USA have registered for the exhibitor zone measuring 650 square meters.  Exhibitors include Crytek, Bigpoint, Epic, Howest University, Imagination Studios and Intel.  In addition, GDC Europe will also be hosting for the first time a business Lounge at the accompanying games expo, gamescom, at which Autodesk, Crytek, Epic, Zotac, DigiProtect, Level 3 are confirmed to be exhibiting.

For up to the moment news on GDC Europe visit: www.gdceurope.com.

About the UBM TechWeb Game Network
A core provider of essential information to the professional game industry, the  UBM TechWeb Game Network – formerly known as the Think Services Game Group – offers market-defining content, and drives community through its award winning lineup of print, online, event and research products and services. These include the Game Developers Conference®, the Webby Award-winning Gamasutra.com and network of sites, the Game Advertising Online ad network, the Game Developers Conference® Online, the Game Developers Conference™ Europe, the Game Developers Conference™ China, Game Developer Magazine, Game Developer Research, the Game Career Seminars and GameCareerGuide.com, the Independent Games Festival and Summit, and the Game Developers Choice Awards.

Visit www.jointhegamenetwork.com

About UBM TechWeb
UBM TechWeb, the global leader in technology media and professional information, enables people and organizations to harness the transformative power of technology. Through its three core businesses – media solutions, marketing services and paid content – UBM TechWeb produces the most respected and consumed brands and media applications in the technology market. More than 14.5 million business and technology professionals (CIOs and IT managers, Web & Digital professionals, Software Developers, Government decision makers, and Telecom providers) actively engage in UBM TechWeb’s communities and information resources monthly. UBM TechWeb brands includes: global face-to-face events such as Interop, Web 2.0, Black Hat and Enterprise Connect; award-winning online resources such as InformationWeek, Light Reading, and Network Computing; and market-leading magazines InformationWeek, Wall Street & Technology, and Advanced Trading. UBM TechWeb is a UBM company, a global provider of news distribution and specialist information services with a market capitalization of more than $2.5 billion.

Visit: www.ubmtechweb.com

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