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Club Penguin co-founder to keynote Austin GDC

Disney's Lane Merrifield will discuss creating virtual worlds while focusing on gamers

The Austin Game Developers Conference has announced that Lane Merrifield has been confirmed as a keynote speaker for the event, taking place September 15-17 at the Austin Convention Center.

Merrifield is the co-founder of Club Penguin and was recently appointed the head of development for the Disney's children and family-targeted virtual worlds. At the event, he will deliver a speech entitled At Their Service: Making a Difference by Putting Players First - a talk on creating virtual worlds with the gamers in mind.

"In this era of rapidly growing social games and virtual worlds, new players and investors are constantly throwing their hats in the arena - hoping to create the next big connected game. The reality is that many of these online games won't reach a critical mass," said Austin GDC conference director Izora De Lillard.

"Lane Merrifield's talk will inspire developers to consider how to create a truly compelling experience for the gamer; and perhaps help them create the next Club Penguin."