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Focus on GCDC: Business

The industry's elite to gather and discuss the key issues facing the videogames business

The business side of the videogames industry is becoming an ever-increasingly complex place, with new business models, new audiences, higher-than-ever development costs and the potential to make huge amounts of money - if it all works out...

This year the Games Convention Developers Conference will be bringing together a range of well-known industry figures to debate and discuss some of the most important challenges in today's videogames business.

With a combination of sessions, panels and keynotes GCDC will become the focus for the games industry worldwide from August 18-20.

The business track in the conference, which takes place at the Leipziger Messe in Germany, will revolve around a number of sessions, headlined by a special keynote from Henrik Lorensen, VP for business development at Lego.

That talk will be entitled "Bringing a Classic Brand Online" and will focus on how brands can intelligently expand online, utilising his own expertise and insight from the Lego Universe project, and the company's other initiatives as examples.

Another session will pack in a number of high-profile figures from around the industry - also all keynote speakers elsewhere at GCDC - to talk about the subject of best-selling games. What makes one game better than another in any given time or place? Why are some games million-sellers in one territory, and anonymous in others? Are there any essential ingredients that make for that elusive 'killer app'? And how have standards and tastes changed over time?

Those are just a few of the questions to be answered by Dr Michael Capps, president of Epic Games, Chris Taylor, founder of Gas Powered Games and David Perry, co-founder and CCO Acclaim Games.

Elsewhere on the schedule developers can gain an insight into the best ways to get their product across to would-be partners in a "Pitching the Publishers" session, with four key individuals with a wide range of experience.

On that panel will be Adam Boyes, director of production and business development at Capcom Entertainment, Chris Charla, VP of business development at Foundation 9, Jeffrey Hilbert, founder and CEO of Digital Development Management and Zack Karlsson, director of business development at Namco Bandai Games America.

They'll be on hand to walk developers through the key points of what publishers need and demand to see to move forward with a project, covering common fatal mistakes developers make that can hamstring them before they even get started.

Other highlights across the three days include:

  • Dan Rogers, senior partner at Interactive Studio Management with his speech entitled "End Game Thinking - How to Create Company Value Before Acquisition"
  • Alex St John, CEO of WildTangent, will take a look at the future with his talk "Gaming in 2020"
  • Harald Riegler, CEO of Sproing, with "Team Building Strategies for Growing Developers"
  • Paul Steed, president and CCO at Exigent, who will cover best practices for both outsource providers and outsource users in "Art Outsourcing Best Practices"
  • Jan Wagner, managing partner at Cliffhanger Productions, and a talk entitled "Not Business as Usual - Combining MMOGs and Casual"

GamesIndustry.biz will be on hand to cover a selection of these sessions. For more information on the schedule, and to register for GCDC, visit the official event website.

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Phil Elliott

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