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Kicks off in Dallas on Wednesday with economic meltdown on the agenda.

For Immediate Release

Dallas, TX - January 12, 2009 –The first day of the Game::Business::Law summit held at Southern Methodist University in Dallas on January 14 will directly address the impact of the past year’s economic meltdown on the game industry.

Panel moderator Patrick Pugh, advisory partner for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, will lead the discussion in “The Impact of Today’s Economy on Game Development,” which will answer the question of whether the video game industry is truly recession proof.

While serious shortfalls in overall retail sales continue to make headlines, many analysts like Pugh believe that video game hardware and software sales will continue to rise in the midst of global financial malaise. Another question this panel will attempt to answer is, if video game sales revenues continue to climb, will they be surpassed by this generation’s rapidly escalating development costs?

The mix of game industry professionals, legal analysts and financial experts on this panel will include: J. Holt Foster, III, partner, Thompson and Knight LLP, Rob Seaver, founder and chief executive officer, Vivox; Colin Sebastian, senior vice president, equity research, Lazard Capital Markets; Edward Williams, analyst, BMO Capital Markets; and Michael Yatsko, advisory partner for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

Another hot topic will be discussed on the second day of the summit, “Games in Asia: Development, Business and Legal Issues.” Moderator Xuan-Thao Nguyen, professor at SMU Dedman School of Law, will lead a panel that explores the rapidly expanding game development market in Asia, and the mounting financial, legal and cultural issues that have arisen along with it. On hand for this panel will be: Roxanne Christ, partner, Latham & Watkins; Zack Karlsson, senior director of business development, NAMCO Bandai Games America, Inc.; and Jerry Zhang, deputy general counsel, Shanda Games, the largest online game company in China.

Game::Business::Law, hosted by SMU Dedman School of Law, The Guildhall at SMU and The Center for American and International Law, is co-chaired by Richard Garriott, astronaut and game industry legend, and Dr. Peter Raad, executive director of The Guildhall at SMU.

Other speakers at the summit include:

• Chris Baker, senior editor, Wired Magazine

• Zach Bishop, associate, Hunton & Williams

• Edward Cavazos, principal, Fish & Richardson P.C.

• John Crittenden, partner, Cooley Godward Kronish LLP

• Dan Ferguson, founder and director of game development, Blockdot, Inc.

• Christian Genetski, partner, Sonnenschein Nath and Rosenthal LLP

• Dan Hewitt, senior director of communications, Entertainment Software Association

• Mike Hogan, chief marketing officer, GameStop Corporation

• Jason Holtman, director of business development/legal affairs, Valve

• Michael Klotz, games business senior manager, NPD Group

• Mitch Lasky, general partner, Benchmark Capital

• David McCombs, partner, Haynes & Boone, LLP

• Mark Methenitis, attorney, The Vernon Law Group

• Steve Nix, director of business development, id Software, Inc.

• Joseph Olin, president, The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences

• JJ Richards, general manager, platform services, Microsoft advertising, Microsoft Corporation

• Barry Seaton, partner, Barry C. Seaton, P.C.

• Greg Short, executive chairman, Electronic Entertainment Design and Research

The conference will be held at SMU Dedman School of Law on January 14-15, 2009. For more information, please go to:


Ron Jenkins

The Guildhall at SMU

Katherine Webb

GamesBizWire (for Game::Business::Law)

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