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GDC Austin 2009

Last week's event "exceeded expectations"; returns next October.

AUSTIN, TEXAS – Sept. 24, 2009 – The 2009 Game Developers Conference® Austin (GDC Austin) drew to a close last week on Friday, Sept.18, marking the 7th successful year of the conference, bringing together visionary speakers and keynotes covering the evolving landscape of online games, iPhone games, independent development and more. The main conference focused on connected games ranging from addictive and accessible social network games, to ambitious and expansive massively multiplayer online games (MMOs).

The Independent Games Summit and iPhone Games Summit opened up the conference to a thoughtful investigation into the frontiers of indie game development and the exciting interactive and commercial potential of the iPhone software platform. The opening days also played host to summits dedicated to the art and craft of Game Writing and Game Audio.

This year’s event welcomed more than 130 lectures, panels, keynotes, and roundtable discussions, presented by 230 industry-leading speakers, and a bustling expo floor. All told, the event exceeded expectations for the year; GDC Austin played host to 2,650 verified attendees, while the expo floor attracted 80 participating exhibitors and sponsors showcasing up-and-coming game technology and software.

Leading the conference was a lineup of visionary keynote speakers, each forging new territory in connected gaming. Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley opened the proceedings on Wednesday, offering a detailed discussion on the successes and challenges of creating Free Realms, a massively connected online world designed for mass market audiences, including younger children. Thursday welcomed Blizzard co-founder Frank Pearce and World of Warcraft production director J. Allen Brack, who provided insight into the massive undertaking of maintaining a hugely popular MMO encompassing more than 11 million paid subscribers. The closing day of the conference presented the final keynote, with forward-facing Playfish COO and co-founder Sebastien de Halleux discussing the rich potential of the social gaming space to allow developers to take advantage viral distribution and microtransaction-based business models, and address an audience of non-conventional gamers.

"GDC Austin was a success both in terms of the turnout and the quality of the discussions led by our talented speakers and panelists,” says Izora de Lillard, GDC Austin event director, " The advisory board and the entire GDC Austin team is especially proud of the expertise and quality of content we secured this year. We are already looking forward to the new trends and new content we will be exploring next year."

For more information on GDC Austin, please visit the official website:

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