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GDC Austin to focus on online gaming

Speakers from BioWare, Sony and Cartoon Network will explore online trends and MMO communities

The Game Developers Conference Austin is to focus on the online gaming space, with confirmed speakers covering topics from free-to-play casual MMOGs to expanding online communities, its organisers have announced.

"One of the unique challenges of GDC Austin is staying ahead of the next trend in the ever changing online gaming space. We have seen the industry expand and morph from MMOs to virtual worlds to online social networked free-to-play casual MMOs," said Izora De Lillard, event director at Think Services Game Group.

"This September, we are proud to present a program focused on the lessons you need to harness current opportunities and the inspiration to develop the next breakthrough."

Speakers at the three day Texas event are to include BioWare technical director Bill Dalton, who will talk on the complexities of developing MMO titles, and Cartoon Network's Richard Weil, set to hold a session on the financial complications of online games for younger children. Sony Online Entertainment creative director Laralyn McWilliams and and Turbine VP Craig Alexander will also present at the event.

Other topics will cover viral growth tactics, how to make the free-to-play model work, harnessing community feedback to improve game design and micro-transaction security.

Running alongside the main event too will be four two day summits - Game Writers, Game Audio, iPhone Games and Independent Games.

The conference will take place between September 15-18. Early registration for it ends on August 13.

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