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GDC to host invite-only event for execs

A new invite-only conference designed to give top gaming executives the chance to network and exchange ideas is set to take place alongside the Game Developers Conference next month.

A new invite-only conference designed to give top gaming executives the chance to network and exchange ideas is set to take place alongside the Game Developers Conference next month.

Titled GDC Prime, the three-day event will include talks by Sony Pictures's Yair Landau and Shalom Mann, Foundation 9 CEO Jon Goldman and EA Los Angeles vice president Neil Young.

There will also be a networking reception at the start of the event, and a private GDC Prime Lounge will be available throughout for informal meetings.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, conference director Jamil Moledina said, "We designed GDC Prime to provide the GDC-level of candour and networking to the executive level of our industry. By providing a forum for discussing essential business issues facing our industry, we hope to spark a whole new round of industry trends and business models.

"Weâre featuring experienced speakers speaking to strategic issues - for example, Ray Nakazato, producer on Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey, is presenting a session on risk management on the distributed development of key Xbox 360 titles," he continued. "The idea is to share best practices and relax with old friends."

According to Moledina, the hot topics under discussion are likely to be "the practical issues surrounding developer mergers and acquisitions, how distributed development affects the bottom line, and taking the lessons of the iPod, MySpace, and YouTube profitably into the games industry".

The target audience for GDC Prime is CEOs, VPs of business development, directors and general managers. Members of the press will not be permitted to attend the event.

"Knowing that the discussion in the room isnât about to be posted to the Internet gives the event a much more honest and forthright atmosphere, bringing the collegiate 1960s vibe of the GDC to the executive level," said Moledina.

Although the event is invite-only, executives wishing to attend can request an invitation via the GDC Prime website.

"For this kind of an event, the attendees are as important as the speakers. So to ensure that the balance was right, we applied our speaker logic and process to determining who had to be in the audience," Moledina explained.

He dismissed suggestions that GDC Prime has been developed as a response to the downsizing of E3, claiming that plans for the event began coming together more than a year ago.

However Moledina did concede, "Dealmaking has always been a cornerstone of GDC, but there has certainly been a spike in interest since the changes in the overall event landscape."

GDC Prime will take place at the W Hotel, San Francisco, between March 6 - 8.

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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