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Gordon Walton on Austin GDC

Ahead of the Austin Game Developers Conference, <i>GamesIndustry.biz</i> spoke to veteran MMORPG developer Gordon Walton about this year's event

Ahead of the Austin Game Developers Conference, GamesIndustry.biz spoke to veteran MMORPG developer Gordon Walton about this year's event.

"We will be focusing, as usual, on getting the best possible speakers and panelists to make attending the conference valuable to people within the industry," Walton said. "Iâve always seen our mission as one of communicating the best practices so the overall industry can grow faster."

This is the first year that the event is being run by the CMP Group, which purchased The Game Initiative last year. Gordon thinks the new management is certainly up to the task.

"As good as the conference has been in the past, CMP is extremely experienced in doing large events, and that experience certainly shows. We expect this to be the best Austin GDC yet," he remarked.

Despite GDC events being held around the world in locales such as London and Russia, in addition to the large, well-known show in San Francisco GDC, Gordon thinks that the Austin event is able to distinguish itself.

"Austin is focused on online gaming, which is one of the fastest growing areas of the overall gaming business," Walton explained. "This focus is the strength of the Austin event, allowing the game developers and publishers that participate in online gaming a forum to meet and share information."

Walton definitely understands online gaming, with a resume that includes titles such as Ultima Online, Star Wars Galaxies, and The Sims Online. He is currently working for BioWare Austin on an as-yet unannounced MMORPG.

"I certainly plan to keep on attending the big [San Francisco] GDC in addition to the Austin GDC, and that event allows me to learn more about the overall game business and to network with the entire industry," Walton said.

This year's Austin GDC takes place in Austin, Texas from September 5 through September 7th.