Leipzig, Germany - July 3, 2007 - The Advisory Board of the GC Developers Conference (GCDC), Europe's leading conference for computer game developers, has grown with the addition of Harald Riegler, CEO of Sproing Media GmbH and a co-initiator of GAME (Games, Art, Media, Entertainment - the German association of computer game developers).
Harald Riegler has been active in computer game development since the early 1990s. Being a founding member of Sproing Media, he has many years of experience in the German-speaking game market. By joining the advisory board alongside famous industry experts such as Bob Bates (USA), Alexander Fernández (Netherlands, CEO, Streamline Studios) and Don L. Daglow (USA, President, CEO Stormfront Studios), he will act as an ambassador for GCDC all over the world and support its strategic goals.
"Serving on the GCDC advisory board is an opportunity to give guidance and input on the issues and opportunities we currently face in the game industry," said Harald Riegler. "Many things that I've learned at the conferences over the past 10-15 years have proven invaluable in Sproing's success and international position, and now it's time to let others benefit from this knowledge."
Other members of the Advisory Board include Sean Kauppinen (USA, Vice President, Kohnke Communications), Tom Putzki (Germany), Bob Wallace (USA, Strategic Alternatives) and GCDC's Project Manager Frank Sliwka.
GCDC 2006 Retrospective
In 2006 GCDC in Leipzig was attended by a total of 650 participants from 20 countries. Speakers included Bob Bates (USA, freelancer), Don L. Daglow (USA, President/CEO, Stormfront Studios), Graham Hopper (USA, Senior Vice President/General Manager, Buena Vista Games Inc.), Peter Molyneux (UK, President, Lionhead Studios) and Bill Roper (USA, CEO, Flagship Studios).
Interview with Harald Riegler, CEO Sproing Interactive Media GmbH
1. What appealed to you about joining the Advisory Board?
Harald Riegler: "The opportunity to give something back to the industry after being able to profit myself from GCDC for years."
2. What ideas and approaches do you plan to contribute to the Advisory Board's work?
"I want to help make GCDC more interesting for developers. More presentations and workshops with a practical element could be useful in this respect."
3. How would you describe the role of GCDC in the European computer game developer industry?
"The conference has become one of the three main conferences in Europe - and is well poised to even become number one over the next few years."
4. How would you describe GCDC's development since early 2003?
"Very positive - and it's been accompanied by the development of the whole industry. Since the low point in 2001, those companies that survived the crisis have continuously flourished. These days there are many successful developers again in the German-speaking countries, and this is of course reflected in the conference."
5. What do you personally associate with GCDC (and we don't just mean visiting GC!)?
"I've attended the conference every year since it was first held - and it's now become a firm fixture on the calendar where you can meet plenty of acquaintances, colleagues and friends again. Moreover, I associate the conference with some memorable presentations which I will remember for many years to come!"
6. This year, the presentations and workshops will partly be addressing the special themes of 'Mobile Gaming', 'Games Meet Movies' and 'Server Technology'. In your opinion, which area harbours the greatest potential for the future?
Choosing one over another is quite difficult. All three areas have been expanding over the last few years, and they all still have plenty of challenges that need to be discussed at a conference. However, Sproing has done a great deal in the field of movies in particular, and I think this is an area that still holds huge potential for deeper cooperation between different sectors."
7. Which area deserves more attention - and how in your view can GCDC promote development and discussion?
My very personal order of preference would be 'Movies', 'Serves' and then 'Mobile' (meaning games for mobile phones, not portable consoles). I'd also pay attention to them in the same order, although I wouldn't rule out any topic simply because it's perhaps not that relevant to me personally. The most fundamental task of a conference is to critically examine a wide range of issues concerning an industry. Hence GCDC can help companies to not make the same mistakes as their colleagues and instead learn from the experience of other
market players - which in turn will contribute to the development of the sector as a whole."
8. How do you think the European games industry will develop over the next five years?
"Rising production costs are a challenge for the whole industry. More and more people will work in development - yet the number of companies is falling. Moreover, many European games need to be marketed on a truly international level in order to refinance their development costs. Therefore, one prominent aspect over the next five years will be whether we can manage to establish an independent cultural understanding for our computer games on the European level which is also accepted by gamers internationally."
9. What are you most looking forward to about the conference in Leipzig?
"Seeing plenty of familiar faces from the industry again!"
Stephan Reiss, Press Officer, GCDC
+49 (0) 341 - 678 8186
Sean Kauppinen, Kohnke Communications
Contact for sponsors, speakers and participants:
Frank Sliwka, Project Director, GCDC
+49 (0) 341 - 678 8288
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