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2009 GDC Austin Announces First Subscription MMO-Centric Sessions

After debuting initial free-to-play online game lectures from Sony Online (Free Realms), Gaia Online and Rebel Monkey (CampFu), September's GDC Austin 2009 event has revealed subscription MMO-specific talks spanning Star Wars: The Old Republic, DC Universe Online, EVE Online, and more.
The first set of lectures announced for GDC Austin span the gamut of 'connected games', from traditional high-profile subscription MMOs through free-to-play online games, social network games, and even online components to console games.
The event, to be held September 15th-18th, 2009 at the Austin Convention Center in Texas, now includes six online-centric 'tracks' for the Main Conference, which takes place Wednesday 16th to Friday 18th.
These tracks, which span design, business & marketing, social networking & community, services, programming and production, have a number of lectures focused on the core, AAA subscription-MMO space. Initial highlights from these include:
- BioWare Austin's 'Come and See the Elephant - Challenges Encountered Growing an MMO' will talk about strategies "pertaining to process and technology" that the much-vaunted firm's technical director Bill Dalton utilized in helping to make the upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic.
- In 'Why We Need Heroes And Villains In Games', some of the key creators of the upcoming DC Universe Online MMO, including SOE Austin's Chris Cao and Jens Andersen, alongside noted comic book artist and game contributor Jim Lee and DC Comics writer Marv Wolfman, discuss "why... tension between good and evil is so critical -- not only for telling a good story, but for making a video game."
- CCP Games' Petur Johannes Oskarsson is presenting a lecture called 'EVE Online's Player Elected Council Case Study', explaining that the space trading and combat MMO "uses a democratically elected council of 9 community members to get a feel for what the whole wants, where they want EVE to go in the future and how we, players and developers, can get there together." The study will analyze the Council's failures and successes for the past, present and future.
- In 'MMOs to Consoles – Challenges, Opportunities and Emerging Trends', Turbine VP Craig Alexander will talk about the Lord Of The Rings Online creator's view on the console market for major MMOs, with market analysis, commenting that "given the processing power and connectivity of console game systems, the opportunity to transition massively multiplayer online games to the console platform is enormous."
Further announcements and details on lectures for this September's GDC Austin, as well as multiple keynote addresses, will be debuting over the next few weeks.
In addition, GDC Austin will also include its long-running Game Audio and Game Writer Summits, alongside an iteration of the breakout successful Independent Games Summit and the newly introduced iPhone Game Summit, all debuting on September 15-16, 2009 at the same venue.
Full listings of announced lectures, registration information, and other specifics are now available at the official GDC Austin website.

GDC Austin

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