Take the dynamic world of cross-platform gaming and mix it with the knowledge garnered from the former CEO and co-founder of MySpace and you’ve got a behind the scenes look at the ins and outs of the $5.5 billion social gaming market. Now helming Social Gaming Network (SGN), Internet pioneer DeWolfe is best known as co-founder of MySpace, the online network that redefined the concept of socializing around shared interests. With his finger always on the digital pulse, Chris sits down with USA Today’s Mike Snider to discuss the social gaming opportunity, lessons learned…and how cross-platform gaming is adding up to big bucks.
Over 25 years ago, Super Mario was the only one who could say he was gaming in the cloud, stomping Goombas, eating mushrooms and occasionally using extraordinary leaping skills to jump from cloud to cloud in search of Princess Peach Toadstool. Fast forward to over a decade later and come hear from Rackspace, Zynga, EA Games and RightScale how they are also gaming in the cloud. Cloud Gaming is the next generation in online gaming. The main upside to using the cloud is that huge upfront costs are gone. Users don’t have to get expensive and bulky consoles - all they need is a reliable and fast Internet connection and service providers can provide an almost seamless and quick online gaming experience. The panelists will talk about how gaming leaders are using the cloud to keep track of in-game player achievements and building out the software. They can also discuss how they are relying on the cloud to provide the scalability needed as the games gain more users and functionality.
With the emergence of highly accessible electronic games developed for Facebook and smartphones, there has been a clear democratization of electronic gaming that has led to many people discovering video games for the first time. It has also caused some to suggest that console game companies such as PlayStation, Nintendo and Xbox could struggle to survive against the games targeting casual gamers from companies like Zynga and Glu. However, what these casual gamers are really showing is that the expansion of this technology is opening up new gameplay opportunities to the advantage of developers. Technology is progressing in many ways, helping developers improve the game experience. For example, technology is making games part of everyday life. Rendering technology is also becoming increasingly available and powerful. This combination creates game experiences that are more diverse, and many games are now blurring the line between casual and hardcore games.
by Asi Burak
This talk will address the power of computer and video games as a mature entertainment medium and a largely untapped art form. It will make an impassioned case for using games for social impact and learning, with an overview of the latest trends and core challenges game developers and funders are facing.
Burak will share case studies and success stories from around the world, including his unique entry into the field, leading the team behind the award-winning game “PeaceMaker”.
Attendees will learn about the field at large and how Games for Change is leading the future of this movement on the global stage, and engaging policy makers such as Vice President Al Gore and Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
by Matthew Armstrong and Stephanie Puri
A few years ago, Gearbox Software started a user research department called "Truth" while developing Borderlands. The team started with 2 people, no budget and a stack of flyers. By treating our testers as part of a community, this program has gone from a few testers in a list to a database of thousands in a short time. Truth was vital to the success of Borderlands, and saw over 600 people participating in 170 sessions in the last year of development. Stephanie Puri (Truth Team Manager and User Researcher) and Matthew Armstrong (creator, designer, and director of Borderlands) share concrete examples from the development of Borderlands that demonstrate how anyone with a need for information and some creative thinking can get the feedback they need with the resources they have.
There is no question in our minds that eSports is the next major sport that will be followed by millions of people. Competitive gaming originated in the classic arcades of the 80s and 90s, but as the new generation has shifted to the Internet to be entertained online, eSports is increasingly becoming one of their favorite pastimes. Gone are the physical requirements to become an athlete – mental agility and strategic thinking are the ruling attributes of the virtual world. The accessibility of eSports has helped it grow into a true industry, which means a bounty of opportunities for game publishers, brands and fans to get in the game. Video games are now at a level where being a successful professional player requires constant practice and commitment, and its pros deserve a payday that one day rivals other professional sports stars with millions of fans. We’ll look at why and how eSports can become the next major Internet phenomenon and create an all-new class of sports celebrities.
by Michael Gallagher
The video game industry faces a transformative moment in its history. A recent landmark victory before the Supreme Court in the case of Brown v. EMA/ESA affirmed that free speech protections apply every bit as much to video games as they do to other forms of creative expression, and underscored the constitutional protections afforded to video games, developers and industry artists. Video games have also become a mass medium with widespread appeal for people of all ages, and increasingly influence areas of daily life such as education, health and the workplace. In this session, Entertainment Software Association President and CEO Michael Gallagher will discuss what the Supreme Court decision means for video games and artistic expression, and what is next for this innovative and ever-evolving industry.
by Brad Graeber, Megan Kluck and Spencer Brooks
We will explore some of the current issues facing game production through a case study of EA’s Risk: Factions. This panel will address some of the perceived differences between console games and social games and will attempt to answer questions about the future of social games in regards to Flash-based production methods.
9th–13th March 2012