SAN FRANCISCO– July 21, 2009– The Game Developers Conference® Austin (GDC Austin) will host a keynote by Frank Pearce, executive vice president of product development and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment, and J. Allen Brack, the production director on Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft®. In their joint keynote, entitled“The Universe of World of Warcraft,” Pearce and Brack will talk about the ongoing challenges involved with operating one of the world’s most popular subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing games. Presented by Think Services, GDC Austin returns with three days of main conference content focused on connected games; online games, virtual worlds, and social networking game play and four two-day summits including the Game Writers, Game Audio, iPhone Games and Independent Games Summits. The event takes place at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas September 15-18, 2009.
After more than four years in development, World of Warcraft was released in 2004 and since that time has grown into a global phenomenon, in addition to garnering critical praise from reviewers and gamers worldwide. Pearce and Brack’s joint keynote address,“The Universe of World of Warcraft,” will specifically discuss the steps taken to create this online world, and the hard work and team coordination necessary to keep that world engaging and rewarding over its lifetime.
In addition to cofounding Blizzard Entertainment with Allen Adham and Mike Morhaime in 1991, Frank Pearce has also worked on classic Blizzard Entertainment® titles including Warcraft® II: Tides of Darkness™, Diablo®, StarCraft®, Diablo II and Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos®. Pearce currently works as the executive vice president of product development, coordinating the work of multiple teams to ensure that every product maintains the high standards that mark all Blizzard Entertainment games. Pearce is also coordinating the development of the highly anticipated StarCraft II.
As the production director for World of Warcraft, J. Allen Brack is responsible for coordinating the efforts of the game’s development team as it creates new content to keep the experience fresh and exciting for the global audience of World of Warcraft players. Brack has previously worked at Sony Online Entertainment LLC on Star Wars Galaxies® and at Origin Systems, Inc., on the Wing Commander® franchise. At Blizzard Entertainment, he helped in the creation of new zones, dungeons and quests for World of Warcraft’s first expansion pack, The Burning Crusade®, and currently manages the production of patches and expansions from their initial conception through their release.
“World of Warcraft continues to attract more and more subscribers year after year and has changed perceptions of what online gaming can achieve,” says Izora De Lillard, event director at Think Services Game Group.“An exploration of Blizzard Entertainment’s enduring success in the online gaming space offers important lessons for all connected game developers interested in developing the next great MMO, casual game, or virtual world.”
Learn more about the complete listing of speakers and sessions for GDC Austin 2009 at www.GDCAustin.com.
About the Think Services Game Group
A core provider of essential information to the professional game industry, the Think Services Game Group offers market-defining content, and drives community through its award winning lineup of print, online, event and research products and services. These include Game Developer Magazine, Game Developer Research, the Webby Award-winning Gamasutra.com, GameCareerGuide.com, WorldsInMotion.biz, GameSetWatch.com, GamesOnDeck.com, SeriousGamesSource.com, the Game Developers Conference®, the Game Developers Conference® Austin, the Game Developers Conference® Europe, the Game Developers Conference® China, GDC Mobile, the Game Career Seminars, the Independent Games Festival and Summit, and the Game Developers Choice Awards. To learn more, visit www.tsgamegroup.com
About Think Services, a division of United Business Media
Think Services connects specialized communities worldwide using educational events, consulting, training, certification, membership, and innovative media. Providing comprehensive opportunities for people to learn from, network with, and inspire each other, Think Services builds strong brands and works within communities to foster a unique affinity with its products and services. The division's flagship products include the Game Developers Conference, the Webby Award-winning Gamasutra.com, Game Developer magazine, the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI), and HDI. Think Services is a subsidiary of United Business Media, a global media and marketing services company with amarket capitalization of more than $1.6 billion. To learn more, visit www.think-services.com.
About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft® and the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® series, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. ( www.blizzard.com), a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment’s track record includes eleven #1-selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company’s online-gaming service, Battle.net®, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active users.
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Think Services Game Group