What: Casual Connect Seattle 2008
When: July 23 - 25, 2008
Where: Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle
About the show: http://seattle.casualconnect.org
How to register: http://seattle.casualconnect.org/registration.html
SEATTLE– June 11, 2008– The Casual Games Association, the international trade organization of the casual games industry, today announced that Casual Connect Seattle 2008, the world’s largest casual games conference, will take place July 23 - 25 at Benaroya Hall in Seattle. 2,000 industry professionals are expected to attend.
Casual games are designed for everyone, everywhere. They appeal to all types of consumers and can be played on any gaming platform, from computers to game consoles, to handheld game devices and mobile phones, to interactive television. This mass appeal has resulted in exponential growth, capturing consumers who never envisioned themselves as gamers. The online and mobile casual games business worldwide was a $2.25 billion industry in 2007 with more than 200 million people playing casual games online each month.
Speakers and Sessions
Casual Connect Seattle 2008 provides attendees with the opportunity to explore cutting-edge casual games topics with the leaders in the space. This year, featured speakers include:
• Paul Thelen, CEO of Seattle-based casual games portal and publisher Big Fish Games
• Trip Hawkins, founder of games powerhouse Electronic Arts and currently CEO of mobile games publisher Digital Chocolate
• David Roberts, CEO of PopCap Games
• David Williams, Dave Williams, SVP and GM of Nickelodeon Kids and Family Games Group
• Alex St. John, CEO of WildTangent.
• Andrew Pedersen, GM of Pogo, Electronic Arts Casual Entertainment
• Harold Zeitz, SVP Games Division and Media&Software Services, RealNetworks
Conference sessions will cover a wide range of topics, including design and development, social gaming, consumer marketing, advertising and mobile opportunities. The emergence of casual game play associated with social networks such as Facebook and MySpace– a new twist on massively multiplayer online games– and other community gaming opportunities also will be explored. Sessions will be lead by such industry leaders as:
• Craig Sherman, CEO of Gaia Interactive
• Mark Pincus, founder and CEO of Zynga
• Ranah Edelin, VP of Electronic Arts’ Sims Internet Group
• Kyra Reppen, SVP and GM of Neopets
Friday, July 25, is focused on development of casual games, beginning with“I Wish I Were A Casual Game Developer”, a presentation from Michael Capps, president of Epic Games.“It’s pretty clear that casual game developers are having a great time making fun games,” Capps said.“Small, focused teams of multi-discipline developers, rapid release schedules– it’s like a renaissance of the golden age of game development.” Other sessions on Friday include:
• Rick Wilcoxen, Vice President of Sales, Ubisoft North America
• Ed Zobrist, President of Sierra Online/Vivendi Games
• Eric Zimmerman, Co-Founder and CEO, Gamelab
With casual games continuing to dominate the best-seller lists on the mobile and smartphone platforms, more sessions have been added to Casual Connect Seattle 2008, including:
• Michael Temkin, CTO of Hands-On Mobile–“Guitar Hero III Mobile: Behind the Scenes”
• George Kurtyka, global account manager for Nokia’s SNAP Mobile–“Mobile Gaming: The Connected Community”
• Chris James, editor and publisher of PocketGamer–“What Makes a Great Mobile Game?”
• Apple iPhone/iPod Developer Panel
About Casual Connect
Launched in 2006, Casual Connect is hosted by the Casual Games Association, bringing together the most talented and knowledgeable experts in the casual gaming field to further the industry with the best learning and networking opportunities for casual games professionals. In addition to Casual Connect Seattle, the CGA will host Casual Connect Kyiv on Oct. 22-24, 2008 and Casual Connect Europe in February 2009.
About the Casual Games Association
The Casual Games Association is an international trade organization dedicated to promoting casual games and providing educational resources for the game development community. The association hosts annual conferences in Seattle, Kyiv and Western Europe; publishes a trade magazine; and issues research reports on the casual games industry. For more information about the association, visit http://www.casualgamesassociation.org.
# # #
Jeremy James, Seismic Marketing
for the Casual Games Association