WESTWOOD STUDIOS FOUNDER AND CASUAL GAMES GURU TO PRESENT KEYNOTES AT DEVELOP

Westwood Studios founder Louis Castle and casual games guru David Helgason will be among the elite team of keynote speakers at this summer’s Develop Conference in Brighton, which takes place 13-15 July 2010.

Louis Castle, CEO, Instant Action and David Helgason, CEO, Unity Technologies will present the opening and closing keynotes for Evolve: the one-day, three-track programme focusing on new platforms, new technologies and new markets. Evolve takes place on Tuesday 13 July, returning to Develop after its hugely successful debut in 2009.

LOUIS CASTLE– EVOLVE OPENING KEYNOTE

Session title: Traditional Games Breaking into Social Networks: A View from the Frontline

Comment:“I have recently been attempting to free the games industry from the shackles of bricks and mortar and democratizing music games in the process. It's been an exciting and challenging time and I'm really looking forward to sharing my experiences at Evolve."

Bio: Louis Castle is the former VP of creative development at EA and the co-founder of Westwood Studios, which he grew from two to 250 and where he contributed as executive producer, creative director, technical director, programmer and artist to over 100 games. He was also the second person to be honoured with the Game Developer Association’s lifetime achievement award (1999).

DAVID HELGASON– EVOLVE CLOSING KEYNOTE

Session title: Gamification: How Games are Everywhere

Session info: David will draw on Unity's rapid rise to prominence in mobile and browser based gaming to analyse how games are leading the charge on mobile, web, TV and invading social networking platforms. His keynote will address how highly skilled, innovative, technology driven game studios can thrive beyond the boundaries of traditional development.

Comment: "I'm looking forward to coming to Evolve and sharing some of the discoveries we've made with Unity. I'll be talking about how games are everywhere and, more importantly, how we can use them to conquer untapped markets. I'm not just talking about fun. Fun is overrated!"

Bio: An entrepreneur, visionary, and ex-programmer, David's job is‘to lead the team to stardom’, while making sure that each step is taken with love and care. In the past David founded and participated in start-ups in fields such as news and community integration, music distribution, and consulting. He currently serves on the boards of several games and technology start-ups.

“Social networking and casual games are just two of several big trends currently shaking up games development,” commented Owain Bennallack, Develop advisory board chairman.

“Everything is changing, from digital distribution, question marks over the console cycle and new control methods, to apparent cut backs in Triple A development, the contrasting rise of micro developers and the deepening integration of games with the Internet. All of these issues and more will be debated in depth at Develop this summer.”

The Develop Conference in Brighton celebrates its fifth birthday this year with organiser Tandem Events promising a stellar line up of speakers, sessions and socialising. More than 1,200 delegates from across the globe are expected to attend. In 2009, delegates and speakers travelled from as far afield as the USA, Australia, China and Japan to catch up on the hottest game developments, spruce up their skills, share ideas and socialise with the industry’s leading lights.

The main Develop Conference runs on 14-15 July and features over 80 sessions led by the elite of the international development community across eight tracks: Art, Audio, Business, Coding, Design, Evolve, Production and The Den. Evolve and Audio tracks run on 14 and 15 July, respectively. The one-day Evolve conference runs on 13 July. Registration is now open at www.developconference.com and, for the next two months only, delegates can nip online to purchase one, two and three day passes at very special early bird rates.

Budding speakers will be pleased to know they still have a few weeks to submit topics. This can be done at the address below. The closing date for entries is 25 March 2010.

http://www.develop-conference.com/developconference2010/speaker_submissions.html

Notes to editors:

About the Develop Conference: The fifth Develop Conference will take place at the Hilton Metropole in Brighton, UK, from 13-15 July 2010. It attracts around 1200 game developers from over 20 different territories and has become firmly established as the leading conference in Europe for games developers. Delegates can apply for conference passes at: www.developconference.com.

Delegates can purchase one, two and three day passes to Develop priced at£315,£540 and£645 respectively. Early bird rates are£265,£430 and£495. Academics and students can purchase passes at the special rate of£250. Audio track passes are£265 (£215 early bird).

Evolve focuses on how to develop games for new and emerging platforms, new technologies and new markets like social and casual gaming. It opens on Tuesday 13 July then continues with individual sessions within the main conference programme on Wednesday 14 July, which are cross-discipline and have a more general appeal.

About Tandem Events: Tandem Events has over 20 years of experience in organising market-leading exhibitions, conferences and events across a number of industry sectors, including the Develop Conference, Evolve, GAMES:EDU, Games Marketing Forum, Casual Games Forum, GamesDev MasterClasses and Games Grads.


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