Day Two of Game Developers Conference Europe 2010 Brings News From Industry
Heavyweights Heiko Hubertz, Hermen Hulst, Eric Chahi and More


    


    
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<p><span class="xn-location">BERLIN</span>, <span class="xn-chron">Aug. 17</span> /CNW/ -- The second day of the Game Developers Conference <span class="xn-location">Europe</span>(TM) 2010 (GDC <span class="xn-location">Europe</span>) has brought with it a large slate of game industry news at the <span class="xn-location">Cologne</span> Congress Center East in <span class="xn-location">Cologne</span>, <span class="xn-location">Germany</span>.  Produced by UBM TechWeb Game Network, organizers of the leading Game Developers Conference® series, GDC <span class="xn-location">Europe</span> is the largest professionals-only game event in <span class="xn-location">Europe</span>, encompassing a robust selection of keynotes, lectures, panels, and sessions.  GDC <span class="xn-location">Europe</span> continues in <span class="xn-location">Cologne</span>, <span class="xn-location">Germany</span> through <span class="xn-chron">August 18, 2010</span> for its third and final day of learning, networking, and inspiration.  For more information on GDC <span class="xn-location">Europe</span> visit: <a href="http://www.gdceurope.com">www.gdceurope.com</a>.</p>
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<p>"Day Two of the conference has again proven to be a resounding success," said Frank Sliwka GDC <span class="xn-location">Europe</span> Event Director and UBM TechWeb VP European Business Development.  "All of our attendees seem very excited to have received such great industry learnings from stalwarts and legends like Heiko Hubertz, Hermen Hulst, Eric Chahi, Matt Firor and many, many more."</p>
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    Highlights of today's activity include:
    --  In the day's first keynote, Heiko Hubertz, CEO and founder of
Bigpoint,
        gave attendees the advice that to conduct business in America as a
        European company, the time to do it is "right now."  Throughout the
        talk, Hubertz elaborated on the differences between the US and
European
        markets and educated the audience about how to be successful in
America
        as a European, based on Bigpoint's experience there.  Hubert advised
        "There are only existing two markets in America," says Hubertz.  "The
        console market and the Facebook market."  The biggest players in
online
        games are from Europe, he says, referring to Playfish, Bigpoint,
        Gameforge, Jagex, and Unity.  And yet, Zynga is bigger than all of
        them.  "Zynga is generating more revenue than all the [other]
companies
        combined," and is growing faster than them too.  Hubertz believes
        Americans are dominating the social game space "because they only have
        one language, one government, one law, and they have much easier
access
        to capital."  Europe is too fractured to be as successful, he said. 
He
        also pointed out his belief that Americans want multiplayer action
        games, while Europeans care more about strategy and solo games.  So to
        succeed in America, Hubertz feels a developer needs 3D.  Additionally,
        he recommends hiring "only Americans."  He said "I'm the only German
        who works there, the rest are all Americans."  He also cautions of
        audience mismatch, so developers should be prepared to change
        everything.  "Most of our games that were very successful in the rest
        of the world were not successful in America," said Hubertz.  Final
        points of advice were to use well-known IP to break into new markets,
        noting that it helps with player retention, and to "act as a local
        company... if you want success in the U.S., you should develop games
        for the U.S. only, not for worldwide. Casual or hardcore 3D. Nothing
in
        between."
    --  In his keynote, Guerrilla Games managing director Hermen Hulst
        discussed the genesis of the Killzone creator and its successes and
        failures in evolving into a Sony-owned AAA console powerhouse.  Hulst
        started by noting "to survive and to grow... you need to consistently
        improve yourself," and took attendees through examples of how
        Guerrilla's experiences have informed their history and the key
        decisions made from the time Sony signed the title that would become
        Killzone through to today.  Reminding the audience of the environment
        at the time of the first title, Hulst said that "it's very hard to
        imagine how risky the idea was in these days," when the only console
        FPS success was GoldenEye for N64, and only FPSes for the PC were
        enjoying strong popularity.  He discussed the benefits of developing
        their own technology from scratch, and the ups and downs of the
        franchise history through Killzone: Liberation for the PSP, Killzone 2
        for the PS2 and the release of the CGI trailer for next year's
Killzone
        3.  It took three and a half years to make Killzone 2, and the
        Guerrilla Games team were committed to making Killzone 3 swiftly and
        efficiently.  Changing the process, Guerrilla has been getting its
        processes and technology even more co-ordinated, and is currently in
        alpha on Killzone 3.  Hulst concluded by revealing that the studio is
        expanding to work on a "game with a scope and a level of ambition that
        once again makes us nervous" -- specifically a "brand new IP."
    --  Eric Chahi, creator of Another World and director of Ubisoft's wildly
        ambitious downloadable title tentatively called Project Dust, spoke
        about the upcoming game which allows players to re-terraform the world
        around them, creating islands, rivers, and life using simple tools
that
        interact with each other intelligently.  Chahi's talk entered on the
        idea that a correct meeting of technology and game design can allow
for
        the creation of something truly unique.  To do that, Chahi said one
        must "keep only the essentials for the purposes of optimization, and
to
        keep these things simple for the player."  Chahi explained that, as
the
        high level idea of the game is rather conceptual - players keep a
tribe
        of humans alive in this changing environment - the interface has to be
        simple.  However, a game where mud is actually created dynamically by
        water flowing, requires intense technology behind such a simple
        interface.
    --  Zenimax Online head Matt Firor talked about the complex definitional
        relationships between the 'casual' and 'hardcore' in games, showcasing
        how games like Zynga's FarmVille have "serious hardcore gaming
        characteristics."  Going back to the beginnings of the industry, Firor
        pointed out that early, iconic titles like Donkey Kong or Super Mario
        Bros. weren't actually that casual - they were, if anything, "fun but
        hard." But then in the 1990s, "new, dark games" like Doom changed
        things again.  The gameplay of those 'darker' titles was similar in
        terms of losing lives easily and having power-ups, although from a
        different perspective so further differentiation was needed.  From a
        marketing and cultural perspective, it developed that, if there were
        bright colorful games, they were 'casual.'  Conversely, if games were
        dark and ominous, they were 'hardcore,' Firor suggested.  So more
        cartoon-y games were considered to be easier to play and more for
        beginners, even though that may not have been true--and  this is where
        the definitional problems have come in.  Firor noted that "you can
play
        hardcore games casually," and vice versa.  It "comes down to a
mindset,
        more than a game."  In fact, Firor argued that World Of Warcraft can
        often be played casually, and, of course, one can even play Solitaire
        in a hardcore fashion, and FarmVille is the ultimate example.  Other
        titles like Tetris Friends on Facebook actually introduce hardcore
        mechanics, like competing high scores, which allow people to battle
        each other for supremacy, "a very hardcore concept."  Firor concluded
        that "games aren't casual or hardcore... the gamers are."


    
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<p>In addition to the conference content, GDC <span class="xn-location">Europe</span> provides several opportunities for creative exchange and business development, with venues including the GDC <span class="xn-location">Europe</span> Expo Floor, VIP Lounge, and the GDC <span class="xn-location">Europe</span> Business Lounge at gamescom, plus a host of industry parties.  More than forty exhibitors and sponsors from <span class="xn-location">Belgium</span>, <span class="xn-location">Germany</span>, the <span class="xn-location">Netherlands</span>, <span class="xn-location">Russia</span>, <span class="xn-location">Sweden</span>, the UK and the USA have booths and meeting spaces within the exhibitor zone measuring 650 square meters. Exhibitors include Crytek, Bigpoint, Epic, Howest University, Imagination Studios and Intel.  GDC <span class="xn-location">Europe</span> will also be hosting for the first time a business Lounge at the accompanying games expo, gamescom, at which Autodesk, Crytek, Epic, Zotac, DigiProtect, Level 3 are confirmed to be exhibiting.</p>
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    For up to the moment news on GDC Europe visit: www.gdceurope.com.

    About the UBM TechWeb Game Network
    
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<p>A core provider of essential information to the professional game industry, the  UBM TechWeb Game Network - formerly known as 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 the Game Developers Conference®, the Webby Award-winning Gamasutra.com and network of sites, the Game Advertising Online ad network, the Game Developers Conference® Online, the Game Developers Conference(TM) <span class="xn-location">Europe</span>, the Game Developers Conference(TM) <span class="xn-location">China</span>, Game Developer Magazine, Game Developer Research, the Game Career Seminars and GameCareerGuide.com, the Independent Games Festival and Summit, and the Game Developers Choice Awards.  Visit <a href="http://www.jointhegamenetwork.com">www.jointhegamenetwork.com</a></p>
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    About UBM TechWeb
    
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<p>UBM TechWeb, the global leader in technology media and professional information, enables people and organizations to harness the transformative power of technology.  Through its three core businesses - media solutions, marketing services and paid content - UBM TechWeb produces the most respected and consumed brands and media applications in the technology market.  More than 14.5 million business and technology professionals (CIOs and IT managers, Web & Digital professionals, Software Developers, Government decision makers, and Telecom providers) actively engage in UBM TechWeb's communities and information resources monthly.  UBM TechWeb brands includes: global face-to-face events such as Interop, Web 2.0, Black Hat and Enterprise Connect; award-winning online resources such as InformationWeek, Light Reading, and Network Computing; and market-leading magazines InformationWeek, Wall Street & Technology, and Advanced Trading.  UBM TechWeb is a UBM company, a global provider of news distribution and specialist information services with a market capitalization of more than <span class="xn-money">$2.5 billion</span>. Visit: <a href="http://www.ubmtechweb.com">www.ubmtechweb.com</a></p>
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    MEDIA CONTACT:
            Brian Rubin
            fortyseven communications
            (212) 391-4707
            brian@fortyseven.com
    
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            Susanne Tenzler-Heusler, Europe
                                +49 (0)173 3786601
            kontakt@brandvorwerk-pr.de
    
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    GDC EUROPE CONTACT:
             Frank Sliwka, VP European Business
             Development
                                +49 (0)171 1288898
            frank.sliwka@ubm.com
    
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            Ben Veechai, North America
            +1-415-947-6280
            ben.veechai@ubm.com





    

For further information: For further information: Media, Brian Rubin of fortyseven communications, +1-212-391-4707, brian@fortyseven.com; or Susanne Tenzler-Heusler, Europe, +49 (0)173 3786601, kontakt@brandvorwerk-pr.de, both for UBM TechWeb Game Network; or GDC Europe, Frank Sliwka, VP European Business Development, +49 (0)171 1288898, frank.sliwka@ubm.com, or Ben Veechai, North America, +1-415-947-6280, ben.veechai@ubm.com Web Site: http://www.jointhegamenetwork.com http://www.gdceurope.com http://www.ubmtechweb.com

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