2009 GDC Europe organizers announced that the three day pre-GamesCom event in Cologne saw nearly 1,500 game professional attendees, with the event's return confirmed for August 16-18, 2010.
GDC Europe, which was held at the Cologne Congress East Center as a precursor to the massive GamesCom trade show, is the largest professionals-only game industry event in Europe, organizers claim. The event, organized by Think Services sported a lineup of more than 130 speakers from around the world, over 40 exhibitors and sponsors, and more than 250 media representatives.
As for highlights, keynote speaker Cevat Yerli, CEO of Crytek, kicked off the conference Monday with a keynote lecture before a packed audience, where he discussed the challenges of creating some of the gaming world's most graphically-intense gameplay experiences.
Matias Myllyrinne, Managing Director of Finland's Remedy Entertainment, covered the topic of creating successful new intellectual property for games during his keynote speech on Monday, referencing the company's blockbuster shooter franchise, Max Payne and their hotly-anticipated Alan Wake.
During his keynote speech on Tuesday, CEO of Icelandic game developer CCP Hilmar Veigar Petursson, made the unexpected announcement of Dust 514, a console-based massively multiplayer online first person shooter set within the world of EVE Online, CCP's landmark massively multiplayer title, which now boasts an audience of more than 300,000 active users.
Tuesday also saw the keynote from David Cage, founder and CEO of Quantic Dream, in which Cage discussed conquering the challenges of expressing mature, emotionally resonant interactive narratives for games, and how these challenges are being addressed in his company's upcoming title, Heavy Rain.
On Wednesday, Klaas Kersting, CEO of Gameforge Productions, discussed the history of his German-headquartered free-to-play firm during his keynote. Kersting spoke about the cultural difference between Europe and Asian game design that make Gameforge's titles stand out as a distinctly European take on online role playing games.
A number of other notable lectures, from Peter Molyneux to iPhone panels and beyond, were covered in Gamasutra's official event lecture round-up. GDC Europe organizers also confirmed that the event will return on August 16-18, 2010, once again co-located with GamesCom and earlier in the same week.
"With GDC Europe concluded, we're happy to look back at a truly successful event that will help guide the European game industry even further into the spotlight," said Frank Sliwka, Vice President of European Business Development of Think Services Game Group. He added: "From Sweden to Germany, France to England, amazing developers from every corner of the continent and throughout North America and Asia came together to make this conference truly pan-European as well as global."
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