With GDC Online inching ever closer, the show has added a trio of new talks featuring Sony Online Entertainment's John Smedley on transitioning to the free to play model, BioWare on the platform supporting Star Wars: The Old Republic, and CCP on nurturing an MMO community.
These new talks all fall within GDC Online's Main Conference, which offers come of the world's leading content on persistent and online games. The event will be held Tuesday, October 9 to Thursday, October 11 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas.
The full details on these newly-announced sessions are as follows:
- First, John Smedley, the president of Sony Online Entertainment, will discuss how the company transitioned its entire game lineup to the free to play model in the Business and Marketing track lecture, "Free-to-Play: Driving the Future of MMOs."
Referencing games from EverQuest to Planetside 2 (pictured), Smedley will share some of SOE's insights and lessons learned to help other developers successfully adopt the free to play model. With this knowledge, attendees will walk away understanding how to grow not only their player base, but also their overall revenue.
- Over in the Production track, Dave Moore, BioWare's senior director of platform services, will explain how he and the studio established a robust and scalable platform for the major MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic.
During the session, "Building the Scalable Platform for SWTOR," Moore will discuss how the studio prepared for the game's launch, sharing the technical details and implementation decisions that helped ensure everything worked once the game went live.
- Finally, CCP senior researcher Petur Oskarsson will host the Customer Experience track session, "Ear to the Ground - MMO Community Feedback & Metrics for Decision Making," during which he'll share his insight on how to best nurture an online game community.
Using examples from CCP's own EVE Online, Oskarsson will outline the dos and don'ts of metrics-driven community management to help developers identify common pitfalls, learn how to best incorporate player feedback, and make their games better and their communities more active.
These talks join other previously announced sessions for GDC Online, including talks on games like CityVille and League of Legends, as well as presentations in the ever-popular Game Narrative Summit. For more information on any of the sessions announced thus far, check out the main conference track pages on the show's official website.
Keep an eye out for even more exciting keynotes and sessions, as GDC Online organizers have plenty more in store before the event opens its doors this October. Those interested in attending GDC Online can secure their pass now, as online registration is now open.