Europe’s Premier Game Developer Conference to Offer Expanded Exposition, Press Opportunities and Academic Exchange Program
The Game Developers Conference Europe (GDC Europe) has announced that it will return to Cologne, Germany in 2010 alongside gamescom, combining to present the leading European game industry event for developers, consumers, publishers, and trade professionals.
In 2009, GDC Europe hosted over 130 international speakers, 40 exhibitors and sponsors from 35 countries, 240 media representatives and around 1,500 participants – advancing to become the leading conference for computer and video game developers in Europe. “Of course, we intend to claim this leading role again this year,” said Frank Sliwka, Vice President European Business Development and Event Director GDC Europe. “GDC Europe plans to offer attendees and participants outstanding new opportunities to learn and network. This includes three major updates that will be added to the regular program featuring keynotes, lectures, roundtables & workshops and exhibition area.”
The show producers have expanded GDC Europe’s exhibition opportunities to include both last year’s exhibit areas and a major new space within the gamescom Business Area, which will grant GDC Europe exhibitors additional meeting room and exhibition space during the overlapping gamescom event. This new area – named the GDC Europe Business Lounge at gamescom — will also host a VIP lounge area for GDC Europe Plus members to convene and conduct business.
With German and European companies moving strongly to dominate the online and browser game space, GDC Europe plans to focus the second day of the event, August 17 to covering browser-based, social network and online games, and key emerging markets. Additionally, GDC Europe plans to provide a major platform for “online games companies” to host press conferences at GDC Europe on this day. “Given the international network of the Game Developers Conferences and the UBM TechWeb Game Network, a resounding response is guaranteed for these new conference offerings,” explains Frank Sliwka.
In related news, in March 2010, the UBM TechWeb Game Network will launch a new project called the “Academic Exchange Program,” in cooperation with the North Rhine-Westphalian state chancellery. It’s intended to promote the academic exchange between universities with game degree programs from North Rhine Westphalia (NRW) and America. As part of this event, university professors from NRW and their American colleagues will participate at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, and exchange information on current teaching programs and best practices. “The games industry will only thrive with qualified labor. Thus, an international program to exchange current training methods on an academic level is very desirable, since the shared knowledge on technical and design aspects of today’s video games are of crucial importance for today’s industry,” Frank Sliwka explains regarding the philosophy of the project.
For more information on GDC Europe visit: www.gdceurope.com.
Just in time for the world-famous German Oktoberfest, MapleStory Europe, the hugely successful, free to play MMORPG from NEXON Europe invites players to its annual virtual beer festival with (alcohol-free) beer-drinking monsters in tow.
From September 16th to October 7th, MapleStory Europe will be holding its own version of Germany’s famous Oktoberfest as part of its continuing series of fun and entertaining promotions based on popular European cultural events. Following a packed summer event and massive update schedule, MapleStory Europe players can now look forward to an Oktoberfest to remember, with a giant beer tent literally bursting with over-indulged monsters.
Further updates include the addition of a brand-new map, the “Ariant” which sets scene to a sandy desert area in the Orient and is host of the “Ariant Coliseum Quest” where players can challenge each other in player vs. player mode with the mission to capture monsters “alive” for luring rewards and fun.
“Monster Drop Box Event?encourages players to open the boxes dropped by monsters with a special key purchasable from the Cash Shop to obtain rare and powerful items, and new cool items and special promotions in the Cash shop are also part of today’s update.
“Our exclusive event quests based on major European cultural events have become popular tradition of MapleStory Europe, and we know from the past that the “German Festival” in particular is very well received by our players,”says Sung Jin Kim, Director at NEXON Europe. “The addition of a brand new map just one month after our recent major update, the Knights of Cygnus, is only a part of our packed release schedule. There are still many more great contents lined up for the coming months that our players have been waiting for and can look forward to.
MapleStory originally launched in South Korea in April 2003 and quickly went on to become one of the most successful online games of all time, with over 92 million registered accounts across the world. MapleStory Europe launched in May 2007 and counts more than 1.2 million registered players, offering gamers in Europe the chance to play MapleStory in four different languages – English, German, Spanish and Dutch.
For further information on MapleStory Europe and to sign-up for the game, please visit http://maplestory.nexoneu.com.
Following the recent announcement at Gamescom in Cologne, Paradox Interactive are excited and proud to provide further details on the release of a very special Europa Universalis game entitled For The Glory, set to release on PC in November 2009.
Developed by Crystal Empire Games, the newly formed Studio which includes some of the key members behind the renowned Europa Universalis II user mod AGCEEP (‘Alternative Grand Campaign’ / ‘Event Exchange Project’) which pushed EUII to its technical and graphical limits, For The Glory builds upon this in-depth and unprecedented knowledge of the game by expanding the boundaries and adding a huge amount of original content, to produce the ultimate evolution of an acclaimed classic.
Taking up the reigns of one of over 180 countries, For The Glory offers full historical immersion with a completely new in-depth experience, including the ability to interact with over 10,000 historically accurate events to determine what path your nation will take. Guide domestic and foreign policy, engage in numerous struggles, and attempt to lead your country to a prosperous future. But will you choose to follow the path of history, or take advantage of opportunities for change? Nothing is written in stone!
The first installment in an ongoing series of developer diaries can be found at:
• Play as one of over 190 countries on a map covering the entire world in the era spanning 1419-1819
• Experience unparalleled historical immersion with over 10,000 historical events
• Unprecedented levels of mod-ability – unlimited timeframe and up to 1,000 counties
• Improved and modernized interface
• Adapt your playing style to the personality of your nation’s various historical monarchs.
• The AGCEEP mod comes bundled with For The Glory
NCsoft and ArenaNet thrilled fans today with the premiere of the first Guild Wars 2 teaser trailer at gamescom in Cologne, Germany. Show attendees were treated to a glimpse of what’s to come in the much anticipated sequel, set 250 years after the original Guild Wars®.
The teaser trailer reveals some of the world-shaking events that set up the story of Guild Wars 2 and also showcases the game’s fantastic graphics and environments.
Guild Wars 2 is a visually stunning MMO that will offer players the epic grandeur of a massive role playing environment combined with the challenge of world-class player vs. player competition. Building on the success and lessons of Guild Wars, ArenaNet is creating an MMO that lets gamers play the way they want, while at the same time retaining the no-subscription-fee business model that has made the original Guild Wars so popular.
For more information about Guild Wars 2, including a streaming version of the teaser trailer, visit www.guildwars2.com.
IGG.com, home to some of the world’s most popular Free2Play MMORPGs, announces plans to break into the European market with two of its newly released, large scale MMORPGs: GodsWar Online and Galaxy Online.
Both productions are presented at the Game Developers Conference® Europe (GDC), which take place in Cologne, Germany. For three days, thousands of professionals in the international gaming industry will have the opportunity to test play both titles; as well as to meet the big players behind IGG’s success, Co-founder and COO, Kevin Xu. Beyond these two productions, IGG has released 9 other MMOs in the U.S. They are actively seeking new partnerships in Europe to expand their footing in the western market.
GodsWar Online is the first 3D MMORPG fully designed and developed by IGG. Inspired by the blockbuster movie ‘300’, GodsWar combines history, fantasy and romance to generate a spellbinding experience for players of all genders and ages. With its distinct game-play systems and activities, GodsWar offers players enchanting quests, charming game scenery, free character growth, amazing PvP opportunities and a wonderful gaming community. Visit http://gw.igg.com for more information.
Galaxy Online is a MMO strategy game created by IGG that challenges players to battle for the supremacy of the universe. As the human needs finally came to exceed Earth’s carrying capacity, it became increasingly necessary to reach out to the final available region for resource exploitation: Space, a majestic expanse containing a wealth of natural resources, some easily attainable and some that requires effort and strategy to obtain.
As players progress through the game, they must challenge each other – and themselves – to survive the dangers of space and overcome the dark corners of human nature. Visit http://go.igg.com for more information.
gamescom 2009: Cologne eagerly awaits the gamescom premiere, with more than 420 exhibitors from 30 countries expected
Fans of interactive entertainment can look forward to world and European premieres of games, action, events and entertainment in Cologne at gamescom, already the international meeting place of the industry at its very first staging
Gamescom is under starter’s orders and the stands are already being set up in Cologne. Organiser Koelnmesse and its ideal partner the German Association of Interactive Entertainment Software (Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware – BIU) are eagerly waiting to greet more than 420 exhibitors from 30 countries from 19-23 August. With foreign participation at 45 per cent, gamescom has become the industry’s international meeting point at a stroke. Over a total of 120,000 square metres of exhibition space, the industry community, from developers to publishers and trading partners all the way to the large group of gamers, will meet in halls 4 to 9 of Koelnmesse.
Fans and friends of interactive entertainment can look forward to a grand show of game premieres, a spectacular event and entertainment programme on the entire trade show grounds – indoors and outdoors – and in the city itself at the gamescom Festival. Already well over 100 world, European and German premieres of games in all genres are on the bill. With more than 30 exhibitors from the areas of media learning and expertise, and the gamescom congress organised by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Europe’s largest event for interactive entertainment and games is also giving a huge boost to child welfare. Koelnmesse, the German Association of Interactive Entertainment Software (BIU), the City of Cologne and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia are ready to launch the premiere of gamescom. “The games can begin,” say Oliver P. Kuhrt, Managing Director of Koelnmesse, and Olaf Wolters, head of the BIU, in unison.
Industry meeting place
With foreign companies making up 45 per cent of exhibitors – including firms from the UK, France, the US and Canada – gamescom is already the new international industry meeting place right from the start. Games producers from France, Italy, the UK, Scandinavia, Taiwan and Thailand will present their products on six shared stands. The business area (halls 4 and 5) will see the European games industry do business with their trading partners, while the entertainment area (halls 6 to 9) is devoted to companies presenting their new products to private visitors. For example in hall 6 of gamescom, companies including Activision Blizzard, Capcom, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Square Enix and Take Two will showcase their latest titles. In hall 7, Konami, Sony and Ubisoft, Bigben Interactive, Hama, Koch Media and others will cater to fans of interactive entertainment. In hall 8, next to the north entrance, firms including Nintendo, Namco Bandai, Sega, Warner Brothers, dtp and Tivola will present their innovations. Hall 9 puts e-sports, core gaming and the dynamic online gaming segment centre stage. Here, Turtle Entertainment, GOA, NcSoft, Funcom and others will show their products in the best light. To ensure that visitors to gamescom have as much active gaming time as possible, themed game zones (lifestyle, sport, action & adventure, e-sports) will complement the exhibitor stands. This is where the virtual world of games meets its real-world counterpart.
World premieres and interactive supporting programme
In the entertainment area, visitors to gamescom will experience a festival of new computer and video games. It will feature new products in just about every genre, from infotainment and edutainment games, to casual, sports and music games, all the way to action and adventure. In short, video and PC, online and browser games producers and hardware providers, too, will be presenting their latest developments, with exhibitors presenting more than one hundred world, European and German premieres. Sports fans, for example, can look forward to the premieres of Pro Evolution Soccer 10, FIFA 10, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 and Tony Hawk Ride, while racing aficionados will be treated to Need for Speed Nitro and Forza Motorsport 3. The pulses of music-lovers will also be quickened by titles such as Guitar Hero 5, DJ Hero 5, The Beatles Rock Band, Band Hero, LIPS – No. 1 Hits and Just sing.
The line-up of global players from around the world is already being hotly awaited by the European gaming community in the focus area of online, browser and mobile games. Besides browser game market leaders gameforge and Bigpoint, more than 20 companies from Germany, Europe and South Korea will present the entire gamut of games and latest blockbusters, among them World of Warcraft and “Celebrities”.
Away from the screens and monitors, the interactive supporting programme at gamescom will provide the best in entertainment. Creative costumed action fans and friends of relaxing entertainment at gamescom will certainly get their money’s worth in the real world too. For example, from Thursday the best case modders will battle it out in the German case-modding championships, which will award prizes to the most inventive homemade PC housings. People looking to enter the games industry or move within it will want to head straight to the job and career centre in hall 8. There visitors will also find the “Retro Gaming 1972-2009” exhibition, showcasing almost four decades of gaming history. Outside, cosplayers – costumed players – will be awaiting their turn. On Saturday, the south entrance will be the setting for a cosplay world record attempt, which has been officially registered with Guinness World of Records. Another outdoor event will see the most daring motorcyclists take their racers through the freestyle course. In hall 8, the German Motorcycle Trade Association (Industrie-Verband Motorrad Deutschland – IVM) will showcase the fascinating world of motorbikes and scooters. Participation is the order of the day in other supporting events too. The outdoor course will test entrants’ mettle in overcoming obstacles and becoming the fastest and most effective in getting from A to B, a skill that comes first and foremost in many games, after all. Trade show visitors can also attend small workshops to learn the basics of this trend discipline straight from the pros. From Thursday to Sunday, the other outdoor exhibitor events will provide perfect entertainment for fans and families alike. Those in need of a break from the hubbub in the halls and the grounds can escape to the gamescom beach, where they can relax and recharge before the next round of show highlights.
“gamesCompetence” unites teaching content and expertise
Youth protection, media learning and instruction in media skills come under the “gamesCompetence” heading at gamescom. This event throws the spotlight on offers from young people for their age group, associations, clubs and institutions, as well as the gamescom congress organised by the state government. Almost 40 exhibitors, among them associations, clubs, and educational facilities, will actively participate in the “gamesCompetence” event highlight. The NRW 2009 Youth Forum in hall 8 hosted in collaboration with Cologne Youth Welfare Office will centre on offers from young people for young people. Also taking part in the “gamesCompetence” programme: the Federal Centre for Political Education (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung – BpB), the Commission for the Protection of Minors in the Media (Kommission für Jugendmedienschutz – KJM), the Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons (Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien – BPjM) and educational facilities including the University of Cologne. The main highlight of the gamescom days under the sign of youth protection, media learning and expertise is the gamescom congress to be staged under the state government’s auspices on 20 August in the Congress Centre North. The congress, which is free to all, is devoted to the latest debates revolving around the world of computer gaming. The topic of age-appropriate use of interactive media does not only play a role in the specialist part of gamescom – the right way to deal with games will also be demonstrated live in the trade show grounds. To ensure young people are protected at gamescom itself, visitors will be given coloured armbands according to their age. This follows the guidelines of self-regulating software body the USK and enables exhibitors to ensure that games are only played by the age groups they are intended for. Games for players aged 16 and over will be demonstrated in a closed-off area of exhibitor stands. All in all, the offers for parents and teachers, educators, politicians, media and other interested parties at “gamescompetence” range from practical applications and tools all the way to top political discussions.
The gamescom Festival takes the games into the city
The supporting gamescom Festival takes the games into the city where it will address the target group of casual gamers, leisure and occasional players after the trade show closes with lots of fun. The city centre around Rudolfplatz, Friesenplatz and Neumarkt will feature two stages with an entertaining line-up of live acts, while the area between Rudolfplatz and Friesenplatz will be given over to interactive gaming with show trucks and game modules. The festival will open its doors on 19 August with top European music act Die Toten Hosen who will appear with Gentlemen and other top names to rock the audience in the dancing zone adjoining the trade show grounds. Following the opening ceremony on Wednesday, the city festival in downtown Cologne will provide spectacular entertainment from Friday to Sunday. National and international music acts, interactive gaming and the BÄM Awards will showcase fun from its best angle over three days true to the gamescom motto, “Celebrate the games”.
New GamesCom Event in Cologne, Germany Plays Host to Stellar Line Up of Titles for All, from NAMCO BANDAI Games, Atari and More
Namco Bandai Partners unveiled the exciting and varied line up of titles that it will showcase at GamesCom 2009 in Cologne, Germany from August 19th to 23rd. Bringing some of the year’s most anticipated titles to the hands of the biggest audience of video game fans in the world, NAMCO BANDAI Partners’ impressive stand, located in Hall 8, Stand B 040, will feature a huge number of public hands-on gaming stations and a seated theatre where new trailers will be screened exclusively for visitors to the show.
GamesCom 2009 is the first event where newly re-named video game distribution company NAMCO BANDAI Partners will present its strong line up of highly anticipated games with something for everyone, whether a hardcore gamer or just looking for a dose of top quality fun.
Titles available for fans to play include the most eagerly awaited fighting games TEKKEN 6 and Dragon Ball Raging Blast, anime-based titles Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo and One Piece Unlimited Cruise 2, acclaimed role playing adventure Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, adrenaline-fuelled family party game Family Trainer: Extreme Challenge, Massively Multiplayer Online title Champions Online, and Katamari Forever, a game that defies categorisation but continues to win the hearts of players the world over.
On Wednesday 19th August, ahead of the public opening of the show, NAMCO BANDAI Partners will host its first press conference where major exclusive new announcements will be made to the world’s gaming media.
TEKKEN 6 (Xbox 360®, PLAYSTATION®3)
Release date: Autumn, 2009
Developed by NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc., TEKKEN 6 brings the blockbuster fighting series onto multiple platforms for the first time in the history of the TEKKEN franchise with stunning realism, uncompromising quality, major gameplay enhancements and the largest character roster ever seen in the TEKKEN series.
Dragon Ball: Raging Blast (Xbox 360®, PLAYSTATION®3)
Release date: Autumn, 2009
Dragon Ball®: Raging Blast, is the first video game in the Budokai Tenkaichi series to come to the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. Featuring stunning HD graphics and audio, destructible environments and enhanced character features, Dragon Ball: Raging Blast takes players far beyond the realms of the original anime series.
Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo (Wii™)
Release date: Autumn, 2009
Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo is the first ever appearance of the original Dragon Ball story on Wii in glorious 3D. Players will control Kid Goku as he sets out on fantastic adventures with his friends. The title faithfully reproduces the uniqueness and special humour of the early Dragon Ball series, while adding an original blend of action and adventure to the mix
One Piece Unlimited Cruise 2 (Wii™)
Release date: September, 2009
The sequel to The Treasures beneath the Waves, One Piece Unlimited Cruise 2: Awakening of a Hero is based on the hit Japanese anime and manga, and features a pirate’s hoard of graphical and gameplay enhancements. Follow the path of Luffy, in his adventure to become the greatest pirate and his quest for the One Piece!
Tales of Symphonia™: Dawn of the new world (Wii™)
Release date: Autumn, 2009
Only on Wii ™, the game continues the story of the best-selling Tales of Symphonia™ for Nintendo GameCube™, while introducing a new monster collection system that lets players capture, evolve and do battle with more than 200 monsters alongside a huge cast of new and returning characters.
Family Trainer: Extreme Challenge (Wii™)
Release date: September, 2009
Following up on its wildly successful predecessor, the motion sensing Wii Remote™ is partnered with an original custom mat controller to provide a total body gaming experience in an extreme sports setting. With Family Trainer Extreme Challenge anyone can be an extreme sports star in the comfort of their own home!
Katamari Forever (PLAYSTATION®3)
Release date: September, 2009
Featuring the largest collection of stages, modes, songs, and cousins to date, remixed classic Katamari Damacy tunes, a brand-new storyline, multiple new visual effects and 1080p graphics, Katamari Forever is the ultimate Katamari experience.
Champions Online (PC)
Release date: September, 2009
Champions Online brings epic heroism back to the MMORPG with fast-paced, epic combat. A boundless character creator takes the experience to the next level; players can even choose the appearance and style of their powers to complete their vision! A unique Nemesis system also lets players tap into a powerful customization tool to craft their own enemy, an ultimate adversary who will appear throughout a hero’s career.
For more information on Namco Bandai Partners, please visit www.namcobandaipartners.com
Line-up for Games.com 2009 Announced
On the heels of the successful release of East India Company and Hearts of Iron III, Paradox Interactive announced their line-up for the upcoming gamescom 2009 show in Cologne, Germany from August 19-21.
Paradox will be showcasing a wide array of projects, starting with the soon-to-be released Majesty 2. Scheduled for release on September 11, the long overdue sequel for the beloved real-time strategy classic is finally approaching release. With nothing else out there quite like it, the world of Majesty 2 is full of charm along with a unique sense of humor where the player only has indirect control of the characters and units.
In addition to Majesty 2, Paradox will be showcasing the following projects:
Mount & Blade: Warband: The first expansion for the critically acclaimed Mount & Blade will introduce an array of brand new features, highlighted by a multiplayer mode that allows up to 32 players to battle it out in team death-match style combat on a single map. Additional features of the expansion include improved strategic AI, extended diplomatic options, and state-of-the-art rendering technologies. The Mount & Blade: Warband is scheduled for release in Q1 2010.
Project Poseidon: This – soon to be announced – latest addition to the Paradox portfolio is the sequel in a very popular simulation game where players take on the responsibilities of running a wide array of vessels at sea.
East India Company: Exciting new details on upcoming expansions as well as live demos of the Matrox Triplehead feature.
Paradox’s internal development team will be present to demo Hearts of Iron 3 and reveal the next major project to be developed by the team.
Be it in a guild or a clan, as a team or in a league – the majority of online gamers share their hobby with the like-minded and play with them too.
On the internet, millions of gamers link up as communities, ready to go into battle together or to build new civilisations. Large numbers of virtual friendships have already emerged from this. The GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE is the perfect opportunity to cultivate them in real life. From 31 July to 2 August, communities of all online and mobile games have the opportunity to meet up in Leipzig and to talk face to face about games, tactics and other vital matters.
“The online world lives on its gamer communities who meet on the internet and spend their leisure time together. With its positioning for online and mobile games, the GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE is ideal to find out on the one hand about the latest games and on the other, to reinforce friendships on the gamer scene”, says Silvana Kürschner, Strategy Director GC Global.
Two Pi Team Takes Over Community Management
The event has the support of the Two Pi Team, a company specialising in community management. They look after wide areas of communication with communities and other interested parties, including on the official forum (http://forums.wheel-of-games.com/forumdisplay.php?f=1071). The Two Pi Team will accompany the event with a series of radio programmes on the well-known internet radio “MMORPG Radio” from the Gothic Guild, and they are presenting the online event on the internet as well as organising the programme on the community stage, where they will also be the presenters at the event itself.
Gothic Guild Getting Ready for Leipzig
The first port of call for guilds and clans will be the community stage in Hall 3. Scheduled bands will give concerts round the clock here and the latest anime films will also be screened. In between, communities from all over Germany introduce themselves and their particular profile. Those already on the list include the Gothic Guild which, with around 2,000 members, is one of the leading German-speaking guilds in Europe.
“For online gamers, their contact with one another is very important, both online and in the classic way of real life. For the first time ever, we have a central port of call in the shape of the GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE. In Leipzig, we can organise a major guild meeting and get new members in the process”, explains Werner Matthiesen from the Gothic Guild’s board.
Meet & Play at the GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE
For relaxing chats together, gamers can use a range of community lounges. Of course, there are plenty of gaming competitions in Leipzig too. Several linked gaming zones will be set up in the public gaming area, inviting community teams to play against one another.
The right look is also easy to find. The community market will provide gamers with all the items they need for a successful appearance in the outfits of their avatars. The entire gamer wardrobe will be on offer, from medieval swords to a complete Ork costume. Fans of virtual worlds will also be able to stock up on a range of merchandising articles from their favourite games.
In Search of Online Communities
Parallel to an appearance at the fair, communities can also immortalise themselves with a brief self-description at www.gamesconvention.com and be a part of the online events set to accompany the GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE. The advantage here is that with just a few clicks, visitors to the show can find out in advance what the individual communities are all about and which ones best suit their own gaming habits. There is also an Online Forum for interchange between the communities.