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Saturday, March 8 • 11:30am - 12:30pm
The Future of Virtual World & Game Development: Rise of the Indies

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The videogame industry has begun an irreversible metamorphosis. Whether it's changing into a beautiful butterfly or a Kafka-esque cockroach depends on your point of view. The industry is evolving into an online experience that will look and feel different to everyone involved, from developers to publishers to consumers. No longer required for distribution, traditional game publishers will face a difficult choice--change or die. But don't shed any tears for EA. There are still plenty of ways for them to earn a piece of the pie: financing, marketing, and talent recruitment--though we'll also see the rise of niche companies who can provide these services. Perhaps the most exciting benefit we'll see is that of consumer choice. Without the space constraints of bricks-and-mortar shops, we'll finally see the rise of the "Long Tail" for video games. Ultimately, the online model will be a boon to both established game producers and independent teams. Without the burden of hitting World-of-Warcraft-sized revenue requirements, the established developers will be able to greenlight more projects. On the other side of the economic spectrum, indies can compete in the market with fewer barriers to entry.

Saturday March 8, 2008 11:30am - 12:30pm
Austin Convention Ctr Room 9

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