360 News Coming at GDC

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John Schappert, Microsoft's vice president of Live, will be delivering a Game Developers Conference keynote next month about the future of the Xbox Live service, the GDC announced today.

A Future Wide Open: Unleashing the Creative Community will touch on the 360's "in democratising game development, vastly opening up the industry for developers of all sizes." Specifically, the session will discuss the talk about the console's strategy for the year and reveal "top developers' plans for the platform in 08." That's right, it sounds like we're going to get some news.

I hope Schappert will also talk a bit about what the Xbox Live Arcade has in store for us. I'd like to see more indie games coming to the platform and less retro remakes. I think Sony's done a great job of snagging some memorable niche titles, like flow and Everyday Shooter, and I know Microsoft can do the same.

JOHN SCHAPPERT, CORPORATE VICE PRESIDENT LIVE, SOFTWARE AND SERVICES FOR THE INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS AT MICROSOFT TO PRESENT KEYNOTE ADDRESS AT THE 2008 CMP GAME DEVELOPERS CONFERENCE

Former Executive Vice President of Electronic Arts and Founder of Tiburon Entertainment to Outline His Vision for Unlocking the Creative Community in 2008 and Beyond

SAN FRANCISCO—Jan. 15, 2008—Microsoft's John Schappert, Corporate Vice President LIVE, Software and Services for the Interactive Entertainment Business, will deliver a keynote address at CMP's 2008 Game Developers Conference, setting the stage for revolutionary changes in game development in 2008. The address, "A Future Wide Open: Unleashing the Creative Community" marks the first return to the GDC keynote stage for Microsoft since 2005.

Schappert's keynote explores the Xbox 360 platform's next step in democratising game development, vastly opening up the industry for developers of all sizes. The session will set the strategy for Xbox 360 this upcoming year, revealing top developers' plans for the platform in 2008. Additionally, Schappert will discuss how the increasing role of online gaming will continue to shape gameplay and game distribution this year.

"The Game Developers Conference is the premiere stage for industry leaders to present their strategies for advancing the state of the art of games," said Jamil Moledina, executive director of the Game Developers Conference. "Given John's experience and the Microsoft game development team behind him, we are confident that our attendees will not want to miss this glimpse into the future of how games will be made."

As Corporate Vice President of LIVE, Software and Services for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, John Schappert oversees all of Microsoft's gaming platforms and businesses. This includes Xbox 360, Games for Windows, XNA game development tools, MSN® Games as well as Windows LIVE™ Messenger and Windows games. Schappert has a storied background in the industry, as the founder of Tiburon Entertainment and former Executive Vice President of Electronic Arts where he oversaw the development of game franchises like "Madden," "Need for Speed," "FIFA," "SSX" and "Fight Night." Schappert joined Microsoft in August 2007, bringing with him more than 16 years experience in the games industry and a rich history of innovation in video game development.

The keynote, "A Future Wide Open: Unleashing the Creative Community," is scheduled for February 20, 2008, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. PST in the Esplanade Room of the Moscone Center's South Hall. Schappert joins a distinguished list of luminary GDC keynotes which includes Shigeru Miyamoto (GDC07), Phil Harrison (GDC06 and GDC07), Satoru Iwata (GDC05 and GDC 06), Will Wright (GDC06), Ron Moore (GDC06), and J Allard (GDC05 and GDC04).

GDC 2008 will also feature the keynote, "The Next 20 Years of Gaming," delivered by futurist and inventor, Ray Kurzweil, and is scheduled for February 21, 2008, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. PST in the Esplanade Room of the Moscone Center's South Hall. Additional featured sessions this year focus on breakthrough titles such as Bioshock, Crysis, Halo 3, and Rock Band and more from leading members of the game development community including creator of the Magnavox Odyssey game system Ralph Baer; Rod Humble, head of the Sims Studio at EA; Lemmings and Grand Theft Auto creator Dave Jones; Metaplace's Raph Koster; Fable developer Peter Molyneux and many others.

GDC, the world's largest industry-only event dedicated to the advancement of interactive entertainment, returns to the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco for a week of networking, learning, and inspiration February 18-22, 2008. Complete details and registration for the conference are available now at www.gdconf.com.


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