DICE Rolls Out In Vegas Today

The Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain Summit, simply known as DICE, kicks off today and I'm currently en route via rented Chevy Impala to the Red Rocks Resort in Las Vegas to cover it. Scheduled to appear and say interesting things are EA CEO John Riccitiello, Microsoft Game Studios VP Shane Kim, Blizzard Entertainment president Mike Morhaime and many, many more. While not in the habit of making surprise game announcements, these industry folks always have something attention (and headline) grabbing to say.

Coinciding with the DICE Summit are the 11th Interactive Achievement Awards, the industry's prestigious, peer-recognised award ceremony. If you want to watch the awards live, they'll be broadcast on Comcast HD Video on Demand and streamed live on GameSpot. For all the information on this year's events, check out the full press release.

Video Game Industry Leaders Bet Big on D.I.C.E.

The video game industry's most influential leaders gather in Las Vegas for the 2008 D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit(R) kicking off today and continuing through Feb. 8 at the Red Rock Resort. The conference includes three days of seminars with some of the most celebrated and creative minds in the video game industry. The D.I.C.E. Summit also plays host to the 11th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards(R) ceremony on February 7, where industry leaders and members pay tribute and recognize the individuals and products that contribute to the growth of the multi-billion dollar interactive entertainment software business. Favored comedian and proud game enthusiast, Jay Mohr returns for his third year to host the award festivities.

The power-packed conference has attracted a dynamic line-up of high-profile industry leaders to discuss topics relevant to the current state of the video game industry, developing trends and key issues facing publishers and business leaders. The single-track conference program features sessions led by the elite shaping the industry, including:

— John Riccitiello — Electronic Arts, CEO

— Shane Kim — Microsoft Game Studios, Corporate Vice President

— Gore Verbinski — Pirates of the Caribbean, Director

— Russ Crupnick — The NPD Research Group

— Robin Kaminsky — Activision, Executive Vice President

— Mike Morhaime — Blizzard Entertainment, President

— Masaya Matuura — NanaOn-Sha, President

— Michael D. Gallagher — ESA, President

— Dr. Mark Ollila — Nokia, Director of Technology & Strategy for Games

— Yannis Mallat — Ubisoft Montreal, CEO

— Dr. Mike Capps — Epic Games, President

— Andy Burke & Mike Acton — Insomniac Games

"This year represents the true evolution of narrative in gaming and creative forms of entertainment with the development of a wider breadth of games, offering a variety of entertainment options that new game players will find attractive," said Joseph Olin, president, Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences. "This in turn continues to expand the marketplace beyond the traditional game playing community to the mass consumers."

Hall of Fame Inductee:

During the Interactive Achievement Awards, Mike Morhaime, president, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment(R), will be the eleventh visionary inducted into the AIAS's prestigious Hall of Fame. As one of the organization's highest honors, candidates are annually voted on by the Academy's illustrious Board of Directors. Induction into the Hall of Fame is bestowed upon individuals who've contributed to a significant advancement within the industry, while demonstrating proven success and leadership.

Morhaime will be honored for his efforts and contributions to the massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) space through Blizzard Entertainment's spectacularly popular World of Warcraft(R) as well as the tremendous success of the company's Warcraft(R), StarCraft(R) and Diablo(R) series. In particular, World of Warcraft has cemented Morhaime's influence and impact on the multi-billion dollar interactive entertainment industry; it's the world's largest online game, with more than 9.3 million subscribers. Morhaime and Blizzard Entertainment are recognized for creating an MMOG that expanded the traditionally hardcore audience of the genre to also include the broader casual-gaming audience.

Lifetime Achievement Award:

The AIAS has named Honorary Chairman and former President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Ken Kutaragi the recipient of the coveted 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award, which will be bestowed at this year's Interactive Achievement Awards(R) (IAA) ceremony. The Award honors those who have devoted their lives to the advancement of the interactive entertainment industry and have made significant contributions that have guided the business to the prominent position it is in today.

Recognized internationally as the "Father of PlayStation(R)," Kutaragi will be honored for revolutionizing the global in-home entertainment market with the creation and monstrous success of the PlayStation(R) computer entertainment systems. The original PlayStation(R), which was launched in 1994, and the PlayStation(R)2, which launched in 2000, went on to become the most popular computer entertainment systems of the era, resulting in combined shipments of more than 230 million units worldwide.

The Interactive Achievement Awards for the first time can be viewed live via webcast on GameSpot (www.gamespot.com) and Comcast HD Video on Demand. This gives game enthusiasts worldwide the opportunity to experience first-hand the excitement as the coveted Interactive Achievement Awards are presented to the geniuses and giants behind the most popular video games of the year.

Special Events:

In addition to the conference sessions and the Interactive Achievement Awards(R), the AIAS will host several other activities during the three-day event:

— The EA Sports 5th Annual D.I.C.E. Summit Golf Tournament: The tournament will be held on Wednesday, February 6 at the beautiful TPC Canyons Golf Club, host to the SENIOR PGA TOUR'S Las Vegas Classic.

— The 3rd Annual Poker Tournament at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino: The Texas Hold 'Em tourney will be held on Friday, February 8 following the close of the speaker sessions.

— Interactive Achievement Pre-Awards Party: Comcast/Game Invasion will host the pre-awards party at the decadent Cherry Nightclub and private Cherry pool and cabanas. This party sets the tone for the red carpet, awards and the post-awards party. Party goers can enjoy music, dancing, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres.

— Interactive Achievement Post-Awards Party: The 2nd Annual post-awards party will be held at the Red Rock Resort, in their state-of-the-art VIP bowling alley. Cosmic bowling with dancing lights, fog machines, glow in the dark lanes, pins and bowling balls will be offered for an evening of fun and festivities.

— Into the Pixel(TM) (ITP) Exhibit and Auction: ITP is an exploration and celebration of the art of video games. The exhibit enables published game artists to be reviewed and recognized by the public and by their peers. ITP features a representative sampling of video game art, selected by a panel of jurors from a field of submissions. Funds raised at D.I.C.E. this year will benefit the AIAS and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

2008 D.I.C.E. Summit(R) Sponsors:

The D.I.C.E. Summit 2008 key sponsors include: Bioware/Pandemic, Boesky & Company, Business Wire, Comcast, Day One Studios, Dell Computer, EA Sports, Electronic Arts, Enterprise Talent, GameRecruiter, Insomniac Games, Microsoft, Nintendo of America, Philips amBx, Sony Computer Entertainment America, Stormfront Studios, and Ubisoft.

About the D.I.C.E. Summit(R):

The D.I.C.E. Summit is a high-level interactive entertainment industry conference that brings together the top video game designers and developers from around the world and business leaders from all the major publishers to discuss the state of the industry, its trends and the future. The three-day event will be held in Las Vegas, at the upscale Red Rock Resort, February 6-8, 2008. Online registration for the D.I.C.E. Summit 2008 is open now. Please visit www.dicesummit.org for more information and to register to attend the interactive entertainment industry event of the year.

About the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences

The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) was founded in 1996 as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of the interactive arts. The Academy's mission is to promote and advance common interests in the worldwide interactive entertainment community; recognize outstanding achievements in the interactive arts and sciences; and conduct an annual awards show (Interactive Achievement Awards) to enhance awareness of the interactive art form. The Academy also strives to provide a voice for individuals in the interactive entertainment community. In 2002 the Academy created the D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit, a once-yearly conference dedicated to exploring approaches to the creative process and artistic expression as they uniquely apply to the development of interactive entertainment. The Academy has over 10,000 members, with the board comprised of senior executives from the major video game companies including Bioware/Pandemic, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony and Ubisoft. More information on AIAS and the D.I.C.E. Summit can be found at www.interactive.org and www.dicesummit.org.


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