The Game Developers Conference Europe (GDC Europe), easily the leading conference for computer and video game developers in Europe after its successful debut last year, is on track to exceed its registration and exhibitor numbers from 2009. The conference is poised to receive up to 2,000 attendees, speakers and media representatives from 45 different countries are expected, already surpassing the attendance numbers from the 2009 debut. The event is expected to garner a strong presence from European and North American industry professionals. GDC Europe, which takes place August 16-18, 2010 at the Cologne Congress East Center in Cologne, Germany, will this year focus on media convergence and online gaming, and also features a concentration on the booming Chinese and Russian markets.

“Mind you, the quality of our special themes and speakers is far more important to us than statistics,” said GDC Europe Director Frank Sliwka as he looks ahead to the conference. “However, we are indeed delighted the conference is tracking well this year and will host an even broader global group of developers compared to last year.”

In the run-up to GDC Europe’s opening, a press conference was hosted on July 27 at the Haus der Bundespressekonferenz in Berlin, featuring leading industry experts, including Frank Sliwka, Director of GDC Europe, lawyer Konstantin Ewald and Sven Wedig, Director of 4U2PLAY GmbH. Participants in this engaging discussion spoke about current developments within the growing games industry, which boasts an annual turnover of 2.5 billion Euros in Germany alone. In the face of the current economic challenges, these experts concluded, the European games industry is betting on creativity. In alignment with this new focus, the industry is establishing new trends in technology, design and marketing, and ushering in the rise of young and creative developer studios all across Europe. These and other topics will be addressed in-depth through expertly-led sessions held during the conference.

Several leaders of the international development scene and the games industry will be participating in GDC Europe, addressing major topics facing the industry. In total, the event will feature more than 90 workshops, and presentations by more than 130 speakers from all over the world. This list of prestigious speakers includes Heiko Hubertz (Bigpoint), Bo Wang (Tencent), Hermen Hulst (Guerilla Games), Ray Muzyka & Greg Zeschuk (Bioware), Louis Castle (Instant), Martin Walfisz (Planeto), David Cage (Quantic Dream), Alex Ruzhentsev (101 XP), Johan Sjoberg (DDM), Steven Gaffney (Splash Damage), Chris Carla (Foundation 9), Jorg Tittel (Break Thru Films), Avni Yerli (Crytek), Harald Riegler (Sproing), Matias Myllyrinne (Remedy Entertainment), Don Daglow (Don Daglow Interactive Entertainment), Steve Meretzky & Dave Rohrl (Playdom), Aki Jarvinen (Digital Chocolate), and Seb Canniff (Sony Computer Entertainment Europe). The main topics this year will include media convergence and online gaming, while geographically speaking the conference will be concentrating on the booming Chinese, Scandinavian and Russian markets.

“We always focus on practical solutions and market needs,” says Sliwka, summing up the conference’s unique philosophy. “We aim to combine trend analysis with the search for new models for technology and at the same time, creating marketing and business opportunities to present to our attendees.”

In addition to the conference content, GDC Europe provides several opportunities for creative exchange and business development, with venues including the GDC Europe Expo Floor, VIP Lounge, and the GDC Europe Business Lounge at gamescom, plus a host of industry parties. Already thirty exhibitors and sponsors from Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, Sweden, the UK and the USA have registered for the exhibitor zone measuring 650 square meters. Exhibitors include Crytek, Bigpoint, Epic, Howest University, Imagination Studios and Intel. In addition, GDC Europe will also be hosting for the first time a business Lounge at the accompanying games expo, gamescom, at which Autodesk, Crytek, Epic, Zotac, DigiProtect, Level 3 are confirmed to be exhibiting.