UBM TechWeb Game Network, organizers of the leading Game Developers Conference series (GDC), have announced "Focus: The Nordic Region" to showcase the technological and creative talents of that established region as part of a new series of events during the 2010 Game Developers Conference Europe (GDC Europe) shedding light on regions or countries that are important for the games industry or promise new business opportunities.  "Focus: The Nordic Region" will bring to light the technical expertise, technological versatility and creative vision that have helped nurture the Nordic region into becoming a powerful center for international game development.  "Focus: The Nordic Region" will address the vast pools of talent, exciting opportunities and challenges found in regional game development during GDC Europe, which returns to Cologne, Germany on August 16-18, 2010 for three days of learning, networking, and inspiration.  

Every year, the regional "Focus" series will present one or two regions or countries that are important for the worldwide games industry and offer promising opportunities for developers and publishers.  In addition to the Nordic Region, Game Developers Conference Europe will also be drawing attention to Russia as an up-and-coming segment of the game development world in a series called "Focus: Russia."  This event will offer insights into how the Russian game development scene, which has a current market volume of 820 million US dollars, gained prominence through Tetris and was further legitimized by the popularity of casual gaming.  During the premiere this August, GDC Europe will hold these two events to analyze the current changes in the Nordic and Russian markets, present important players and creative trends as well as new business concepts and opportunities for cooperation.

The Nordic region has enjoyed a long history of talented and creative developers, with a community that is diverse in their fields of expertise, creating titles for a multitude of platforms, including PC, console, handhelds, as well as all mobile phone, online, and set-top devices.  Beyond game development, the Nordic region has also contributed greatly to the technical craft of game development, with companies like Hansoft (from Sweden), IGIOS (Finland), Illuminate Labs (Sweden), and Unity (Denmark) contributing to a range of middleware software. With a swath of comprehensive public services, including robust universal social and health support systems, free university education and among the highest broadband penetration in the West, the countries that compose the Nordic and Scandinavian region (including Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Greenland), have been recognized as one of the most connected regions of the world.  This technological infrastructure has enabled the Nordic region to maintain a healthy game development community, which houses more than 270 game studios, and a total of more than 3,500 professional game developers, which eclipses the number of professional game developers in France and Germany (2,500 and 2,900, respectively).

In terms of creative design, "Focus: The Nordic Region" will include sessions from esteemed game development studios including Playdead, creators of the visionary and foreboding puzzle-platformer, LIMBO, as well as a session from IO Interactive, creators of the intense and gritty Hitman and Kane & Lynch franchises.  In their session, Jeppe Carlsen, the game and level designer behind LIMBO, will describe the design principles used in the game to balance accessibility, difficulty, learning by dying and fun. In IO Interactive's session, art director Rasmus Poulsen will explain how his company has continued to make character and atmosphere-rich titles, and how the exploration for "realism" had sparked a fresh artistic vision in producing the distinctive look to Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days.

"The Game Developers Conference Europe is an event open to all international developers from all regions, we're happy to see the event flourish as esteemed voices from the Nordic and Russian regions offer their wisdom on two important regions for game developers," says Frank Sliwka, GDC director. "The 'Focus' series is one of the many important components that make GDC Europe an essential and complete event for industry professionals to learn and refine their approach to making and publishing games worldwide."