< Back to Press Releases

Online Game Visionaries Michael Morhaime And Sulka Haro To Present Keynotes At CMP Technology's 2007 Austin Game Developers Conference

President and Co-Founder of Blizzard Entertainment and Sulake Corporation Lead Designer to Give Talks Meant to Inspire Online Game Developers

SAN FRANCISCO— May 30, 2007— World of Warcraft father Michael Morhaime and creative leader behind Habbo Hotel Sulka Haro will each present a keynote lecture for the Online Games Track at the 2007 Austin Game Developers Conference. The two online entertainment innovators will draw on their experiences revolutionizing the way people interact in virtual worlds to motivate the online game development community to break boundaries and strive to create better games. The three-day event, presented by the CMP Game Group, host of the industry-leading Game Developers Conference (GDC), will take place September 5-7, 2007 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. Visit www.austingdc.net for more information.

Michael Morhaime and Sulka Haro are both uniquely positioned to share their wisdom with the online game development community. As president and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment, Morhaime has ushered World of Warcraft to its status as the most successful MMO in history, with more than 8.5 million subscribers worldwide. The game’s global rollout has not only proven that it is possible to overcome the technical challenges of administering a game of its size and the cultural challenges related to localization and implementation, but has also shown how deeply online gaming can impact popular culture, as it has inspired references on shows including“The Colbert Report” and an entire“South Park” storyline.

Similarly, Haro has overseen the creative development of Sulake's globally operated virtual world Habbo into an online destination which has attracted millions of teenagers every month since launching in 2000, expanding into 29 countries. Like World of Warcraft, Habbo has enjoyed much success with audiences outside of the core gamer audience. The Habbo virtual world also provides an example of the various revenue streams and business models available to the online game community, as most of its users participate in the world's economy of acquiring virtual property through micro-transactions, with purchases accessible in a number of ways— through SMS, home phone, pre-paid cards, credit cards, and money orders. Habbo Hotel's design supports open play and user creativity, supplying customers with furniture, clothing, pets, and accessories to customize their experiences.

“The GDC has long served the game development community by providing opportunities to learn directly from both the legends of our industry,” says Jane Pinckard, Content Manager for Austin GDC.“For online games and virtual worlds, Blizzard’s World of Warcraft and Sulake’s Habbo Hotel have pioneered the way and set precedence on how MMOs can transcend into real communities as well as establish new e-commerce models. We can’t wait to hear what the men behind these iconic games have to say regarding the future of online gaming.”

The Austin GDC will feature more than 90 lectures, panels, tutorials and round-table discussions on game development across four tracks: online games, audio for games, writing for games and a new People's Choice track featuring the sessions community members want to see most. Austin GDC will also feature a Game Career Seminar for students and job-changers researching entry into the game industry, and a new event, PC Game On, focusing on the PC game enthusiast.

For more information, please visit www.austingdc.net. The deadline for early rate pricing is June 13.

About the CMP Game Group ( www.cmpgame.com)

A core provider of essential information to the professional game industry, the CMP Game Group offers market-defining content, and drives community through its award winning lineup of print, online and event products. Theseinclude Game Developer magazine, the Webby Award-winning Gamasutra.com, SeriousGamesSource.com, GameCareerGuide.com, the Game Developers Conference, the Austin Game Developers Conference, GDC China, GDC Mobile, the Serious Games Summit, the Hollywood and Games Summit, the Game Career Seminars, the Independent Games Festival, and the Game Developers Choice Awards. For more information, please visit www.cmpgame.com.

About CMP Technology ( www.cmp.com)

CMP Technology is a marketing solutions company serving the technology industry. Through its market-leading portfolio of trusted information brands, CMP has earned the confidence of more technology professionals than any other media company. As a result, CMP is the premier provider of access, insight and actionable programs designed to connect sellers and buyers in ways that yield superior return on investment. CMP Technology is a subsidiary of United Business Media ( www.unitedbusinessmedia.com), a global provider of news distribution and specialist information services with a market capitalization of more than $3 billion.

# # #

Contact: Sibel Sunar / Brian Rubin

fortyseven communications

(323) 658-1200

sibel@fortyseven.com / brian@fortyseven.com

Ben Veechai

CMP Technology

415-947-6280

bveechai@cmp.com

Games Press

Games Press is the leading online resource for games journalists. Used daily by magazines, newspapers, TV, radio, online media and retailers worldwide, it offers a vast, constantly updated archive of press releases and assets, and is the simplest and most cost-effective way for PR professionals to reach the widest possible audience. Registration for the site and the Games Press email digest is available, to the trade only, at www.gamespress.com