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Think Services’ Response to the China Game Publishers Association Letter

The China Game Publishers Association (CGPA) recently issued a letter mandating its members to exclusively support the China Game Developers Conference, an event organized by CGPA and operated by Howell International– the organizers of China Joy. This forces CGPA members to participate in a monopoly which is in violation of the Chinese anti-monopoly law.*

Think Services would like to respond to this letter clarifying three key points.

1. Chinese Government Support: It is critical to note that the Ministry of Culture of the P. R. China (MOC) has officially endorsed the 2009 GDC China. This is the first time that the MOC has supported an international game industry conference since the China central government conferred the responsibility of supervising the game and animation industries on the MOC in June of 2008. According to new policies initiated by the State Council of P. R. China, the MOC is now responsible for supervising planning, aiding industry growth, and monitoring project management, exhibition, trade related matters for the game industry. The MOC will be reaching out to all game industry companies soon to address their support of Game Developers Conference? China (GDC China), and encouraging local game companies to support the definitive event for game industry professionals– GDC China.

As Liu Qiang from MOC noted at a recent press conference in Beijing,“GDC China will serve as a platform not only for teams and individuals to learn more, but also game development software and tools suppliers to cooperate. The return of GDC China will also play a significant role in enhancing the technology of the China game industry and in initiating new, brilliant ideas.”

2. GDC China - The Only Chinese Game Developer Event Presented by Chinese Game Developers for Chinese Game Developers: In contrast to what the CGPA communicates in their letter– taking options and opportunities for learning away from the developer community– the GDC has always been a conference presented by game developers, for game developers, focusing on the most critical learning and networking opportunities available. The GDC continues to be committed to serving the Chinese game development community in the same way.

Like the 2007 GDC China conference, the content design of GDC China 2009 will again be carefully and critically filtered by an advisory board consisting of the most qualified industry professionals representing the key disciplines of game development. The advisory board will actively communicate with regional developers to ensure that the session topics they want to access and the regional and international speakers they want to hear from are fully represented through the conference content. Given this community-driven approach, Chinese game developers are ensured that GDC China will offer them the most relevant, timely, and quality tested conference content available.

Note that GDC China’s call for papers period will launch shortly, and speakers and sessions will start to be announced in June.

3. Game Developers Conference Trademark Rights: Think Services would like to clarify the significant confusion that has arisen due to this Howell organized game developer event. The name of Howell’s conference violates Think Services’ registered trademark for the Game Developers Conference? (GDC), and we are wholly committed to protecting our intellectual property rights globally. We must and will continue to protect our rights, so that our ultimate goal is ensured: evolving the GDC to continue to best serve the global development community.

Over time, the GDC has evolved and refined its model of presenting conferences that are community-driven in nature yet professionally managed and dedicated from start to finish to maximizing the attendee experience. To protect its intellectual property– the GDC name– Think Services filed to register the GDC mark in 2007 so that the global game development community can be assured that when the GDC name is aligned with an event, they know that they will access the most timely, relevant content and the most innovative and relevant speakers, and exposure to some of the most current development products and services. Failure to defend the infringement of our intellectual property could result in a degradation of our legal rights in such property.

We appreciate the industry’s diligence in using the correct title for the Think Services Game Developers Conference China (GDC China) taking place in Shanghai, October 11-13, 2009. No use of the name Game Developers Conference in conjunction with any other event is permitted.

If you have any questions, please contact Kathy Schoback , EVP Global Brand Director for the GDC, at kschoback@think-services.com or 415-947-6000. For more information about GDC China, please visit www.China.GDConf.com.

*The Chinese anti-monopoly law was signed by President Hu Jintao on August 30, 2007, and became law on August 1, 2008.

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