SAN FRANCISCO--San Francisco bar and grill Jillian's, literally across the street from Game Developer Conference's ground zero, Moscone West, tonight was the scene of one the event's first major parties. The three-year-old East Meets West booze-infused shindig provides a meeting ground for speakers and press from Japan to mingle with their stateside counterparts.
While most of the conversation was inconveniently off the record, there was much chatter that focused on the Phil Harrison pre-brief that ended just as the EMW event began. Dozens of journalists that had signed non-disclosure agreement just 90 minutes earlier were spilling the beans--well, maybe just a bean or two--to anyone who would listen. Not that it mattered to the determined drinkers lined two and three deep waiting for their libation of choice from the bar.
The gathering was attended by about 250 mostly Japanese-language speakers--with bilingual types such as Q Entertainment CEO Shuji Utsumi (center photo, left) and Guitaroo-Man designer Keiichi Yano (left hand photo, on right) among the few who could cross the language divide with ease.
Others spotted in attendance included Yano's iNiS colleague Masako Harada (center photo, right), the company's CEO and president; Q Entertainment founder Tetsuya Mizuguchi; Grasshopper founder and Killer 7 designer Goichi Suda (right hand photo, on left); former Shanda exec Monte Singman, now with Radiance; Yukiko Miyajima Grove (pictured, with Yano), formerly of the GDC organization and one of the individuals responsible for the focus GDC currently has on Japanese developers; Stephanie Tang (pictured, with Suda), CMP conference coordinator, now managing the efforts behind CDC China; former GDC director Alan Yu, now with EALA; design guru Mark Cerny; Gordon Bellamy, newly hired Double Fusion exec; and Microsoft exec Rich Wickham.