Conferences get consolidated

Organizers of Game Developers Conference acquire annual online-focused Austin Game Conference and satellite cons, contributing to already-swelling roster of industry events.

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The CMP Game Group is getting bigger. The event organizer already runs the Game Developers Conference (as well as its GDC London, GDC Russia, and GDC FocusOn offshoots), the Serious Games Summit, and satellite shows like the Independent Games Festival, London Games Summit, and GDC Mobile. Now it's adding the online-focused Austin Game Conference to its roster, as CMP today announced that it has acquired that event's organizer, The Game Initiative.

This year's Austin Game Conference--the fourth in the event's history--took place in the Texas capital September 6 to 8. The first three-day Austin Game Conference drew 2,400 attendees and was headlined by keynotes from World of Warcraft designer Rob Pardo and film producer Jon Landau (Titanic, Avatar), as well a "fireside chat" with Dell chairman Michael Dell.

CMP has said it hopes to build on the success of the show using the lessons and experience it has gained from running the GDC series of events, and that it "will remain a focal point for examination of online, PC, casual, and mobile game interests." The Austin Game Conference's satellite shows--the Game Writers' Conference, the Game Audio Conference, and the Casual Games Conference--will also continue as planned.

The Game Initiative executive director Chris Sherman is only going to be involved with the Austin Game Conference as an advisor in the future, but he said in a statement that he was leaving the show in good hands.

"We are confident that the future of the event will be well served by CMP, which has deep resources in event management," Sherman said. "They will be able to facilitate the growth of the event without sacrificing what we deliver to our loyal attendees and sponsors."

The next Austin Game Conference is still scheduled for September 5 to 7, 2007, in the Austin Convention Center.

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