Newell tosses DICE keynote

Valve cofounder tapped to deliver opening remarks on "entertainment as a service" for AIAS' annual developer conference.

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The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences' DICE Summit traditionally attracts a ranging guest list of influential game-industry luminaries to its annual hobnobber in Las Vegas. Be that as it may, the AIAS tapped outsider Gore Verbinski to deliver last year's opening keynote address, in which the Pirates of the Caribbean director advocated "madness" to bust open the doors of game design.

Gabe Newell
Gabe Newell

This year, the AIAS is playing its speaker series a bit closer to home. The industry organization has announced that Valve cofounder and president Gabe Newell will be on hand to deliver this year's opening remarks. Newell, whose company has not only produced such hit properties as Half-Life, Portal, and Left 4 Dead but also launched the highly regarded online distribution platform Steam, is expected to focus his presentation on "entertainment as a service."

This year's DICE Summit will return to the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, and run from February 17-19. The event will also play home to the Interactive Achievement Awards, which will again be hosted by comedian Jay Mohr. Last month, the AIAS announced nominees for this year's awards categories, with Sony's PlayStation 3-exclusive Little Big Planet garnering 10 nods.

The full lineup of announced speakers is listed below.

Dan Bilson, THQ
Chris Cao, Sony Online Entertainment
N'Gai Croal, Newsweek
Michael Denny, Sony Corp. EU
Anita Frazier, NPD Research
Julianne Greer, The Escapist
Lars Gustavsson, D.I.C.E. Studios/EA
Michael Haigh, SCE Worldwide Studios
Mona Hamilton, Capcom
Rich Hilleman, Electronic Arts
Todd Howard, Bethesda Studios
Geoff Keighley, Spike TV
Alex Laurent, LucasArts/ILM
Ralph Osterhout, Serial Inventor
David Perry, Acclaim Entertainment
Ted Price, Insomniac Games
J. Paul Raines, GameStop
John Riccitiello, Electronic Arts
Seth Schiesel, New York Times
Bruce Shelley, Ensemble Studios
Mike Snider, USA Today
Jun Takeuchi, Capcom
Chris Taylor, Gas Powered Games

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