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Mitch Lasky, Sean 'Day[9]' Plott, and more to speak at GDC 2014

GDC organizers highlight noteworthy Business track talks featuring industry veteran Mitch Lasky speaking about the future of publishers, Sean Plott speaking about community management, and more.

Game Developer

February 21, 2014

4 Min Read

Passes for the Game Developers Conference 2014 continue to sell fast, and today we're highlighting even more sessions for the Main Conference that you'll want to check out. Today we're showcasing some of our excellent Business, Marketing and Management track talks, part of a set of 70+ in-depth lectures, including industry veteran Mitch Lasky’s ruminations on how publishers can remain relevant, a talk from Sean Plott about what he learned about community management in five years as a professional eSports broadcaster, and more. Now in its 28th year, GDC is the world's largest and longest-running professionals-only game industry event, and will once again take place at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California during March 17-21, 2014.

No, but seriously -- is publishing dead?

Game industry veteran and venture capitalist Mitch Lasky is speaking at GDC 2014 about the pros and cons of the competing next-generation publishing models: the super-developers, the ad networks, the platform players, the social/chat networks and others. Lasky's thesis is that industry changes have not eliminated the profound economic benefit of scale, and that scale is the key to value creation. During his session, provocatively titled Is Publishing Dead?, Lasky plans to explore these different approaches, untangling the core components of modern publishing: audience aggregation, customer acquisition leverage, engagement and monetization, electronic distribution, and hardware/software platforms. With examples from companies like Riot Games, Chartboost, Valve and Tencent, Lasky hopes to explain how publishers can offer what developers, investors and consumers find valuable.

Scattered Entertainment general manager Ben Cousins spends a lot of time thinking about monetization in games, and he’s coming to GDC 2014 to examine the morality of all past and present games industry business models in a talk entitled Is Your Business Model Evil? The Moral Maze of the New Games Business. In the course of the talk Cousins will attempt to answer three burning questions: Is free-to-play inherently more unethical than other business models? Are there any changes we need to make, as an industry, to avoid unwanted government meddling? Is there a template game makers can apply to a game while it is in development to make sure that it doesn't cross ethical boundaries? Anyone interested in hearing Cousin’s answers to said questions is encouraged to attend.

How one man built and maintained a community for five years

Finally, don’t miss Sean”Day[9]” Plott’s session on community management. Plott, who currently works for Artiller Games, built up a sizable audience during his career as a professional eSports broadcaster, and he’s coming to GDC 2014 to talk about how he’s kept that audience happy over the last five years. He'll start with the principles he uses to stay connected and relevant to his fans, and then show how they applied to key points in Day[9]TV history. Attendees of his talk, titled simply Keeping a Community for Five Years: The Story of Day[9]TV, should be prepared to walk away with a better understanding of what contemporary audiences want from their favorite games, brands and Internet personalities.

More essential GDC details

Earlier GDC 2014 announcements include the news that Irrational Games co-founder Ken Levine will be giving a GDC talk about Narrative Legos, the full lineup of sponsored developer day sessions from Google, Tencent, Amazon and Unity, plus a rundown of the GDC 2014 Game Career Seminar. Developers on Plants vs. Zombies 2, Gone Home, and Crusader Kings II will also be giving talks. All of the announced talks are now available in the online GDC 2014 Session Scheduler, where you can begin to build your conference week and later export it to the up-to-the-minute GDC Mobile App, coming soon. GDC 2014 itself will take place March 17-21, 2014 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California. You can register for the event by visiting the info page on the official GDC 2014 website. For more information on GDC 2014, visit the show's official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS. Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Tech

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