Officials from event organizers The Game Initiative have announced final attendance numbers today for last week's fourth annual Austin Game Conference (which was covered in depth by Gamasutra last week). According to the firm, more than 2,400 game industry professionals from 20 countries and representing over 520 companies attended the event, which took place at the Austin Convention Center from September 6-8.
The conference, which expanded from two to three days to incorporate more speakers and sessions into the conference program, included five tracks over the three day period, including Games in Asia; Multiplayer Business/Production; Multiplayer Design; Multiplayer Tech/Art and Multiplayer Service and Support. Plus focused roundtables, workshops and keynotes. In addtion, the event featured a new addition, the Dell ArtZONE, which offered game designers advanced training with training representatives from Autodesk and Softimage using Dell Precision Workstations.
In addition to an extra day of sessions, the conference added over 12,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space to the Technology Pavilion for a total of 45,000 sq. ft. of floor space. Over 80 companies exhibited in the pavilion, including Microsoft Casual Games, Online Game Services, Inc., IBM, Sony Computer Entertainment America, Critical Mass Interactive, BioWare, K2 Network, Emergent Game Technologies, Ageia Technologies, Audiokinetic, Autodesk, Vivendi Games, Aria Systems, Softimage, and Simutronics-Hero Engine.
Other elements on show as part of the Austin Game Conference included the 4th annual LivePitch 1-on-1 matchmaking, sponsored by WildTangent. The event saw more than 40 game developers present their projects to publishers such as Capcom, Game Trust, Comcast, Stardock Entertainment, NCsoft, GoPets, PlayFirst, Majesco, Atari, Konami, MTV Networks, iWin, WildTangent, and Codemasters.
The AGC this year also featured a number of keynotes, including Blizzard's vice president of design, who outlined World of Warcraft's secrets to success, and Jon Landau, producer and COO of Lightstorm Entertainment, who explained the connections between creating games and films. Dell chairman, Michael Dell also deliverd a speech in which he addressed his company's future in the game arena, and science fiction author Vernor Vinge proposed that we're living in an age of connectivity and the future holds the possibility of "ubiquitous computing."
"AGC has become the premier source of technical information for developers creating the next generation of leading online games," said Christopher V. Sherman, Austin Game Conference executive director. "I am extremely pleased to see that our focus on the technology, art, design, production and business of games continues to attract attendees from across the country and even across world."