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EA Hosts Women In Games International Conference

EA Hosts Women In Games International Conference

December 21, 2006 | By David Jenkins

December 21, 2006 | By David Jenkins
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Representatives from Women in Games International (WIGI) have announced the non-profit organizations debut conference in 2007, to take place at Electronic Arts offices in Redwood City, California on March 6th.

The half-day conference is entitled From Production to Profit: Creating and Marketing Games for Women." At the events WIGI representatives and industry figures will discuss the future of game design and game marketing as the female player marketplace matures and expands. The conference consists of two keynote addresses, panel discussions and roundtables with experts in the field and a post-conference networking reception, sponsored by Electronic Arts.

Panel and roundtable topics include By Design: Building Games for Women Who Play, The Medium Is the Message: Marketing Games to Women who Play, Meet the Producers and Introduction to Careers in Gaming and many more.

Lucy Bradshaw, vice president and head of production and development for Maxis/Electronic Arts, will open the conference with a keynote speech entitled, The Secrets of The Sims Success, in which she explores how The Sims found initial popularity among a typical gaming audience and then crossed over to mainstream success as male gamers shared the game with their sisters, mothers, girlfriends and wives. In discussing this, Lucy will explain which aspects of the game appealed to this audience, and give examples of what developers and publishers can learn from The Sims success.

Bradshaw offers, To put it in financial terms, the game industry leaves money on the table by focusing primarily on male consumers. But thats because most developers havent figured out how to make games that appeal to a broader audience. Having worked on The Sims franchise, which is not only the best-selling PC franchise in history but also the only one that can claim a fanbase that is more than half female, I think we can make a strong case for the idea that if we involve more women in the development process, you will see more women playing the game. Why? Because a female viewpoint has been incorporated organically into the final product.

Sheri Graner Ray, Executive Chair of the WIGI steering committee states, Weve received numerous requests since 2005 to create a conference program that brings focus to game design and marketing issues when it comes to the female video game consumer. Electronic Arts has provided an outstanding opportunity for Women in Games International to talk about the value of the female audience, not only as a consumer market, but as an untapped resource of talent for this industry.


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