This year's GDC Online is set to have some talks that are sure to be of interest to MMO fans, including John Smedley on the future of free-to-play in MMOs, a technical talk on Star Wars: The Old Republic, and CCP Games on community feedback and metrics.
Full details below:
First, John Smedley, the president of Sony Online Entertainment, will discuss how the company transitioned its entire game lineup to the free to play model in the Business and Marketing track lecture, "Free-to-Play: Driving the Future of MMOs."
Referencing games from EverQuest to Planetside 2 (pictured), Smedley will share some of SOE's insights and lessons learned to help other developers successfully adopt the free to play model. With this knowledge, attendees will walk away understanding how to grow not only their player base, but also their overall revenue.
Over in the Production track, Dave Moore, BioWare's senior director of platform services, will explain how he and the studio established a robust and scalable platform for the major MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic.
During the session, "Building the Scalable Platform for SWTOR," Moore will discuss how the studio prepared for the game's launch, sharing the technical details and implementation decisions that helped ensure everything worked once the game went live.
Finally, CCP senior researcher Petur Oskarsson will host the Customer Experience track session, "Ear to the Ground - MMO Community Feedback & Metrics for Decision Making," during which he'll share his insight on how to best nurture an online game community.
Using examples from CCP's own EVE Online, Oskarsson will outline the dos and don'ts of metrics-driven community management to help developers identify common pitfalls, learn how to best incorporate player feedback, and make their games better and their communities more active.
GDC Online will be held at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX from October 9-11, 2012.