GDC Online debuts Smedley, SWTOR and more!

With GDC Online getting closer, we’re all looking forward to more information, updates and fun interviews. That’s exactly what they’re working on to give us. The show has added a new trio of talks, featuring Sony Online Entertainment’s John Smedley on transitioning to the free to play model, BioWare on the platform supporting Star Wars: The Old Republic, and CCP on nurturing an MMO community.

Gamasutra brings us full details on these new sessions:

– 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 theBusiness 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.

These talks are in addition to those that have already been previously announced. It should definitely be interesting for gamer and MMO fans and anyone with an interest in the video game industry. You can learn more about the games, the staff behind the scenes of many of these games and how they integrate what the fans want with what they are capable of doing. I’m excited to check it out!

Lisa Clark

Lisa has been an avid gamer since she was old enough to hold her first controller and a game writer for more than a decade. A child of the Nintendo generation, she believes they just don’t make games like they used to but sometimes, they make them even better! While consoles will always be her first love, Lisa spends most of her gaming time on the PC these days- on MMOs and first-person shooters in particular.