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Thursday, December 21, 2006
EA Hosts Women in Games International Conference

Women in Games International, a non-profit organization in the interactive entertainment industry, today announced their debut conference in 2007, titled “From Production to Profit: Creating and Marketing Games for Women."

The Women in Games International-San Francisco conference will be held at Electronic Arts in Redwood City, CA, from 1 pm to 7 pm on Tuesday, March 6.

At this half-day conference, WIGI representatives and industry experts 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 top 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, VP 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.

A game industry veteran, Bradshaw has worked for several leading publishers including Activision, Lucas Arts and Electronic Arts. Most notably, as executive producer of The Sims 2, the fastest selling PC game of all time, she oversaw overall game design and played a key role in its unprecedented success. She is currently leading production for EA’s highly anticipated title, SPORE, which won several prestigious Game Critics Awards at E3 2006 including: Best PC Game, Best Original Game, and Best Simulation.

Bradshaw offers, “To put it in financial terms, the game industry leaves money on the table by focusing primarily on male consumers. But that’s because most developers haven’t 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, “We’ve 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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