GDC Austin 2009: The Universe of World of Warcraft Keynote

Production Director J. Allen Brack and Frank Pearce, Co-Founder & Executive Vice President of Product Development, Blizzard Entertainment will direct a keynote on Thursday, September 17 during the 7th Annual Game Developers Conference (Austing GDC 2009) which takes place at the Austin Convention Center.

The keynote is titled: The Universe of World of Warcraft

Thursday, September 17, 9:30 – 10:30am
Design and implementation is only part of the process in running a massively multiplayer game. Maintaining the player base and achieving sustained growth requires a collective and consistent effort from numerous departments beyond the development team. This discussion will offer an in-depth look at the operational complexities of running a large-scale MMO, including some specific lessons Blizzard Entertainment has learned with World of Warcraft.

J. ALLEN BRACK
Production Director
Blizzard Entertainment

As the production director on World of Warcraft®, J. Allen Brack is responsible for coordinating the efforts of the game's development team as it creates new content to keep the experience fresh and exciting. This involves overseeing all aspects of the project and managing the production of patches and expansions from initial conception through release.

Brack started at Blizzard Entertainment® in January 2006 as a senior producer in charge of content, playing a major role in the creation of new zones, dungeons, and quests for World of Warcraft's first expansion pack,The Burning Crusade®. Prior to joining Blizzard, he worked at Origin Systems, Inc. on the Wing Commander® franchise and then at Sony Online Entertainment LLC on Star Wars Galaxies®.

In his spare time, Brack enjoys playing a wide variety of games, practicing martial arts, and reading.

FRANK PEARCE
Co-Founder & Executive Vice President of Product Development
Blizzard Entertainment

As Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.'s executive vice president of product development, Frank Pearce plays a critical role in the development of all Blizzard Entertainment® titles. This involves coordinating the work of multiple teams in order to ensure that every project maintains the same polish and quality that mark all Blizzard Entertainment games.

Pearce takes an active role in the ongoing development of World of Warcraft® as the current executive producer, and he recently oversaw the development of World of Warcraft's first expansion pack, The Burning Crusade®, and its second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King™. Before this, he directed the development process of Warcraft® III: Reign of Chaos™ and Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne™. Currently, Pearce is coordinating the development of the highly-anticipated StarCraft® II.

Since cofounding Blizzard Entertainment with Allen Adham and Mike Morhaime in 1991, Pearce has been deeply involved in the company's projects. Games he has worked on include Amiga ports of various licensed titles, as well as The Lost Vikings™, Blackthorne™, Justice League Task Force™, and The Lost Vikings II for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness™, Diablo®, StarCraft, StarCraft: Brood War™, and Diablo II for the PC, among others.

Pearce holds a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science and engineering from the University of California in Los Angeles.

Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003. I post news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film.

Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers.

I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com)

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