Prince of Persia Creator Keynotes IN 2010 Conference

By Paul Hunter

It's no secret that Ontario is a growing hotbed for video game development, with investment in the province heating up in recent years. Building on Ontario's growing prominence in the global games industry, Interactive Ontario will soon be presenting their flagship 2010 IN Conference, a cross-platform, multi-stream conference where vetrans of the interactive industry from around the world come to share their knowledge, and showcase their cutting edge technologies. This year's event will be taking place from September 12-14 at the Carlu in Toronto.

Keynoting this year's conference is video game designer, author, and screenwriter, Jordan Mechner, best known as the creator of the Prince of Persia franchise, which has sold over 14 million games to date. Mechner's first break into mainstream gaming was in 1984 with his hit game Karateka, a side-scroller brawler created for the Apple II while he attended Yale University. Five years later he made Prince of Persia, a revolutionary game that combined cinematic storytelling with fluid animation and intelligent puzzle design. The game is credited with spawning an entire sub-genre of gaming known as cinematic platformers, characterized by their life-like character motion, emphasis on cinematics to move the narrative along, and multi-screen stages that do not scroll. Games influenced by Prince of Persia include Flashback, Out of This World, Heart of the Alien, and the recent Xbox Live Arcade game Limbo.

Mechner made news earlier this year when he adapted his own work as a feature film with Disney's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, the movie claimed the title of the world's highest grossing video game adaptation ever, and ranked as the third highest opening weekend for a video game adaptation, behind Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Pokémon: The First Movie. Disney also had Mechner pen Prince of Persia: Before the Sandstorm, a graphic novel prequel to the film.

Other seasoned video game industry leaders who will be presenting at this year's IN Conference including:

Jade Raymond, Managing Director, Ubisoft Toronto
Denis Dyack, Founder and President, Silicon Knights
Lenny Brown, Director, IP Development, THQ
Justin Cooney, Senior ISV Account Manager, Sony Computer Entertainment America
Trevor Fencott, CEO, Bedlam Games
Fredrik Liliegren, CEO, Antic Entertainment
Scott Simpson, Co-Founder & CEO, Playbrains
Jesse Divnich, Vice President of Analyst Services, EEDAR
Chris Donahue, Publisher/Developer Relations, OnLive

The IN 2010 program will be divided into the following five specialty streams: Mobile, Social Media, Games, Cross Platform and Visionary. The Games stream is focused on how to exploit intellectual gaming properties along multiple entertainment verticals such as console, mobile, social, and film. Session presenters will be discussing current trends with an examination of the challenges and opportunities that exist in crossover projects.

For more information on IN 2010, check out the event website at: