MIT Sloan to host its first ever Business in Gaming Conference on May 8, 2009

Red Sox's Curt Schilling to lead discussion on Massively Multiplayer Online video games' business model

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 10, 2009 — Digital distribution, marketing, and in-game advertising are the themes of MIT Sloan School of Management's inaugural Business in Gaming Conference being held on Friday, May 8, 2009 on the business school's campus. The conference will bring together industry leaders, game developers, academics, and students from leading MBA schools to discuss the newest business trends and the future of the gaming industry.

The Boston Red Sox's three-time World Series champion Curt Schilling is slated to speak on a Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) Business Model panel. Schilling became involved on the business end of the gaming industry over a decade ago in a relationship with Sony Online Entertainment, and, later, as the official spokesperson for the 3DO Company's High Heat Baseball. In 2006, he brought his passion for gaming to life with the inception of 38 Studios, a video game development and publishing company.

Ken Levine, president of 2K Boston, who led the creation of the multi-million selling, multiple game-of-the year award winning title, BioShock, will serve as the conference's inaugural key note speaker.

Other speakers will include:

Susan Bonds, 42 Entertainment's president and CEO. Bonds, the brains behind creative publicity campaigns for games such as Halo, guided the creative team behind this year's most successful ARG ‘WhySoSerious’ to promote the award-winning The Dark Knight;

John Rizzo, CEO of Zeebo, who spearheaded the creation of the first fully managed digital distribution console; and

Scot Osterweil, MIT research director and designer of Zoombinis Island Odyssey and the games Switchback and Yoiks!

Panelists from Turbine, creator of the Lord of the Rings Online and D&D Online, and Mythic, creator of Warhammer Online, will talk about the future of this segment's business model.

Representatives from such companies as Google, Massive, GamerDNA, and Mana Potions will address in-game advertising.

Attendees, who will receive demo gift bags, will have access to gaming stations throughout the day featuring Rock Band 2 — which was created by a group of MIT alumni — and Alienware Extreme Gaming Laptops. In addition, some games used for non-entertainment purposes such as education and for the military, will also be showcased.

“Few gaming industry conferences focus exclusively on the business side of the gaming industry,” says MIT Sloan MBA Dennis Fu, one of the organizers of the student-run conference. “MIT, in conjunction with MIT Sloan, is the birthplace of companies such as Harmonix Music Systems, giving it a unique edge to lead in this area.”

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