July 11, 2017 – Contact: Media Relations, media@austingamecon.com

[click here for photo of John Hanke available for publication]

John Hanke, CEO and Founder, Niantic, Inc., Developer of Pokémon GO, To Deliver Austin Game Conference Opening Keynote

John-_Hanke_Headshot-agckeynote-pressreleaseonline-300x436Austin, Texas – The Austin Game Conference (AGC) – the largest, longest running event dedicated to serving the needs of online game developers – today announced that John Hanke, CEO and Founder, Niantic, Inc., creator of the popular augmented reality mobile game, Pokémon GO, will deliver the show’s opening keynote.

AGC returns to the Austin Convention Center Sept. 21-22, 2017, with the support of the game development community and presenting sponsor Intel. More than 80 speakers will share critical online game development insight across 7 conference tracks: Design, Technical, Production, Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality, Audience Development, Audio and Business.

As CEO, John leads Niantic, an innovative company dedicated to building “Real World” mobile gaming experiences that foster exploration, exercise and social interaction. Niantic has developed and released two games, Ingress and global phenomenon Pokémon GO. The company was originally founded as a start up within Google to explore the creation of new kinds of entertainment at the intersection of location, social, and emerging mobile devices. Niantic was spun out as an independent company in 2015 with backing from investors such as Google, Nintendo and The Pokémon Company.

In the past year since the launch of Pokémon GO, Facebook, Google, Apple, and Snapchat have all started talking about Augmented Realty. And yet many people are still not sure what ‘AR’ is and there is debate about whether it is relevant to gamers in the near term. Hanke will discuss the challenges and opportunities of building augmented reality games. He will provide learnings from developing AR games and running them as live services and discuss what shape augmented reality will take on in the next few years.

“With the debut of Pokémon GO, last year, Niantic brought augmented reality and managed live game services to the forefront of both game development and the general public, creating a tidal wave of interest,” says Christopher Sherman, Austin Game Conference Executive Director. “We’re excited for John to kickoff AGC and share his insight into what they’ve learned developing the game, the Niantic platform, the live service, and how developers can work to develop the next generation on real world games.”

John is joined by more than 80 expert speakers from across the game industry, including individuals from Electronic Arts, Battlecry Studios, Owlchemy Labs, SVRVIVE Studios, Art & Craft Entertainment, Inc., Bungie Studios, ChickenWaffle, Epic Games, Daybreak Game Company, Cloud Imperium Games, Trion Worlds, Riot Games, Twitter, Wicked Fun, Sphero, Sony Interactive Entertainment, HTC Vive, TheWaveVR, Kongregate, Audiokinetic and more. View the full speaker list at http://austingamecon.com/speakers/

Registration Details

Registration is now open. Two primary options are available: All Access Badges and Expo Only badges. All Access Super Early registration before July 22 is $249. A limited number of student tickets are available for $149. Group discounts are also available. For additional information, visit http://AustinGameCon.com/register/

Austin Game Conference is sponsored by Intel, Dolby, MoPub, Google Cloud Platform, Dell Small Business, Level (3), Unreal Engine, EA, ModSquad, Steinberg, GameSparks, Frankfurt Kurnit, BitRaider, and Gamedev.net.

About Austin Game Conference

The Austin Game Conference provides critical insight into developing live, participatory games with real-time engagement between developers, players and spectators. The national event delivers information developers need to create and run always-on, run-live, play-live games as a service. Tracks include design, business/production/live, virtual reality / augmented reality and audience participation (streaming and esports). Created in 2003, AGC was acquired by UBM Tech, the owners of the Game Developers Conference (GDC), in 2006. UBM renamed the show GDC Austin and subsequently GDC Online. UBM hosted it’s last show in 2012. AGC’s original founders relaunched the show in 2016. For more information visit http://AustinGameCon.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.