[Well, it's incredibly early in the cycle, but hey, the GDC website is open, there's some new summits announced, and I'm looking forward to seeing what my colleagues at the conf come up with for this year's event - should be mega.]

Game Developers Conference organizer Think Services has opened registration for next year's GDC event, to be held in San Francisco's Moscone Center from March 23 to 27, 2009.

Also announced was the addition of new summits falling under the GDC umbrella. These summits, which take place on the Monday and Tuesday of GDC week, are aimed at providing specialized coverage for various crucial development categories and practices.

In addition, the traditional Wednesday to Friday main conference, including major keynotes and existing Audio, Business, Game Design, Production, Programming, and Visual Arts tracks will continue for 2009.

Newly established Monday-Tuesday summits include the AI Summit and Localization Summit, bringing the total summit count to nine, as follows:

- AI Summit
- Casual Games Summit
- Game Outsourcing Summit
- GDC Mobile
- Independent Games Summit
- IGDA Education Summit
- Localization Summit
- Serious Games Summit
- Worlds in Motion Summit

Longstanding GDC initiatives such as the GDC Career Pavilion, the Independent Games Festival, the Game Developers Choice Awards, and the Game Career Seminar will also continue.

"You can expect more specialized content through our new and existing summits in conjunction with compelling talks in our main conference," said event director Meggan Scavio, a 10-year veteran of the conference.

"The Game Developers Conference prides itself on continually improving the conference experience based on the needs of our attendees and the industry. With the help of feedback from the community, our advisory board, and editorial staff, we've crafted a conference this year that speaks to the changing landscape of the games industry."

More information on next year's GDC line-up, hotel details and registration specifics are available on the official Game Developers Conference 2009 website.