GDC 2023 live attendees could double to 24K | The DeanBeat

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The Game Developers Conference 2023 Next week’s event could draw up to 24,000 people in person in San Francisco, double last year’s figure.

Stephenie Hawkins, event production manager for media & entertainment at Informa Tech, said in an interview with GamesBeat that it is expected GDC the attendance reflects the affection between game developers looking to get back together in real life after a few difficult pandemic years.

“We are definitely aiming to surpass that number. In fact, I think we’re just a few thousand short at the moment,” Hawkins said. “So it’s really fun to watch.”

She also said the exhibition halls at the Moscone Convention Center will be completely filled, with 330 exhibitors, up from 200 last year, when only 12,000 people attended in person. GDC 2023 will have a total of 730 discussions, up from more than 600 discussions last year. Those talks will range from a session about Wordle to a remake of Electronic Arts’ horror survival game Dead Space.


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Stephenie Hawkins is event production manager for media & entertainment at Informa Tech.

This will be large on a scale far beyond the gaming crowd I saw this week at SXSW Gaming in Austin, Texas, where there was about three days of game programming between the larger SXSW entertainment and tech show. SXSW has a good viewership, even though they’re spread across town. By comparison, GDC is heavily concentrated around downtown San Francisco.

Much of the old intimacy and community will return, Hawkins said, to help developers establish human connections. Attendees will be required to present proof of vaccination to gain entry.

“It was our biggest show ever,” says Hawkins. “We are using all of our conference rooms. That’s a good problem to have.

core theme

We can see crowded rooms like this one in GDC 2019.
In 2023, we could see crowded rooms like this one in GDC 2019.

Hawkins said core topics will focus on jobs and the future of the industry; community space for partners; and access to lower prices to pass for industry participants.

“We have quite a bit of stuff around these areas that we’re bringing back or if you remember the huge job board we had, and you can stick jobs on it,” says Hawkins.

Of course, the event took place in San Francisco, where hotel rooms are still very expensive. And it won’t be easy for people to come to the city from many of the world’s poorest countries where game developers are struggling.

Rami Ismail, a developer advocate, pointed out that GDC has decided to remove the #1ReasonToBe dashboard that featured developers from around the world and paid for them to speak. I loved hearing those talks over the years. It started as a council for women and Ismail has turned it into a global diversity session. He then switched to another developer but GDC decided not to fund it, he said. He was very “angry” about it and decided to skip GDC for that reason.

Ashley Corrigan, summit producer at GDC, said in an interview that GDC 2023 has incorporated a lot of diversity issues into its program, including an advocacy track with many sessions. Talks include Microtalks Advocacy: Cultivate Your Karass; Black excellence in game development: The designer’s dilemma; Games as Roundtable on Cultural Representation; It Takes A Village: Building gaming and disability programming; and How Muslims Work in the Game Roundtable (presented by IGDA).

“It is very important to us to support and elevate the underrepresented and marginalized voices at GDC,” said Corrigan. “Most of the show is created by an advisory board (114 people) and they work hard” to cover different topics and issues.

Ashley Corrigan is a summit producer at GDC.

These talks show the industry more through the lens of different things game creators are doing to spark discussion or make you think differently about how you develop your games – all in the spirit of shaping and engaging your community.

Bring back the community

The idiots will be back at GDC 2023.

Hawkins hopes people will find enough reasons to join the GDC, which will feature networking sessions and recruiting resources at a time when the industry is facing a tough global economy. GDC has a Gaming Career Workshop as a resource for attendees, and there will be “speed dating” sessions for developers.

There will be interactive events where developers can play board games together. The sound room will feature acoustic instruments where developers can have social sessions. There will be a game storytelling space where developers can create a team story. Developers Day will also return inside GDC.

Managed by the Museum of Digital Arts and Entertainment (MADE) in Oakland and featuring community partner Civic Design Studios, GDC Arcade Play is a community space that offers attendees a unique experience. test
place to play and enjoy more than a dozen games that have shaped the industry.

Hawkins noted that Xsolla will be hosting a game night on Tuesday night as a partner event, and that it will take place inside GDC and as an alcohol-free event (the alcoholic version is Thursday night). Two). And developers can connect with other attendees and sponsors to exchange contact information through the event’s mobile app.

There will be 60-minute thematic discussions focusing on pressing industry issues from mental health to being an effective ally to navigate gender-based discrimination, etc. Black in Gaming will take place on March 23 at 6pm Pacific Time.

And on Sunday, before GDC will be Amplify New Voices, where young and diverse developers are trained to be good public speakers. The event will also feature its first student day on March 24, where high school students and older students will receive career counseling.

Developer Summit

There’s a guy staring at the camera here.

About two dozen developer conferences take place on Mondays and Tuesdays, and they cover familiar areas of interest to developers. A template includes artificial intelligence summit, free games summit, tablet summit, visual effects summit, home summit education and summit on future reality.

The latter covers topics such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and human spatial computing. You will also likely spot a lot of sponsored blockchain and metaverse gaming sessions. It’s always a good way to see what’s hot at the moment by watching sessions with long lines.

Jon Radoff is also hosting an outside meeting for artificial intelligence. Radoff said the session had a capacity of 450 attendees and a waiting list of more than 500 people.

Lots of prizes

Moscone Center West in GDC 2022.

The awards show will return with both the Indie Game Festival (IGF) and Game Developers’ Choice Awards (GDCA) on Wednesday, March 22, where developers and attendees can get prizes.
opportunity to reflect and celebrate the craft and dedication of the artists behind the best of the year titles.

John Romero, co-creator of Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake and more, will receive a Lifetime Achievement at the 23rd annual Game Developers’ Choice Awards, voted for by peers. .

Mabel Addis, recognized as the first female game designer, will receive the Pioneer Award, which honors breakthrough milestones in business, technology and game design. Addis was the principal designer of the 1964 Sumerian Game. She was an elementary school teacher and developed the title on the side, leveraging her degree in ancient history from Barnard College. She passed away in 2004.

The GDC main session will cover the Future of Gaming on March 22, with talks from speakers like former Blizzard president Jen Oneal, who recently announced Magic Soup Games’ startup himself with co-founders J. Allen Brack and John Donham. Oneal will talk about working remotely. Other speakers at Future of Play include Chandana Ekanayake, creative director of Outerloop Games, and Robert Anderberg, CEO of ControlZee. Ekanayake will talk about designing narratives for the game that shed light on underrepresented communities, and Anderberg will talk about user-generated content.

We will also see a lot of parties. The most common types of parties I see invited are in-game venture funds and M&A advisors. Obviously, the game industry is still hot and attracts all the rich people in the world.

I’ll be broadcasting a live chat with Xsolla president Chris Hewish on Thursday at around 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time at the Xsolla booth. And I would roam the town on a set schedule from morning until late at night. See you all there.

GamesBeat’s Faith when covering the game industry as “where passion meets business.” What does that mean? We want to let you know how important the news is to you — not just as a decision maker at the game studio, but as a fan of the game. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy interacting with it. Explore our Briefings.


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