Game Developers Conference cancels in-person event


The 2021 Game Developers Conference has now dropped its planned in-person event. A still-raging pandemic makes it impossible to create a safe space right now.

Game Developers Conference organizer Informa Tech planned to create a hybrid event. While most of the event will still be mostly digital, GDC wanted to push for an in-person event.

With COVID-19 still problematic, they instead opted for an all-digital showcase. This will be the second year that GDC won’t have a physical event, with GDC 2020 canceled last year due to the pandemic.

GDC wants “to be as safe as possible”

In a press release, GDC confirmed that they will keep their dates, but move to all-digital. This comes at a time when a slowdown of video games development is possible, even if market interest is at a record high.

“While we can’t wait to gather in the halls of Moscone together again, and we did consider an in-person component this year, we have decided that it’s more important that our speakers, attendees and sponsors be able to plan ahead, to continue to be as safe as possible, and to spend our attention on delivering the best possible GDC,” said Informa Tech.

GDC will have a digital showcase event from March 15 – 19. The free-to-attend digital event will have several things that fans and aspirants in the industry would love. These include spotlight lectures, Q&A sessions with devs and even podcasts.

Conference valuable to indie devs and freelancers

The Game Developers Conference is one of the most important events for everyone within the games industry. More than a simple convention and keynote speech, devs look forward to the networking it involves. The entire event is especially beneficial to indie devs.

In GDC, many indie devs can find key people they can add to their team. Freelancers can find teams that would need their specific set of skills or expertise. More importantly, it brings much-needed funding to them.

The networking during GDC lets devs and publishers meet and discuss business. By doing so, devs can show their concepts, creations, or even alpha builds. They can then find publishers willing to bankroll the development and create games for fans.

As for fans of the industry, the event is more of a peek of the inner circle. It gives them context into the creation process of their favorite video games. Many young upstarts and students also learn valuable techniques from people within the industry.

In addition to the cancelation of the physical event for Game Developers Conference, Informa Tech also notes that they will give their website, Gamasutra, a “long-overdue rebrand.”

Featured image courtesy of GDC/Press Release

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