This article about the Game Developers Conference (GDC), written by Patrick Lane and Joe Ginex, is from the Mindshare Original Thinker Series.
Founded in 1987, the GDC now attracts over 19,000 attendees during its annual gathering in San Francisco. Initially focusing on computer games, the conference now covers all platforms, including consoles, handheld devices, mobile, smartphone, and tablet devices, and online and PC games, which certainly reflects on the industry's evolution in the past 25 years. The overall focus of the conference is to deliver a show that highlights the ideals of the gaming industry developers and gamer's desire, rather than the industry's current state.
This year's GDC has shown that the gaming space is as dynamic as ever. The focus on consumer-based virtual reality headsets proves that gaming companies are taking risks to identify new ways to engage the hardcore and casual gamer alike. Similar to advertising, risks need to be taken in order to innovate, and eventually, bring new revenue streams to life. Now that creating a blockbuster game title is available to the independent gaming development crowd, a more diverse range of ideas and concepts will be made available to a much larger population. This can be applied to all areas of the gaming space, from hardcore console games to casual mobile games, giving brands the opportunity to reach a very specific or very broad audience through a play experience.
The GDC is the year's primary forum for anything game-developer related. Programmers, artists, producers, game designers, audio professions, business decision makers, and others involved in the development of interactive games gather to exchange ideas and shape the future of the industry.
While advertising is not discussed, it is a good place for industry insiders to learn about what is occurring in the space, and to gather insights into the game development process, current trends, and what lies ahead to apply to client needs.
Below is a list of the key highlights that occurred during the conference: