Game Guys' GDC 2013 preview

7:56 PM, Mar 5, 2013   |    comments
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Game Developers Conference (GDC) is the world's largest professionals-only game industry event.

In just under a month, more than 22,000 people directly associated with the video games and electronic entertainment industry will descend upon San Francisco's Moscone Center for the 2013 Game Developers Conference (GDC).

A professionals-only event in its 27th year, GCD is a forum for learning, inspiration, and networking those who create game software for computer, console, handheld, smartphone, tablet, mobile, and online games.  In short, it's a big deal.

"GDC is the one place in the year where the entire game industry community comes and conducts business and talks about how to make better games," explained Megan Scavio, General Manager of GDC.

As could be expected due to the recent announcement by Sony about the PlayStation 4 expected to release near the end of the year, there will be a lot of talk about game development for the platform, as well as development for the various other home and portable gaming consoles.  What might come as a surprise to some, however, is that no more than 14% of those attending have reported developing at least one title for a home or portable gaming console.  Even more surprising is that less than 5% are currently working on a game for Nintendo's newest console, the Wii U.  Of the traditional gaming platforms, only the PC shows solid support with a reported 48% of this year's attendees saying they have a game in development for the platform.

Scavio says this is a major sign that the games industry, as a whole, is changing.

"You've got more and more developers now making games on smartphones and tablets that the three major console makers...don't play as big of a role as they used to," she stated.

In fact, while in the past it may have been true that the three major console makers (Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo) along with major publishers such as Electronic Arts and Square-Enix, might have dominated the bulk of the snow, as much as 53% of 2013's attendees define themselves as independents.

Gaming hardware is also touched upon during the conference with companies, such as audio company Turtle Beach who's attended past GDCs, showing what is currently available as well as what is in the works.  Furthermore, there will be panels discussing virtual reality and the hardware necessary for that.  Scavio also says that the new Nvidia gaming handset will also be a subject of discussion this year.

Organized by the UBM Tech Game Network, GDC 2013 will take place March 25-29 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California.  The event technically open to the public with GDC charging a $250 fee for those wanting access to the expo floor, but it's focus is on those in the industry rather than the consumer.


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