With E3 moving to a 5,000 person media-centric event, GDC has been elevated to the world's largest trade event dedicated to the game industry, with attendees numbering more than 12,500 including more than 1,000 members of the working press. 2007 will be the first year of GDC's long-term relocation to San Francisco, after its high growth trajectory necessitated the move to accommodate the expanding attendee base. When GDC was last in San Francisco in 2005, the show occupied the three floors of Moscone West. For GDC 07, the organizers reserved both Moscone West and Moscone North. With the Moscone West show floor virtually sold out, the organizers have now additionally secured the keynote hall in Moscone South in order to convert Moscone North into a second dedicated show floor. This will allow the GDC to accommodate the voluminous requests coming in for exhibition space and to include fresh exhibitor opportunities, such as the all-new Game Demo Theater.
"As GDC enters its 20th year, it emerges as the event with the largest gravitational pull of any other game industry-only event," said Jamil Moledina, executive director of the GDC. "While it remains our primary goal to serve the game development community and ensure that the session-based half of GDC remains unchanged, we also believe it is time to dramatically upgrade the range of expo opportunities. The result of our expansion is that GDC becomes the natural choice for all companies in the game industry ecosystem to exhibit and conduct business."
The traditional business of GDC has centered on the creation of development deals for publishing games, an environment fostered through a mix of industry-defining conference sessions, a broad constellation of targeted networking receptions and the Game Connection matchmaking system. In recent years, however, the event has grown far beyond its developer core, with a show floor, networking and visibility options that enable companies to build buzz for their products, connect with the right buyers, build international exposure and form strategic partnerships.
The new show floor is built around a core of existing GDC expo suites and a networking lounge, surrounded by publishers, developers, outsourcers, middleware providers, peripheral companies, component companies, mobile game companies, casual game companies, serious game companies, online game companies, licensed IP holders, and international consortia. These groups complement the existing GDC exhibitors of platform companies, tool providers, and technology providers. Vendors on the new floor have a choice between booth space, expo suites and meeting rooms, while publishers and developers have the chance to demonstrate upcoming games in the brand new Game Demo Theater.
"The GDC is always working on answering developers' needs and requests. Once again, we have proof of that," remarked Julien Merceron, Worldwide CTO of Eidos Interactive. "Most challenges for developing next-gen games come from building extremely efficient pipelines using cutting-edge programming techniques on more complex architectures. More expo space will allow the GDC to cover more diverse technologies, accommodate larger booths - which facilitate better evaluation conditions - and provide progressive companies that are working on the fringe of our industry with a showcase for their products."
"With these changes, we're getting to see even more of the latest technologies, the ones that will fuel the next generation of video games, without standing in line and without deafening music - that's what makes the GDC Expo floor special," noted David Perry, CEO, GameConsultants.com
GDC has historically provided, and will continue to provide, dedicated networking and reception events for developers, publishers, serious game companies, mobile companies, and East-West collaboration. GDC is adding a casual/independent reception, as well as a dedicated Independent Games Conference to augment the Independent Games Festival (IGF), the oldest and most prestigious game innovation laboratory, that also takes place at GDC. Both the IGF and the Game Developers Choice Awards, the most widely respected peer-based game industry awards event, provide new visibility opportunities for companies not endemic to the game industry.
For more information about the Game Developers Conference, please visit www.gdconf.com.