Informa Tech, the organizers of the Game Developers Conference (GDC), the world’s largest and longest-running event for professionals dedicated to the art and science of making games, have revealed a new structure for virtual and physical GDC events for the rest of 2020 and 2021, which are continuing to evolve due to changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the inability to meet in person for the near future, organizers are expanding multiple aspects of its program. GDC 2021 will be held as a hybrid event taking place physically in San Francisco with a robust virtual offering. This will take place from Monday, July 19th through Friday, July 23rd, 2021 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco and online. Organizers are excited to offer a choice of attendance options and possibilities for GDC going forward, and the 2021 event will be the inaugural roll-out of this format. More information on this hybrid event and how to submit lectures to it or exhibit at it will be available in the near future.
In addition to GDC 2021, a set of virtual GDC Master Classes will be launching in late 2020, with the first master classes to be announced in the next few weeks. These master classes will be day-long and multi-day virtual workshops featuring deep-dive looks at particular aspects of the game development craft. GDC sibling website Gamasutra is also launching a series of editorially-led streaming talks from game development notables, to take place later this year, and providing more bite-sized looks at notable game development and business trends.
Finally, a week-long single-track “GDC Community Celebration” will run from March 1 through March 5, 2021, which will stream behind-the-scenes lectures on top games of the past year, high-profile talks, Q&As and more interactive content. Organizers will extend invitations to speakers to present talks and Q&As, with the lineup and sponsorship programs to be confirmed over the coming weeks and months.
The announcement of future content comes at the conclusion of GDC Summer, the first completely virtual GDC, which consisted of three days of multidisciplinary educational and inspirational talks that ran from Tuesday, August 4 through Thursday, August 6. Over 9,700 individuals registered for GDC Summer, which was built from the ground up as a virtual conference and capitalized on the unique benefits of going fully online. The event featured a tailored platform and all-new types of sessions and community activities alongside the top-notch content on which GDC has built its industry-leading reputation and supported by sponsors including Amazon, Epic Games, Microsoft and Unity.
There was an average of 545 virtual attendees per session, with session topics ranging from Ask Me Anything (AMA) interactive talks with Funomena CEO Robin Hunicke and award-winning composer Winifred Phillips, to topics such as how Pokemon Go evolved in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to how Disney makes RPG mechanics work in real life at Disneyland and Disney World in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.