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GDC 2019 sets a new attendance record

The Game Developers Conference breaks a new record for attendees, and confirms dates for 2020.

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GDC 2019

The 2019 Game Developers Conference (GDC) breaks a new attendance record, and confirms dates for 2020.

Organisers of the 2019 Game Developers Conference (GDC) say that the event – its 33rd edition – broke last year’s record attendance with a total of 29,000 industry professionals descending upon San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center.

This year’s conference featured over 780 talks, panels, and tutorials, as well as a new marquee event, GDC Main Stage: The Developer’s Journey, that was headlined by Media Molecule’s Siobhan Reddy, Hello Games’ Sean Murray, and Laralyn McWilliams.

Over 550 companies exhibited at the conference expo, and there were a range of other events for attendees to experience, including the GDC Film Festival, the Indie MegaBooth, Double Fine’s Day of the Devs, Train Jam, and the Mild Rumpus.

The achievements of game developers large and small were also recognised at the 19th annual Game Developers Choice Awards, and the 21st annual IGF Awards, with Lucas Pope’s Return of the Obra Dinn the big winner of the night.

Katie Stern, general manager of GDC, said:

“The Game Developers Conference evolves with every year, encompassing new trends, new technologies and bringing up new questions for the whole industry to reckon with. GDC brings people together, and gives developers a space to solve those problems and invent the solutions to help developers make better games that can be enjoyed by more people. This year, we concluded GDC with eyes wide open for the challenges and potential for the future of games. We’re even more in awe of the hard work it takes to create compelling games and appreciative of the connections made here to facilitate better games and better work environments to come.”

Much of the chatter at this year’s GDC was related to the inevitable future of cloud gaming services, with Google Stadia and Microsoft’s Project xCloud all providing plenty of food for thought.

And, as usual, the talks and sessions provided opportunities for developers to meet their peers, and learn from some of the industry’s leading lights.

In the sessions we attended, we discovered how Naughty Dog created the famous elephant ride in Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, how Asobi Studio redefined VR platforming in Astro Bot Rescue Mission, and how Treyarch nailed swinging through the streets of Manhattan in Spider-Man 2. Check back over the next week for a few more reports.

GDC 2019

GDC Vault

All of this year’s GDC talks will shortly be available to view on the GDC Vault. The library will be available to All Access pass holders and individual Vault subscribers. A selection of talks will also be free to view.

The dates for next year’s Game Developer Conference have also been confirmed. The show will run from Monday, March 16 to Friday, March 20, 2020, and will once again be held at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.

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Thumbsticks editor, and connoisseur of Belgian buns. Currently playing: Fire Emblem Three Houses, Skyrim (still), and Grid.