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GDC goes virtual for the second consecutive year

A part of Informa tech Division, the Game Developers Conference is the world’s largest and longest-running professional game industry event with unmatched education and networking opportunities.

GDC 2019 concluded its 33rd edition after a week of inspiration and celebrated a record-breaking attendance with a total of 29,000 industry professionals at the Moscone Convention Centre in San Francisco from March 18-22. GDC 2019 hosted a slew of content over the course of the week, including a total of more than 780 lectures, panels, tutorials and roundtable discussions, as well as more than 550 exhibitors on the Expo Floor.

In 2020, GDC was one of the first events to be cancelled. With major companies like Sony, Microsoft, Epic Games, and others pulling out due to safety concerns, the 2020 event was eventually postponed and converted into an all-digital event

The 2020 edition of GDC was set to host hundreds of panels, talks, and roundtables, but with the conference postponed due to COVID-19, organisers instead broadcasted a selection of self-recorded developer sessions on the streaming platform Twitch.

And for the second consecutive year, The Game Developers Conference will be fully digital. Katie Stern, VP, Entertainment Market at Informa Tech announced on Thursday.

GDC 2021 will provide a familiar lineup of educational and business-focused presentations from developers, the Game Developers Choice Awards and Independent Games Festival awards ceremonies, plus some new attractions. Rather than the event taking place during a single week, conference organizers are planning content that will run through the year.

The GDC Showcase (March 15 – 19) will be free-to-attend digital event, featuring lectures, Ask-Me-Anything sessions with developers, interactive panels, podcasts, and more.

In addition to all the new material, the actual GDC 2021, including the familiar series of event-exclusive lectures on game development and business, will take place from July 19 – 23.

More GDC-branded events are also planned for later in 2021, Katie Stern promised more information soon. Conference organizers are also still planning to publish their annual State of the Game Industry survey, which provides data on industry employment, technology and business trends, as well as diversity and accessibility measures.

Conference organizers also published a report after last year’s event cancellation, detailing how industry workers felt the COVID-19 pandemic had impacted their work. The report found that one in three developers had their game delayed due to the pandemic.

The global gaming industry grew from $150 billion in 2019 to $162.32 billion in 2020, one of the few industries that witnessed a growth amidst the pandemic.