The organizers of the 2008 Game Developers Conference announced that a record 18,000 game industry professionals attended the event, held last week at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.
The world’s largest industry-only event grew from more than 16,000 attendees in 2007, and also announced that Game Developers Conference will return to the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA in 2009 - this time taking place almost a month later, on March 23-27.
As for GDC 2008 - with over 400 sessions, a robust expo and career pavilion featuring more than 300 exhibitors and sponsors, and numerous networking events, the five-day conference provided interactive engagement and insight for the industry.
Highlights of the conference (created by CMP, as is Gamasutra) included a keynote address
by Microsoft’s John Schappert, corporate vice president Live, Software and Services for the Interactive Entertainment Business, who shared Microsoft’s vision for the democratization of game distribution through use of their XNA Game Studio development software and the Xbox Live portal.
In the conference’s second keynote address
, the celebrated inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil inspired game developers to think into the future of gaming and consider closely how the power of technology can exponentially grow their capabilities to create more robust and dynamic games, drive community, and revolutionize interactive entertainment.
In addition to the ever-popular lectures, panels, tutorials and roundtable discussions, this year’s summit lineup proved to be of particular interest to attendees as many sessions reached capacity.
Covering emerging and influential sectors of the game industry, the Casual Games Summit, the Game Outsourcing Summit, the IGDA Education Summit, the Independent Games Summit, the Serious Games Summit, and the Worlds in Motion Summit presented cutting edge content and featured sector experts and thought leaders.
Additional highlights to the conference included the 10th Annual Independent Games Festival (IGF), the 8th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards, Game Connection, Video Games Live and the Game Career Seminar.
myGDC, the events newly launched social/professional networking platform, proved to be very popular with attendees attracting 5,000 registered users. Participants were able to create and upload customized attendee profiles and search a database of other profiles; connect with designers, programmers, publishers, GDC speakers, and game professionals; and share conference schedules, projects and ideas.
GDC Executive Director Jamil Moledina commented, “Every year, the GDC’s goal is to deliver tailored learning and networking opportunities for the diverse groups of people who make games. This year’s conference not only exceeded our historical attendance record, but also surpassed expectations in terms of content quality and deal-making productivity.”
For a complete list of GDC 2008 event information, please visit the official Game Developers Conference website