GDC Preview: Where is the Future of Gaming?
What is the difference between GDC and a supermarket? Well, the answer is too obviously. Supermarket sells daily necessaries, such as chicken, comb, glass, paper cup and so forth. However, GDC is a conference about a bunch of guy discussing the development of the game on stage and at the same time also a large amount of listeners sitting there to think about other things but game development. Nevertheless, GDC, in essence, is quite similar with a supermarket, because it sells ideas for future game development. What are the most important commodities in the information society – idea, creative and brilliant ideas?
Because we just finish the PAX East one day before, which is definitely a game showing event for game industry, it is very easy for us to compare PAX East with GDC. Basically, PAX East is a game showing for the present, and GDC is more like a game technique for the future, which would be more important for the game developer, such as Blizzard Activision, EA, Ncsoft etc. But, the definition of GDC is actually very blurred, sometime, there are several games also unveiling in this conference. Last year Medal of Honor: Warfighter was unveiled, while Battlefield 3 debuted at GDC the year before.
Last year, there are more than 22000 people attending to GDC, and this year the number is over 22500 which basically the same with last year. Various people with different purposes come here to achieve what they want in GDC. For developers, it is a place to discuss the innovative and creative idea with each other, to obtain the inspiration from the millions of unverified ideas. For publishers, it is the best time to choose the talent from the normal, to recruit new guys for their future development. For PR, they could not wait to show off their newest product before the E3. For press, they have to running from one event to the next, collecting information and news as widely as possible.
Anyway, from the whole history of game industry, GDC in this year is utter vital one for gaming, since it is a year for transition. Just as we all have known, MMO game did not perform well recently, with Blizzard lost almost 2 million fans in the World of Warcraft alone, and EA experience a series of unhappiness events, such as the connection issue of SimCity, the resignation of CEO, the security problem of EA origin and so on. In the aspect of platform, the fortune of PS4 is still uncertain, and the mobile, due to its size and convenient, gradually become a significant media for game. Meanwhile, the controversy of free-to-play and pay-to-play is going to a key point in history, and from the situation currently, free-to-play is dominating the industry. Developers now have to figure out a way of monetization with the expansion of free-to-play games.
We'll see more of all of that at this coming GDC, but there will also be something else in the air: anticipation.