Game Developers Conference was one of the first major industry events postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since then, just about every other event in the video game industry has either been cancelled, or switched to an online format. In the case of GDC, however, a new event was announced for this August, in the hope that the pandemic might have come to an end. Unfortunately, it seems that announcement might have been a bit optimistic. Today, the event's organizers announced that the conference will officially shift to a digital format. The event is still scheduled to take place from August 4-6.
In the statement announcing the change, the event's organizers cited how so many development teams are currently working remotely, and how that served as an inspiration for the change in format. The coronavirus pandemic has forced many development teams to adapt to working remotely, and some teams have found more success than others. Since Game Developers Conference has always served as a way for developers to discuss their craft, this year could prove to be rather interesting. It seems that many around the industry will have something to say about difficulties related to the new reality.
It will be interesting to see how the shift in format will play out, and what kind of interest the event will generate. Events such as E3 have historically focused more on the spectacle of gaming, while GDC focuses more on development. The conference typically features a number of roundtables, talks, and more. The digital version of GDC will likely retain these elements, albeit in a slightly different format.
GDC Summer is going fully digital https://t.co/mB52abYdSE— Official_GDC (@Official_GDC) April 30, 2020
While it's still possible that things could improve by the show's August start date, the timing of the announcement makes it more likely that developers can plan ahead for the event. It will also help the event's organizers plan ahead, in order to make the event work out in the best possible way. It's certainly disappointing to see the conference once again forced to make changes, but it certainly makes sense, and it should help to keep everyone involved safe.
Are you disappointed to see GDC Summer switch to an all-digital format? Do you plan on viewing any of the event online? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!