The big annual Game Developers Conference is back in San Francisco from its Monday morning opening and will run until Thursday at the Moscone Center, with double the attendance expected from last year’s abbreviated version.
The big conferences are back in San Francisco in 2022, they just haven’t been that big. But the conference industry is hoping to return to normal size this year. And on Monday morning, the 37th Annual Game Developers Conference (GDC), which bills itself as “the world’s largest event for professionals dedicated to the art and science of game development,” is back in full force at the Moscone Center. After a 2022 iteration of about 10,000 attendees, this year’s organizers told the Bay Area News Group that “attendance is forecast to exceed 24,000” at this conference, which runs until Thursday.
#GDC2023 Here! The organizers say that this year’s San Francisco Game Developers Conference will return to pre-pandemic proportions – and the queue for the badges shows that they are not joking! It covers 3/4 of the way around the Moscone Center and continues to grow! pic.twitter.com/J2sku8Ps9l
— Jonathan Bloom (@BloomTV) March 19, 2023
We have some reports from the field and the queues were long enough that attendance could actually reach this number. I hope these guys are wearing deodorant!
Images from the official GDC Flickr page show fairly large crowds, albeit with very few masks except for paid employees. And there aren’t any major crossover personalities in the speaker line-up (they had a boyfriend from Wordle last year), but events director Stephanie Hawkins told the Bay Area newsgroup, “We have over 330 exhibitors and over 700 sessions.”
The big topics of the last year were Web 3, crypto and NFT, which are now mostly in the closet. But the favorite of the conference this year will be artificial intelligence. “The new technology that has generated the most buzz is artificial intelligence thanks to the success of OpenAI’s ChatGPT,” according to the Bay Area News Group. “One panel will talk about how industry experts see the impact of AI on the future of games in terms of design. [as] integration of AI into existing games. Another session will focus on the direct impact of AI on the real world, with a focus on the relationship between generative AI and artists.”
The conference runs until Thursday, and tickets range from $293 to $2,204. It’s probably a little cool if your work isn’t paid for it. But it’s certainly great for South of Market to have these hungry, thirsty, afterparty goers in the area, and it’s nice to welcome back a conference that doesn’t lament San Francisco or threaten to move to Las Vegas or Austin.
Connected: Big Conferences Return as Game Developers Conference Returns to Moscone Center [SFist]
Image: @Official_GDC via twitter