March 18, 2024

5 mins

Gaming Events and Venues

Juan Jimenez

Marketing Manager

Why Are We Going to GDC 2024?

Starting today, GDC 2024 will gather the most creative and thoughtful minds in the video game industry through one of its most challenging times ever

Being one of the tech industry’s leading pillars, video game development has an impressive, far-reaching community. With several events, gatherings, and workshops worldwide, you could safely say there is a great support network for newcomers and pros; one of the most beautiful things about this industry is that collaboration, innovation, and camaraderie are always right at the corner.

Every year, the Game Developers Conference brings together the best people in the business. This massive venue stands as the most significant event in the video game industry, with the city of San Francisco serving as the preferred agora for gaming creators and developers of all nationalities, races, sexual orientations, and scopes.

Now that 2024 marks the first year we attend the GDC, we thought it would be a terrific idea to tell you more about this prominent meeting of minds – and, after several years in the business, why we decided to make this GDC our first one.

All great stories have a beginning.

A hugely influential and singular voice in video game development, now-retired Chris Crawford led the Computer Game Developers Conference through its starting days

The origins of the Game Developer Conference trace back to Chris Crawford, a luminary in the world of game design, who envisioned a platform where developers could convene, exchange ideas, and foster a sense of community.

In 1988, Crawford's vision materialised as the Computer Game Developers Conference, a modest gathering held in a living room in Chris Crawford's San Jose home. With just 27 attendees, the inaugural conference laid the groundwork for what would soon become a cornerstone event in the gaming industry.

By its second year, the CGDC attracted nearly five times the number of attendees, which made Crawford and its associates hold the conference at a Holiday Inn in Milpitas, California. As the attendance grew, Crawford and his team needed to change venues yearly until 1994 when, after seeing as many as 2,387 attendees, they could afford the creation of the Computer Game Developers Association, with Ernest W. Adams installed as Founding Director.

As the conference evolved, so did its significance. From its humble beginnings, the CGDC blossomed into a vibrant annual congregation, attracting developers, designers, programmers, artists, and industry professionals from around the globe. The conference became a melting pot of ideas where creators could showcase their latest projects, share insights, and engage in spirited discussions on the future of gaming.

This scope change also meant the CGDC could expand its offerings. As years passed, game designers started inviting marketers, lawyers, producers, and other disciplines previously thought of as tangential to the industry, thus creating a monumental gathering of all people relevant to video game development and publishing.

As this increase in attendance also saw people from the nascent console market joining, the conference changed its name to the Game Developers Conference in 1999.

Events and highlights like none other

The Game Developers Choice Awards stand as one of the few peer-based recognitions to the hard work of video game developers in the world

You have probably heard a lot about the Game Developers Conference thanks to the Game Developers Choice Awards, the only peer-based awards show in the video game industry and one of its most prestigious ones alongside the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences DICE Awards. Nevertheless, these awards are only a slight sample of all the fun, career growth, and networking you can find when assisting the GDC.

Since 1998, the Independent Games Festival, or IGF, has granted a yearly total of $50,000 in prizes to independent developers of all experience levels and sizes. Founded by the UBM Technology Group and later acquired by the British publishing and exhibition company Informa in 2018, the IGF has seen some of the most successful, recent indie games make a name for themselves throughout its history.

Games like Inscryption (2022), A Short Hike (2020), Return of the Obra Dinn (2019), Outer Wilds (2015), Papers, Please (2014), and Minecraft (2011) have received the prestigious Seumas McNally Grand Prize to the best indie game presented at the festival. Named after the late developer who won the prize in 2000 thanks to Tread Marks, this award is an excellent measuring tool for the current indie market status and a sure way to find hidden gems.

If you want to learn more about the video game industry and grow your skills, there’s no other place like the GDC to do so. With tutorials, summits, and official keynotes from some of the sector’s most creative and thoughtful voices, you can always find something for you, no matter your discipline or area of interest.

As we have not forgotten that this is fundamentally a gaming expo, you can also find several showcases, workshops, and challenges. GDC Play remains a great way to play indie or small studio games for the first time. Meanwhile, alt.ctrl.GDC – now on its 10th anniversary – will amaze you with the most creative ways to play video games if you haven’t scratched the itch to play Soulslike games with the Donkey Kong drumset.

Our first visit to the GDC

Our Director, James, and our senior Talent Consultant, RJ, are already waiting for you!

It’s no mystery that 2023 and 2024 have been transformative, particularly challenging times for the video game industry. As the sector finds its way among layoffs, studio closures, consolidations gone wrong, and previously thought surefire hits suddenly not seeing enough of a player base among audiences, it becomes clear that only constant communication and close working relationships will set the record straight in the coming months.

Seeing this, we thought this was the right moment to pledge ourselves to the cause. Our Director, James, and one of our senior talent consultants, RJ, arrived in San Francisco last weekend to finally cross out one of our bucket list items: attending the GDC at the city’s legendary Moscone Center.

As one of the leading gaming recruitment firms in the world, we have supported some of the most relevant studios and indie developers, bolstering teams of all sizes and scopes and bridging the gap between them and the most exceptional, almost undiscovered talent out there.

We believe there are always hidden gems and opportunities in crisis and challenging times, and this year is no exception. If our thoughts resonate with you, DM us on our LinkedIn profile or find us among the crowd. Let's catch up and discuss how these months have gone for you, what are your challenges and successes across the gaming space, and how we can find solutions for these issues hand in hand.

We’re sure that we will turn this into an awesome GDC together!

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