In this week’s Roundtable episode, Nicolas Vereecke, David Amor, and Fawzi Itani join your host Maria Gillies in person at GDC 2022 to discuss what they’ve learned from the event. The group covers their individual experiences at the event, what they’ve each learned based on their various roles in the industry, and whether or not attending GDC is worth the investment.

Context of GDC

  • Pitched more towards builders, relative to other major gaming summits e.g. E3 and DICE
  • Prestigious and competitive to speak at GDC → generally high quality talks
  • Talks are available online after the event as well
  • Highly collaborative culture, many generous under-the-hood insights

In-Person Events in San Francisco

  • Experience seems similar to previous years, but parts of SF can feel unsafe

The Range of Intents

  • Take the temperature of games industry
  • Learn about new approaches and experiences from a product and development perspective
    • Albeit that sessions differ in quality and insight
  • In-person pitches, exploring inbound projects
  • Develop connections and network
    • Especially for those who are newer to the industry, finding on-the-spot mentorship
    • Meeting people who are peers, or might later be co-founders or early hires
    • Validation from people who’ve found Naavik’s content and the Metacast useful

Unique Value of In-Person Events

  • Wider-ranging conversations, relationship-building and networking
  • In terms of fund-raising, likely more effective to focus on informal relationship-building, rather than being laser-focused on leaving with term sheets
    • Environment at conference not necessarily conducive to pitches
  • Acknowledge that the costs of travel, accommodation, attendance are significant
    • Content can be accessed online, so focus should be on environment and people

Noteworthy Ideas and Trends

  • Strong focus on AI in games, to reduce costs of game development and support content treadmill (discussed in earlier Roundtable)
  • Energy around Web3 space, evidenced by strong attendance at talks and general open-mindedness
    • Don’t have to be anti- or pro-Web3 necessarily, can strike a middle ground
  • Better use-cases for emerging tech, e.g. VR for esports or Apple’s upcoming AR glasses