UBM’s 2016 Game Developers Conference Scores Record-setting Performance

March 22, 2016

UBM Game Network's 2016 Game Developers Conference, an event serving professionals dedicated to the art and science of making games, has set a record for event attendance, with more than 27,000 game industry professionals at last week's conference in San Francisco's Moscone Center. 

This year, UBM Game Network also debuted the 2016 Virtual Reality Developers Conference, an event focused on the creation of new video games, entertainment and technology around virtual and augmented reality, which was held alongside GDC. 

GDC 2016 marked the 30th edition of the event, and to celebrate the history and legacy of the conference, the organizers hosted a comprehensive retrospective talk on the history of GDC. 

The main conference opened with the "Flash Backward: 30 Years of Making Games," a session that brought together industry luminaries from GDC's history. 

From conference founder Chris Crawford's talk on the first GDC hosted at his house, to Lori Cole's experiences crafting pioneering PC adventure games, to speakers including Phil Harrison, Ken Lobb, Tim Schafer, Palmer Luckey and others, the session covered insights into the history of game consoles, the birth of digital game distribution and the promising future of virtual reality. 

The annual Independent Games Festival (IGF) and Game Developers Choice Awards also were held, with developer Sam Barlow's “Her Story” winning the IGF Seumas McNally Grand Prize award of $30,000, as well as the IGF award for Excellence in Narrative. 

The IGF ceremony also played host to the ID@Xbox Rising Star Award, that went to Girls Make Games, which is a series of international summer camps, workshops and game jams designed to inspire the next generation of female designers, creators and engineers. 

Barlow made a reappearance on the Awards Show stage, as “Her Story” also went on to win the Game Developers Choice Awards for Innovation, Best Narrative and Best Handheld/Mobile Game during the ceremony that immediately followed the IGF Awards.

The GDCA Game of the Year went to CD Projekt Red for their game, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

The busy showfloors in the Moscone North and South Halls exhibited some of notable names in the tech and games industry, including Amazon, Epic Games, Google, Microsoft, Oculus, Sony, Unity and more than 550 other companies who offered product and tech demonstrations, networking and recruitment opportunities. 

In addition to the exhibit halls, GDC hosted a variety of Interactive Spaces throughout the week. Independent developers and some of the latest indie games were featured in the GDC Train Jam, alt.ctrl.GDC and Mild Rumpus areas, a special edition of Double Fine's "Day of the Devs" and the Indie MEGABOOTH showcase. 

"This year's GDC, paired with the inaugural VRDC, allows us to look both backwards at the legacy and lessons of previous years, and forward to the future of games and VR experiences. Even in its 30th edition, GDC continues to evolve and grow to encompass all of the key lessons, advancements and artistic strides that the industry makes. Once again, the staff, volunteers, speakers, students and attendees have made GDC 2016 an amazing, fun and safe show all around," said Meggan Scavio, general manager of the Game Developers Conference. 

She added, "As technologies mature and tastes in games change, we're happy have a place for all of our friends, colleagues and soon-to-be-friends to meet about, learn about and discuss the games and VR experiences that we love. Games are becoming the most popular form of entertainment in the modern world, so it's only appropriate that GDC carry with it the same spirit of fun, adventure and discovery as the games themselves, just as it has since its beginning."

 

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