Two shows are taking place next month before a more traditional week-long conference later in the year.
This year’s Game Developers Conference is going to entirely consist of a set of online events.
In a post on the GDC website, general manager Katie Stern said that it wouldn’t be holding a physical show in 2021 due to – I mean, honestly, what else? – the global pandemic we are currently living through. Instead, the event organiser said that this year’s GDC will consist of three digital events.
Next month, it will be hosting the GDC Masterclass and Showcase events, which are taking place between March 4 and 5 and March 15 and 19 respectively. The former is a set of virtual workshops where attendees can receive training about “some of the most important challenges facing game developers” at the moment. Meanwhile, the latter is a free show where people who worked on some of the biggest releases around will be giving lectures or taking part in ask me anything (AMA) events.
A more traditional GDC 2021 event will be taking place between July 19 and 23, but online-only. There, attendees will be able to do the usual mix of learning, networking with other people in the industry and so on. The Independent Games Festival and Game Developers Choice Awards will also be held on July 21, with nominations set to be announced in early May.
“Going into 2021, we still have many unknowns, but we have been able to look at the year ahead and reimagine how we can serve the game industry,” Stern wrote.
“Our goals are largely the same: providing resources and great content as well as networking and discussion platforms to connect the industry. But the new constraints around in-person gatherings and travel also brought creativity, and we have been able to develop new formats, and new ways to offer content and community support throughout the year.
“The evolved approach to GDC programs in 2021 allows us to create new offerings such as deep dives for specialized areas and further exploration of timely topics across key industry themes through unique showcases. This is all in addition to producing GDC’s advisory board curated conference program, as well as hosting our annual prestigious award ceremonies by game developers and for game developers.”
This time last year, GDC 2020 was postponed from its usual March slot due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, following numerous big companies like Microsoft, Unity, Epic and Sony saying they wouldn’t be attending due to safety concerns. The event was rescheduled until August, taking place as an online show.