Yet another change is here for the Game Developers Conference. The replacement event, GDC Summer, is still happening from August 4 to 6, but it will be online-only. The summer conference was originally planned as an in-person event like GDC typically is. However, the current state of the world is changing that once again.
Initially scheduled for earlier this year, March 16 through 20, the Game Developers Conference 2020 postponed after the coronavirus pandemic changed the entire video game industry. This included a string of major game publishers like Activision, Epic Games, Microsoft, and more working remotely. Many of those leading game publishers pulled out of GDC entirely, as well. And it wasn’t long after that that GDC formally moved its live showing to the summer.
However, the video game industry continues its shift to remote work months after the initial postponement as the coronavirus remains a global issue. GDC Summer is embracing this method of interaction by adapting its format to meet everyone where they are without the need for a physical event in San Francisco.
Despite the shift, plans are still in place to ensure that it will deliver the same “high-quality content and networking opportunities” that developers expect from GDC, according to the official website.
However, GDC already held a digital event in March, when it was initially scheduled to take place. Various talks took place ranging from a deep dive into ray tracing for Minecraft to how The Witcher 3 came to Nintendo Switch.
Many streams of those discussions are available online, so it’s unclear how GDC Summer will differ, especially since there is typically only one GDC event per year. This is also the first time in the conference’s 32 year history that there is no in-person meeting will take place.
With the future of the game industry unknown at this time, it is understandable to move the summer replacement event to an online format. More information regarding GDC Summer and how the event will work online is to come in the next few months. This is far from the first event to be affected by coronavirus.
E3 was also canceled in the wake of the pandemic with some publishers announcing separate digital events instead. Microsoft, in particular, will only host digital Xbox Series X events through at least July 2021.