This is perhaps not a new observation, but it struck me recently that GDC is, in some ways, the new E3. For some time now, it has been big and loud, and big industry announcements were made there. But now since E3 is gone there is no other place or time in the year where so many people are in one place, and where so much press attention is focussed.
I was going to write something about PR arms races, but then I remembered at least Sony and Microsoft have been trying to out-party each other at GDC for years now. I never quite got those parties, but then, I like going to GDC to meet friends and have good conversations with them, not to drink. (This has been the third year in a row I haven’t been to GDC. I would have liked to have gone, but I am not really missing it.)
But I think those parties won’t grow the way expo stands at E3 have, and although the expo floor at GDC has grown over the years, I don’t think it will ever get to the scale of E3. After all, there’s only so many bikini-clad babes you can use to sell a new C++ compiler.
All of which puts the Games Convention in Leipzig in an interesting position.
Update: Mark De Loura thinks similar thoughts.