GDC is the new E3

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.

Comments 1

  1. -=Stitched=- wrote:

    I find it funny that we still use the model of annual/seasonal events to dictate what gets revealed or released, in the this day an age, for gaming.

    When I was younger, in the 80’s, Christmas was the big push, and games/platforms relied on Christmas to hype-up and sell units. In the 90’s, it was shows like Comdex and traditional gaming magazines to push from. Now, here, today, it’s game blogs and gamer sites and shows like E3 (defunct), GDC, or PAX, to drive the hype.

    But why? Why be slaves to cyclical, annual shows to promote and drive your product? Why not develop the game at the pace dictated by the creators (It’s ready when it’s ready) and let the quality dictate the promotion.

    I read an article, somewhere, that 4000 titles are released a year and nearly 51% of those titles sell around 10,000 units(!!!) This translates to either a LOT of niche titles (unlikely) or that there is a lot of crap being generated due to our invariably flawed investment, development, marketing, and distribution model that we have been death-marching to for the last 20 years.

    There are glimmers of hope (GoD now Gamecock, Steam, companies like Immersion and Popcap games, etc…) but they are few and far between.

    Posted 11 Mar 2007 at 15:31