The spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) worldwide has sent conferences, festivals and other events into chaos, with most having to cancel due to governments restricting large gatherings in a bid to halt the spread. That saw the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) having to shut down this week’s show in San Francisco. Informa Tech, organizer of GDC has announced that proceedings will be moved to the middle of the year, for a new event called GDC Summer.
Just like the usual spring show, GDC Summer will be a mixture of talks and demos on the expo floor, a chance for the gaming community to come together and celebrate the industry. There will be a new series of microtalks and fireside chats, a dedicated space for comprehensive career development sessions as well as a new community partnership programme.
As for the show floor where all the demos take place, Informa Tech mentions in a press release that it’ll be “a freestyle two-day expo show.” That seems to indicate massive stands from companies like Facebook, Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) and Epic Games won’t be present, possibly in favour of smaller booths or even table settings for minimal organisation.
This may be due to the very real issue that GDC Summer could be cancelled or moved (GDC Winter?) if assumptions that the pandemic will be over by then are wrong, and restrictions are still in place. “Safety remains the GDC organizers’ paramount concern and the GDC team will continue to monitor the latest information from health officials to ensure a safe and compelling event for everyone at GDC Summer, GDC 2021 and beyond,” the organiser notes.
This new event also means new talks as GDC 2020 switched made a lot of the sessions digital, with speakers pre-recording their talks for the GDC Twitch Channel. One of those sessions was Mark Cerny’s (Lead System Architect for PlayStation 5) talk The Road to PS5 which SIE broadcast a couple of days ago, detailing the specifications of the new console.
GDC Summer will be taking place from 4th – 6th August 2020 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, with the two-day expo held between 5th – 6th August. For further updates, keep reading VRFocus.