The 2011 GDC Europe concluded on Wednesday, August 17 with a successful showing and a final attendee count of more than 2,100 game professionals representing 57 countries.
A marquee keynote lineup of notable industry veterans, from wooga founder and CEO Jens Begemann, to co-creator of the legendary Ultima series and founder of social media games developer Portalarium Richard Garriott, to Epic Games president Dr. Michael Capps, among others, joined an additional 170 European and international speakers, a total of 46 exhibitors and 35 sponsors and more than 300 media representatives covering game development on PC, social networking sites, consoles and mobile platforms.
Event organizers also announced that GDC Europe will return to Cologne, Germany on August 13-15, 2012.
In its third year, GDC Europe continued the tradition of bringing high-quality content to the European game development community. The introduction of the Social Games, Independent Games, Smartphone and Tablet Games, and Community Management Summits demonstrated the increasing importance of these developing areas that are pertinent to European game development. The Social Games Summit also proved to be a forum that showcased the spirit alive across both European and Western independent developers including speakers Kellee Santiago from thatgamecompany, Frictional Games' Thomas Grip, and Spaces of Play's Marek Plichta.
Highlights of day one at GDC Europe included wooga CEO Jens Begemann giving a keynote discussing today's social games and how they are not designed to turn all core gamers into FarmVille farmers. In his talk, Begemann surprised attendees with the live, real-time launch of Magic Land, a title that contains an exciting mix of social gaming elements with aspects from the dungeon-crawling genre. The first day of GDC Europe also featured a keynote talk by Enric Alvarez, game director and co-author of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow and founder of its development studio Mercury Steam, who discussed how the small Spanish studio met the challenge in taking on a beloved franchise from a Japanese developer.
Day two of GDC Europe was headlined by Dr. Michael Capps, Epic Games president, who discussed lessons learned from the studio's development of games from Unreal to the Gears of War franchise to Infinity Blade, and also revealed that the studio is currently at work on five new unannounced games. Cevat Yerli, president and CEO of Crytek, also gave a keynote at the conference on Tuesday. Yerli identified the challenges that Crytek faced when working on the development of the highly innovative AAA online first-person shooter, Warface.
Day Three of GDC Europe was led by a keynote given by Richard Garriott, legendary creator of the genre-defining Ultima series and founder of social media games developer and publisher Portalarium, in which he focused on what he considers the three eras of gaming -- single player; massively multiplayer; and casual and social -- detailing the lessons learned from each.
GDC Europe also featured talks from video game veteran Mark Cerny, who commented on the shifting industry landscape; Braid creator Jonathan Blow, who touched on philosophical aspects of game design and development; FISHLABS Entertainment's Marc Hehmeyer, discussing taking an iOS-based game to Android; and Quantic Dream's Guillaume de Fondaumiere, illustrating the need for further evolution in game rating systems.
"GDC Europe highlights the ever-increasing importance of the pan-European game development market and its contributions to the global industry," said Frank Sliwka, GDC Europe Event Director. "From our industry luminary keynote speakers to the Expo Floor to the Business Lounge, GDC Europe has shown that, by examining the gaming development world from a critical level, we can create opportunities for discussion and growth across all niches and provide professionals with tools to develop successful titles."
In addition to the track and summit content, GDC Europe offered attendees other opportunities for networking and discussion with the GDC Europe Expo Floor, VIP Lounge, and the GDC Europe Business Lounge at Gamescom, in addition to the many industry networking events. More than 45 exhibitors and 35 sponsors from Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, Sweden, the UK and the USA were present, including Crytek, Epic Games, Howest University, Imagination Studios, Intel, and Onlive.
All Access pass holders to GDC Europe will also gain access to the video, audio and presentation recordings at GDC Europe shortly after the event through the GDC Vault. For more information on GDC Europe, please visit the event's official website.