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GDC 2024 Saw Nearly 30,000 Attendees at the Game Industry's Premier Event

It's the professional game developer event of the year, and what a year it was. The 2024 Game Developers Conference hosted nearly 30,000 registered attendees for five full days of inspiring sessions and networking opportunities with peers and leaders in the games industry—and we're already gearing up for 2025. 

GDC 2024 featured over 1,000 speakers across 730 sessions, workshops, roundtable discussions in addition to networking opportunities. Over 300 top game industry companies exhibited their latest innovations. It was also a space for attendees to play and connect with the developers behind new and exciting independent games, including the finalists from the Independent Games Festival in the IGF Pavilion and the alt.ctrl.GDC exhibit that is home to games that use unique, alternative controllers.

“GDC exists to give developers a space to meet, network and learn. The need for that connection has never been more urgent. We were gratified to witness first-hand as aspiring developers and veteran game makers convened to share their knowledge and ambitions to create the amazing games that we will enjoy in the years ahead,” said Stephenie Hawkins, GDC Event Director. “In light of emerging generative AI technologies, layoffs and evolving working conditions, the Game Developers Conference will continue to provide developers with the key understandings and relationships to forge their way forward. We will also continue our efforts to recognize the amazing work of game makers and expand access to GDC content to a wider audience." 

GDC featured workshops and sessions led by some of the biggest names in the games and entertainment industry. Esteemed developers shared their insights into the creations of hit games including: Alan Wake 2, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, Zelda: Tears of Kingdom, Baldur’s Gate 3, and more. A centerpiece of the event was GDC Main Stage: A Developer's Concert. The live instrumental performance showcased influential and notable game scores throughout the past year and years past. Conducted by Austin Wintory, composer for games like Stray Gods, Journey and more, and co-hosted by Troy Baker, acclaimed actor known for The Last of Us, Bioshock Infinite, and more, the concert was performed by the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

GDC 2024 honored the top developers of the past year with the IGF Awards and the Game Developers Choice Awards. Notably, Visai Games’ Venba won the Seumas McNally Grand Prize and Anthology of the Killer, developed by Thecatamites, Tommy Tone and A. Degen, won the Nuovo Award, which honors titles that make the awards jurors think differently about games as a medium. At the Game Developers Choice Awards, Baldur’s Gate 3 took home four trophies: Game of the Year, Best Narrative, Best Design, and the Audience Award, while the developers of Venba earned two awards: Best Debut and Social Impact Award. A recording of the IGF and GDCA ceremonies can be viewed at GDC Twitch.

GDC introduced several new initiatives this year—including the GDC Travel Together program, which helped attendees form networking walking groups between six locations throughout San Francisco and the Moscone Center; a 24-hour GDC Safety phone line (+1 925-852-4361) that is available through April 5 to field any safety concerns that came up around GDC; the Game History Gallery that showcased games from marginalized developers as well as tips on how to preserve games; introduced sunflower stickers for attendees with invisible disabilities who may need additional assistance; and launched brand-new GDC Start-Up for companies that have been in the industry for less than five years and have fewer than 50 employees. 

GDC continued multiple programs to expand access to GDC content, including the Equal Opportunity Attendance Program, which offers 1,000 complimentary GDC Expo passes to applicants who were otherwise unable to attend without considerable financial assistance. This year, over 700 passes were donated through the GDC scholarships program, made in partnership with dozens of organizations dedicated to supporting and uplifting underrepresented voices in the industry. In addition, GDC provided all IGF finalists travel stipends to ensure they could attend and participate in the conference. GDC celebrated finalists with the annual IGF Pavilion with a kiosk and equipment to highlight their games to the public at no cost and IGF Award winners receive prize money for their incredible work.

GDC will be returning to the Moscone Center next year, Monday, March 17 to Friday, March 21, 2025, and the call for submissions for GDC 2025 will open this summer.

GDC returns in March 2025! For more information, be sure to visit our website and follow the #GDC2024 hashtag on social media.

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