As I am writing these words, the Game Developers Conference 2016 is underway in San Francisco, and while there haven’t been many big announcements yet and it’s unclear whether or not there will be many, what is certain is that there will be a lot of great demonstrations of games and new hardware.
It seems that this year’s theme is Virtual Reality, as that is the main focus of the gaming industry, and there will even be a dedicated Virtual Reality Developers’ Conference running at the same time, which marks the first such conference. UBM, the parent company and organizer of both events sent out a press release to inform the gaming world that GDC has started and will last between March 14 to March 18, this Friday. The accompanying VRDC will run through March 15.
Another great subject which GDC 2016 seems to be focused on is development journals and presentations. As such, great names such as Netflix, Activision, Blizzard Entertainment, DICE, Bungie, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Nintendo and Amazon (they’ve recently released their own game engine, although it is just a modified CryEngine) will be present at GDC 2016 and will give live development sessions. There will also be development journals of Diablo, Ms. Pac-Man and Rez.
If, however, you’re only interested in big announcements, then perhaps you’ll be satisfied with what Sony and Microsoft have lined up for GDC. We don’t know if huge triple A games will be announced, but Microsoft did promise to let us know more about the future of Xbox exclusives on Windows 10. In any case, nothing’s certain, and we still have to see how dedicated Phil Spencer (head of Microsoft’s Xbox department) really is to porting Xbox games to the PC.
As per usual tradition, there will also be the Independent Games Festival, which will reward various indie developers for their achievements in game design. The former chairman, Brandon Boyer, recently stepped down last year amid allegations of corruption, but he’s been replaced by Kelly Wallick. Given that Wallick had a new vision over how things should take place, we’ll have to see how well they turn out.
All in all, GDC 2016 will be full of Virtual Reality, indie games, presentations from big companies and plain fun. For the biggest news from GDC 2016, stay tuned!