1. Industry
Send to a Friend via Email

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:


was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Game Industry Conferences


There are a number of conferences around the globe that developers attend to learn new techniques, network, and relax with friends. These gatherings are crucial to getting to know the industry as a whole, and millions of dollars of business can happen at them on a daily basis.

1. GDC (Game Developers Conference) - San Francisco, CA

GDC is the conference in the industry. While there are many regional and/or satellite conferences, GDC has by far the largest attendance and is considered the main conference for the year. The show typically runs in late February or early March.

Everyone from not-yet-graduated students searching for jobs all the way to 30+ year industry luminaries can be found here, frequently in the same room.

GDC consists of two phases: Summits and Tutorials, which occur early in the week, and then the main show segment, in which the Expo floor opens, and the multi-discipline talk tracks begin.

Previous years' summit topics have included: AI, Game IT, Localization, Games for Change, Education, Independent Games, Smartphone & Tablet dev, and Social & Online Games.

The speaker/roundtable tracks cover: Audio; Business, Marketing & Management; Game Design; Production; Programming; Visual Arts; Monetization.

2. GDC Europe - Cologne, Germany

GDC Europe is the smaller sibling of GDC San Francisco, focused on European development, and usually occurs in August.

Like GDC San Francisco, GDC Europe has two elements, Summits and Tutorials, and the main Expo and Speaker talk segments.

Summits this year include: Independent Games, Smartphone & Tablet Games, and Social & Online Games.

This year's tracks include: Business, Marketing, and Management; Game Design; Production; Programming; and Visual Arts.

3. GDC China - Shanghai, China

GDC China is a small conference focused the Chinese market, and runs in November.

Like GDC San Francisco, GDC China has two elements, Summits and Tutorials, and the main Expo and Speaker talk segments.

Summits this year include: Indie Games and Mobile Games.

This year's tracks include: Online Game Development and Business, Global Game Development / Outsourcing, and Social Games.

4. GDC Online - Austin, Texas

GDC Online is a small, focused conference which focuses primarily on social and online gaming. The show runs in early October.

In addition to the eponymous online focus, GDC Online is known for its excellent Narrative track, which focuses on writing and other storytelling aspects of game design.

5. DICE Summit (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) - Las Vegas, Nevada

DICE is run by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS), a nonprofit organization promoting the interactive arts.

The show happens yearly in Las Vegas, Nevada. It plays host to some of the biggest names in the industry, and tends to lean towards the business side of the industry more than some other shows.

DICE is also home to the Interactive Achievement awards ceremony, which recognizes contributions from every branch of interactive entertainment.

6. East Coast Game Conference (ECGC) - Raleigh, NC

East Coast Game Conference is an up-and-coming new show, located in Raleigh, NC, and is run in April.

The show currently runs for two days and has four tracks running simultaneously. In addition to the standard tracks, Epic Games runs a track promoting its free toolset, UDK, through a series of tutorial classes run by Epic staff.

7. Project Horseshoe - Texas

An invite-only think tank conference, Project Horseshoe brings together some of the brightest minds in game design in a comfortable setting to solve some of the biggest challenges facing the industry.

8. IGDA Summit

The IGDA Summit is a yearly event, summarized by their tagline is "about Developers helping Developers". Covering a variety of topics, it is a newer, smaller conference, but one that the IGDA is pushing hard to promote and grow.
  1. About.com
  2. Industry
  3. Game Industry
  4. Industry Life
  5. Game Industry Conferences

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.