Tuesday, March 31, 2009

GDC 2009 Summary

Yes, I know, this short summary of GDC 2009 got a bit delayed. But, I think, better late than never (it seems more and more to become my permanent motto).

In short – it was cool. But for me it was slightly less cool than the previous one, maybe because I’ve started seeing some repetitions in GDC patterns. But still, it was worth going - tons of inspiration and some pretty interesting talks and new connections.

These are some most important (from my point of view, of course) points from GDC 2009:

  • iPhone. The same way last year everybody was infatuated with Facebook, this year game developers got a new darling: iPhone. Tens of sessions were dedicated to iPhone development, and iPhone marketing, and iPhone business (One session was titled “Why did iPhone Changed Everything”). There are two reasons people are so excited about it: first, selling apps on iPhone is easy, manageable and understandable process; second, iPhone is, no doubt, an incredibly sexy device. By the way, it seemed like every second GDC attendee was a proud iPhone owner.

  • Social games. Not Facebook-specific anymore, the topic of combining social networks with games is still incredibly hot. The variety of games is wider – from virtual worlds to massively single-player games to advergames that created their own social network… And, of course, everyone is dreaming about marrying social games to iPhone.

  • Onlive. This new service offers to use your TV as a dumb terminal for playing top-of-the-line games on a remote server. It attracted much attention on GDC; I talked with some guys from this company and will post more details tomorrow.

  • Recession. Many production-related sessions were discussing how to survive it, and there was some feeling of uncertainty in the air.


These are the highlights. In the next couple of days I will post more details about Onlive, as well as name some of the games that caught my eye.

1 comment:

Heavy Battle Wombat said...

Honestly, I am a bit scared of onlive. I think it takes too much control out of the hands of the user. When I buy a game, I own it. Nobody can prevent me from playing it for any reason, nobody can force me to pay more to continue playing, nobody can change it to fit some latest regulation. The onlive way, it is too easy for the company or the public to screw around with my gaming experience. But I can see how it could become a real incentive, since a) you can make people pay subscription rates for the same game you used to sell for $50/copy b) you have a single platform with predictable hardware. On the other hand this sort of means the end of controversial games or politically/ideologically charged games. I am afraid Bully or Manhunt or even GTA 4 would never happen in the onlive world, for fear of class action suits.