Is the Game Developers Conference the new E3?

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Thousands of people in the videogame industry are expected to meet in San Francisco this week for the Game Developers Conference. The five-day event will feature keynote speeches, workshop sessions and panel discussions. Companies including Sony, Intel and Microsoft are attending this year’s show. PodTech’s Rio Pesino spoke with Conference Manager Jane Pinckard about the event and whether its trying to be the new E3, which used to be gaming’s biggest expo.

Transcript:

Host: Rio Pesino – PodTech

Guest: Jane Pinckard – GDC

Rio Pesino – PodTech

This is Rio Pesino for Podtech.net. I’m here in San Francisco, California with my Nintendo remote in hand. Just inside for the Game Developers Conference, which is taking place here from March 5th to March 9th. Thousands of developers are expected to attend including Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft, if they’re involved in gaming they’re most likely be at this event. The big question coming into this year’s GDC though, is whether or not it’s going to become the next E3. E3 decided to scale down its venue and was the one who got as the biggest Gaming Expo in the world. I asked that question and others to Conference Managers Jane Pinckard and we are going to go to that interview with the help of this Nintendo remote. So, check it out and have fun.

First question for you, I know it is blunt with this?

Jane Pinckard – GDC

Okay.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

A lot of people to gaming community are thinking GDC is going to be the next E3.

Jane Pinckard – GDC

Who is thinking that?

Rio Pesino – PodTech

I’m one of the people thinking that, and I wonder if they get their answer straight from the horse’s mouth, so Jane is GDC going to be the next E3?

Jane Pinckard – GDC

No, it’s not, because E3 serves a very different purpose on GDC. At GDC we really want to develop — became developer community, we want to create a place where developers can learn, can share tools that they’re using, can network with their peers and I think that something that’s unique to GDC and E3 is just something else.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

You have to admit, because of the fact that E3 has got out the window, GDC is going to become bigger; I mean it is bigger and there just has to be some sort of E3 influence this year.. Am I wrong in saying that or…?

Jane Pinckard – GDC

I’m not sure. I think there has been a lot of organic pressure to grow GDC actually I think the industry has naturally gotten bigger and we’re looking at our numbers the other day, we know that other the last two years the GDC Show Floor has doubled, but it’s hard to see where the impact of E3 wasn’t that because it was sort of a steady climb. So, what part of that is natural — part of it is impact of E3 I’m not really sure. Definitely I sense that there is a lot more attention pay to GDC with question like yours.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

Right. Now, with that attention, I mean comes the opportunity for developers to I guess come up with announcements, on building new games, new products et cetera. Do you see any major announcements being made here at GDC this year, as opposed to use that?

Jane Pinckard – GDC

Yeah. I think we will have some announcements this year, Phil Harrison has hinted in interview that, he is going to tell us something, which I don’t know what it is yet. He told me that is planning something spectacular. I imagine that Microsoft although they don’t have a keynote this year, they do have a large amount of exhibit space and they might be showing some new stuff and Nintendo may also have something to announce, but as you said you are right, traditionally GDC has not been the place where they announce new projects, it’s usually one of the place where they look at old projects and say, what did we wrong and what did we do right.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

Well the_ reason why I mentioned is because of the fact that two of your keynote speakers for this event are two of the biggest names in gaming today. Let’s talk about those keynote speakers.

Jane Pinckard – GDC

Yeah. I’m really excited first of all to have Shigeru Miyamoto speaking it will be — it’s going to be really funny, he is just such of, warm, personable, friendly guide, he has appeared on stage before definitely at E3 and at GDC, but it’ll be great to have a full speech from him as he is sort of mastermind behind Mario and also probably the direction that Nintendo has taken with Wii and sort of opening up gaming. I think, we all want to hear what Miyamoto has to say about that and the other guy of course is Phil Harrison we alluded too earlier, there’s a lot to say about the PS3 and its feature and particularly its online feature.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

Right which is pretty bare-bone right now there is not much on the Playsation site, video downloads are something I have talked about, do you think that might be announced.

Jane Pinckard – GDC

Yeah I think that probably part of a package of announcements, but I don’t know.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

We’ll find out right.

Jane Pinckard – GDC

We will find out.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

One of other thing I wanted to talk about Jane was the awards that you guys are offering, it is the Game Developers Choice Awards.

Jane Pinckard – GDC

Yeah.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

Let’s talk about that, what games are actually nominated for these awards and who you think — or which games do you think are going to come out on top here?

Jane Pinckard – GDC

Oh gosh, you are asking me to predict, that’s all always (Voice Overlap).

Rio Pesino – PodTech

Pressure?

Jane Pinckard – GDC

Well the game Developers Choice Awards are a — first of all they are peer nominated and peer voted awards ceremony that means that developers themselves make the calls, which is really great because you get see what they award themselves.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

Right.

Jane Pinckard – GDC

I think one of the sort of surprising contenders this year was Alchemy which is a pretty small game in sales wise, but I think it has such a impact, imaginatively and creatively because it’s such a beautiful game, it’s somewhat different from other games. It’s got a great sound track and so it’s been nominated.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

It’s surprising because there was — for the PS2, is the Next-Gen console.

Jane Pinckard – GDC

Yeah. That’s interesting isn’t it?

Rio Pesino – PodTech

So, but let’s talk Next-Gen Console with Gears Of War I mean.

Jane Pinckard – GDC

Gears of War definitely up there and Guitar Hero II and other old gen game, but still – super fun and really innovative there must be some Wii title from there too, which I am completely blanking out on right now.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

Oblivion is there on the list in?

Jane Pinckard – GDC

I think it’s nominated in the category, yeah.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

I see, I see.

Jane Pinckard – GDC

But you have to check online (Inaudible).

Rio Pesino – PodTech

Okay, alright. Well let’s talk about Video Games Live?

Jane Pinckard – GDC

Yeah.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

Tell the audience what that is all about and their presence at GDC.

Jane Pinckard – GDC

Sure. Video Games Live is something that Tommy Tallarico has put together and he did it last year also and it celebrates the music in video games. So, it’s a symphony concert with an orchestra and they are going to play video game themes and I mean there is something really thrilling about that, when you get to hear, the Hiro theme or something, coming across this giant orchestra.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

All of a sudden you are like eight years old again, right.

Jane Pinckard – GDC

Yeah, sitting in the symphony hall, so it’s going to be really fun.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

Right. Well, other thing that — I mean we are talking music at GDC, let’s talk about art at GDC. I am 8-bit let’s talk about that. What does I am 8-bit is all about?

Jane Pinckard – GDC

I am 8-bit is awesome. If somebody is got a name John Gibson, a sort of boy wonder and he has been doing it for a while and I’m really happy that he agreed to collocated with GDC this year because it is art that celebrates game again and it’s fine art — these are pieces that sell, I went to the gallery in LA and I some price tags on it, and I was like, “Oh my goodness,” that’s a little pricey for me, but I mean collectors, collected and gamers collected and I think it’s yet more proves that gamers just – we’re not just tied to our thumbs and our controllers who are actually expecting ourselves.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

We have other interest.

Jane Pinckard – GDC

Yeah, and in the music world and the art world.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

So, there we have a GDC is taking place right in San Francisco from March 5th through to 9th for Podtech.net, I’m Rio Pesino for the latest in news and announcements made at GDC. Make sure to log on to our Website at www.podtech.net.

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