GDC kicks off with over 550 game dev sessions, will return as in-person event next year

GDC kicks off with over 550 game dev sessions, will return as in-person event next year Ryan is a senior editor at TechForge Media with over a decade of experience covering the latest technology and interviewing leading industry figures. He can often be sighted at tech conferences with a strong coffee in one hand and a laptop in the other. If it's geeky, he’s probably into it. Find him on Twitter (@Gadget_Ry) or Mastodon (

This year’s Game Developers Conference (GDC) kicks off today as a virtual event with over 550 sessions on all things game development.

GDC 2021 claims to take full advantage of the possibilities offered by virtual events. Back in 2020, around COVID-19’s historic peak, GDC was one of the first large events to be cancelled.

The organisers now have successive virtual events under their belt so it will be interesting to see how they’ve utilised their experience to elevate the 35th edition of the event.

Katie Stern, who oversees GDC as VP of Entertainment Media at Informa Tech, said:

“We are thrilled to be launching the most robust virtual GDC event to date, which offers a huge amount of unique content from across the industry and benefits from our learnings from the past more than a year of digital GDC events.”

One of the highlights of this year’s GDC will be the public debut of Unreal Engine 5 technical demo ‘Alpha Point’ that was created by Gears of War developer The Coalition on the Xbox Series X/S.

The Coalition’s talk, scheduled for 1:20 PM – 2:20 PM PDT on 20 July, will debut the demo and we’ll then hear from the team about what they learned while testing internal Nanite assets in Lumen-driven lighting scenarios, as well as their thoughts on how UE5’s performance and memory stack up.

Unreal Engine creator Epic Games will hold several interesting talks throughout the day including how to create realistic-looking humans with MetaHuman Creator, how to create a modern cross-play game, and what’s next for the world’s most popular 3D creation platform.

While virtual events offer exciting new possibilities, many still yearn for the return of in-person events for deeper engagement with others in their community (and/or the excuse to travel and enjoy some cold local beverages.)

GDC will offer an in-person event next year for those people.

“We also absolutely look forward to the return of GDC 2022 to San Francisco next year and for the opportunity to see this vibrant community together again in person,” adds Stern.

Anyone looking to present lectures, roundtables, and/or panels for the Core Concepts section of GDC 2022 have between 3 August – 31 August 2021 to make their submissions.

GDC 2022 will be held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco from March 21 – 25 2022.

(Image Credit: Official GDC under CC BY 2.0 license)

Want to learn about DevOps from leaders in the space? Check out the DevOps-as-a-Service Summit, taking place on October 7 2021, where attendees will learn about the benefits of building collaboration and partnerships in delivery.

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