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6 Themes to Look Out for at GDC 2024

Date Published: 07/03/2024

The Game Developers Conference (GDC) is “the game industry's premier professional event”, bringing the global community together to help shape the future of video games.

Across five days of networking, technology showcases and talks from some of the industry’s most inspirational figures, we’ve picked out six key themes we’re looking forward to exploring and learning more about at this year’s event in San Francisco.

Franchise Fever

Established and beloved IPs will continue to dominate the video game landscape in 2024, especially those with a strong cross-media presence, for example the recent successes of The Last of Us TV series & the Super Mario movie. In a continuation of this theme, talks around 'The Legend of Zelda' And 'Super Mario Bros. Wonder' are also confirmed for this year.

The team at Waste Creative recently sat down with Creative Pool to discuss this very topic.

Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality / Mixed Reality releases

Following the launch of the Apple Vision Pro this month, we're likely to see a lot of discussion on the evolution and potential for immersive technologies, and what the future of entertainment looks like in this space. On this topic, this year’s talk on 'Creed: Rise to Glory' Postmortem: Navigating the Six-Year Evolution of VR’ is one to watch out for.

Ethan Palmer, FQA Manager at Keywords, recently shared his thoughts on the Meta Quest 3 with WCCF Tech.

The Role of Player Data in Game Development

The role of player data and feedback in the various stages of game development is a subject of much discussion. Sebastian Long, Managing Director at Player Research, a Keywords Studio, is hosting five roundtables at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in March, with three on the topic of embedding player data across game development.

You can check out Sebastian’s entire GDC speaking schedule here.

Next-Gen Consoles

According to GDC’s 2024 State of the Game Industry Report, 8% of developers questioned said they are working on games for Nintendo’s next console. Even if it doesn't make an appearance at GDC, this is definitely something to keep an eye on throughout 2024.

And with Microsoft confirming a new Xbox console, we hope to get details on the team’s plan to deliver “the largest technical leap you will have ever seen in a hardware generation”.

Tech & AI

2024 continues to be another big year for Tech & AI, and GDC will no doubt look at responsible ways of its implementation into video game production. 

Book a demo session with us to discover how our latest tools can support your human talent across the development lifecycle. Be sure to add the 'Project AVA' speaking session with Stephen Peacock and Lionel Wood to your agenda. They will share first hand successes and setbacks while developing a game with Generative AI tools.

Community Clubhouse 

Founded in early 2023, Community Clubhouse offers a chance for industry experts across Player Experience, Community Engagement and Trust & Safety to come together and discuss prominent themes in video games today.

Join Keywords Studios at this year’s event on March 19 and take part in the discussion! You can reserve a place here.

community clubhouse info