With PAX East just having taken place, the 2020 conference season is about to get into full swing. As Unreal Fest, EGX Rezzed and GDC have just announced their cancelling and postponing, respectively, there are a few updates, cancellations and even new events to take into account when considering which events, you’re getting involved in this month.
It can be overwhelming with so many conferences throughout the year to choose from, so if you’re not sure where to start, take a look at our guide to managing a busy games conference season which goes through how to pick.
But once you know HOW to choose it's still hard to know where to find what is offering the things you need so I thought it would be helpful to bring together the key global conferences that take place – including (IMO) the pick of the bunch.
The links here will tell you is everything you need to know about each event so you can read up and pick the ones that maximize your time (and bank balance).
GDC | San Francisco, CA
The organisers of GDC recently made the difficult decision to postpone the event, with the intention of re-organising for the summer at the earliest. You can find the official update from GDC here.
Those who have bought passes for this year’s GDC will receive a refund, as well as people who booked their hotels through GDC.
Unfortunately, a lot of smaller games businesses will still suffer, so for this reason, several relief initiatives have been organised to offer support to those who will suffer financially.
GDC Relief Fund
Organised by Wings Interactive, the fund has the aim of supporting indie developers who intended to attend GDC. Having already raised over $76k and with the support of some games industry giants this fund is set to make a huge difference.
There have also been several events organised in the absence of GDC in order to avoid disappointment for those who had planned to attend and give speakers the chance to deliver their talks. These events also aim to raise funds for the GDC relief fund. Events include AltGDC, NotGDC and Plan B Project. You can keep up with all the alternative GDC events with this handy web app.
If you're looking for more info on all the new plans in San Francisco this month, have a read of this article that runs through all the cancellations, postponements, new events and those still going ahead.
Image Source: Official GDC Flickr
26th - London Games Festival | London, UK
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan meets 2019's Ensemble gamers. The Mayor of London has backed LGF with funding of £1.2 million over three years (London Games Festival)
Image Source: Evening Standard
26th EGX Rezzed | London UK
EGX recently shared the news that this months event has now been rescheduled for the summer due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19. Organisers have expressed that the decision was incredibly difficult to make, but ultimately public safety comes first.
Tickets already purchased will be valid for the rescheduled summer event, and announcements are due soon as to dates and scheduling. You can read more about the statement released from EGX here.
Image Source: The Sound Architect
11th – Tokyo Sandbox | Tokyo, Japan
Image Source: Tokyo Sandbox Facebook
17th - Games Week Berlin | Berlin, Germany
Image Source: Games Week Berlin
21st - Womenize! | Berlin, Germany
Image Source: Games Week Berlin
23rd - Reboot Develop Blue 2019 | Dubrovnik, Croatia
Reboot Develop Blue is the best conference I have attended over the last 3 or 4 years and the first conference that I book up every year. The organisation of this event is second to none, everything from the accommodation, speakers to the food and the parties it's all 10/10. The fact that it all takes place in sunny Dubrovnik is also a big plus. If you’re looking to network with people from regions that you may not have previously had the opportunity to meet e.g. central Europe, the Baltics, US and Asia, Reboot is the conference for as you.
Image Source: Reboot Develop Blue
5th - FMX 2019 | Stuttgart, Germany
Image Source: FMX Facebook
18th - Digital Dragons | Krakow, Poland
Image Source: Digital Dragons Facebook
20th Trojan Horse is a Unicorn | Kaga, Japan
Image Source: Trojan Unicorn Facebook
27th - Nordic Game Conference | Malmo, Sweden
Image Source: Nordic Game
9th - E3 2019 | Los Angeles, CA
Image Source: E3 Expo
25th - White Nights St. Petersburg St. Petersburg, Russia
Image Source: White Nights Facebook
14th - Develop: Brighton | Brighton, UK
Over the last 10 years, Develop has become one of the leading European conferences bringing together the leaders of the games industry. The conference takes place at the relatively small venue of the Hilton Hotel in Brighton which has led to the conference being a must for studio decision-makers to attend. We’re definitely not at all biased because it’s just a short stroll along Brighton Beach for us!
If you come along - here’s our guide to the Best of Brighton, a Brightonians Guide to eating and drinking at Develop.
Image Source: Develop Conference
15th – Play@Develop | Brighton, UK
Alongside Develop for the last 5 years we run Play@Develop - a charity fundraiser where conference goes can unwind after the day's conference. Generally hosted in one of the bars on the seafront, it's perfect for networking by the sea while raising some money for our charity Special Effect. It is fast becoming one of the go-to events around the Develop conference and we look forward to continuing that this year. Check out last years event https://www.skillsearch.com/news/item/our-favourite-day-in-the-games-industry-calendar
Be sure to follow Play@Develop on Twitter for updates on this year's event.
25th - Gamescom 2019 | Cologne, Germany
The biggest B2B video games show in the world and the biggest consumer show on the planet. If you work in the games industry, you will be in attendance. The conference literally takes over Cologne with many of the pubs featuring gaming-themed cocktails and selling games company merchandise behind the bar.
My tip for Gamescom – plan your event well and choose who and what is most important to meet and see, you simply can’t do it all over the 4 days.
But just in case you need a break from the ‘games crowd’ take a look at our guide to the city Gamescom: A local’s guide to Cologne which offers some great tips!
Image Source: GameInformer
21st – Trojan Horse is a Unicorn | Valetta, Malta
Image Source: THU Official Dropbox
21st – Reboot Develop Red | Banff, Canada
This is only the second time that the conference will have taken place (last year being the first), but it's is undoubtedly going to become very popular very quickly due to its exceptional line up of speakers, amazing location and as with Reboot Blue it is extremely well organised. If you can get to Banff then you have to go.
Image Source: Reboot Develop Facebook
Unite Location to be confirmed, historically always in Amsterdam, but the last two years have been in Berlin and Copenhagen. Will Unity stay in their home city of Copenhagen or move on to a new European destination? Most likely dates will be in September.
Image Source: Unity Facebook
EGX | London UK (likely October)
Image Source: EGX Facebook
EGX Berlin | Berlin, Germany (most likely November)
And there you have it! As I said it it's a busy conference season for those working in Games, and as much as we would love to attend them all, it’s impossible to be at every event on the calendar.
This year you'll be able to find me and my Skillsearch colleagues at Reboot, UnrealFest, EGX Rezzed, FMX, EGX, Gamescom, Unite, THU and of course Develop. If you're attending any of these please do get in touch with me on twitter - @GilesFenwick - and hopefully, we can meet up for a drink and a chat.
For up to date info on all these events and more as they are added look out for our monthly Games Events round-up.