Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Monday, March 15, 2010

GDC 2010 Post-Mortem

I'm back and just beginning to sort through the flood of information from the show. I'll have some more detailed information on specific topics over the next week. Initially, I want to provide my overall reaction to the show.

There was a great deal of energy at the show. Not for new technologies, but for new business models... and the demise of old ones. The biggest crowds, as you might expect, were in the Career Pavilion, where people laid off from older companies were looking for work at newer companies. Or old companies that are trying to hop onto the fast-moving growth of new market segments.

There was the usual roster of middleware vendors and technology companies, as well as countries and regions trying to attract developers. Holland had a booth nearly as big as Germany... and both of them were quite good-sized. I'll have to count closely, but there were at least a dozen vendors involved in some form of payment processing, from Bank of America and Chase to small start-ups at their first show, all hoping to grab a piece of virtual goods, social gaming, and downloadable content.

There were many interesting lectures, most of which I'll have to catch on the recordings later. Ones I did manage to attend were packed, especially when they were providing any sort of hard numbers about sales and how to get them. The crowd was hungry for data. It's not surprising... opinions are commonplace, data far less so. Exceedingly rare is audited data, where some third party has actually verified numbers. It's easy enough for me to claim I've sold 3 million copies of my game (Using this magic formula! Buy a bottle today!), not so often you'll find an independent verification of that.

At least I didn't see too much in the way of overblown marketing, where the eagerness to get results causes the truth to get lost, and ends up tarnishing the whole business. There was some... and I'll cover that in a future post.

For now, I'm going to get back to sorting information, adding to my contact list, and beginning to get back to everyone I talked to at the show. The all-important followup... having a good plan is nice, but execution is essential. Thanks to all who I talked to that provided input about what I can and should be doing. I have a lot of work ahead, both here and on the web site. I do appreciate you passing the word about this blog and the web site, and I look forward to more comments and discussion.

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