So the GameSparks crew are back from GDC (Game Developers Conference) and Game Connection in San Francisco as well as the Microsoft Cloud Gaming Summit in London. We have been super busy the last two weeks in March and into the first 2 weeks of April. With more events coming up like the Update Show in Manchester next week we have been on the road pretty much non stop and it has been a blast.
We started with San Francisco for two events ran in the same week. The first was Game Connection where developers all gather for pre scheduled meetings that last 30 minutes. It takes a sort of speed dating format where one side talks about their product whether it’s a game, middleware or some sort of publishing platform etc, then the other talks about their product and they decide if the could or could not do business together. Each company exchanges their contact details to follow-up on as business is never done in 30 minutes. This format is great for developers looking to find publishers or collaborators on projects.
For us it was great as we got to meet a lot of people who are looking into games as a service aka “gaas” or cloud gaming backend solutions specifically. The devs we met either knew exactly what they wanted or were looking for more information on “gaas” as they were having trouble developing their own backend. So GameSparks was ideal for these developers and we got a lot of really positive feedback. It was also good to see that developers are really starting to understand that “gaas” or cloud gaming is definitely the future of game development. Those who understood it and seen the GameSparks platform were generally blown away which gave us more and more confidence with every meeting we took.
Game Connection took place from Monday March 17th to Wednesday March 20th in the Sir Francis Drake hotel on Mason street in San Francisco which is right beside Union Square and the Mason Powell cable car line, so basically right in the heart of San Francisco. On the Wednesday we were also in GDC with a booth in the UKIE stand so our team split up for the day. Myself (Jamie O’ Flanagan) and our CEO Griff Parry attended the expo and other meetings scheduled in the Moscone conference centre area while our CMO John Griffin captained the last day of Game Connection.
GDC and the days of the expo also had a meeting schedule format which could be done through the meetings.gdconf.com website where you can arrange to meet other exhibitors or expo visitors at a predetermined location, usually one of the exhibitor booths or the registration area. All and all between Game Connection and GDC GameSparks had over 80 scheduled meetings with about another 40-50 impromptu meetings or booth visits from industry professionals who were interested in games as a service. On top of that the various different networking events hosted every evening which are in some cases just as if not more important than the conference itself where we met developers from AAA studios to small indies just chatting about their games and shooting the breeze. They were also a great way to wind down a long day.
All in all the week in San Francisco was a success in terms of making the right connections and I would highly recommend Game Connection as a place to go to meet fellow industry professionals who are looking to do business. GDC is also great but the setting is different, it is a lot more hectic with a lot of people there just to see whats new in the industry and what people are making. It is exciting and everyone you see is approachable so it has those benefits but if you have a game and are looking for a publisher, or you are looking for some middleware solutions for your games, or even a publisher looking for games then I’d highly recommend Game Connection. Or do what we did and do both.
Until next time.
Jamie “The All Spark” O’ Flanagan