With a rich history spanning over 3 decades, the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco has firmly established itself as one of the flagship events on the gaming industry calendar. Attracting over 26,000 attendees each year right from programmers, artists, producers, game designers, QA professionals, audio professionals, business decision-makers, etc. – GDC is a must-attend for anyone working or looking to make a career in the interactive entertainment industry.
As one of the world’s leading Game Testing Companies, GlobalStep has been a key part of GDC in the past as and delegate as we led conversations about the future of QA in gaming. We were there in 2017 as the Nintendo Switch started making big waves and redefining console-based gaming, and as Augmented Reality finally took a big step forward with Pokémon Go.
As we get ready for GDC 2018, here are our thoughts on what we think will be some of the main talking themes this year:
- The return of PCs and Consoles: With mobile-based games gaining significantly over the last few years, we’re expecting PCs and dedicated consoles to dominate developer interest this year. With all the 3 major console manufacturers tasting success and customer acceptance with their flagship consoles – The PlayStation Pro, The Nintendo Switch and The XBOX One X, The PS VR, we’re expecting to see several interesting hardware and software concepts to be unveiled at GDC. That said, mobile continues to be the future of immersive gaming and we expect to see some fascinating game previews especially around Mobile AR / VR.
- Monetization & Community Management: With the lifecycle of games steadily increasing, we are expecting to see interesting discussions on monetization strategies – including in-game advertising, loot boxes and freemium models. Developers and studios are also increasingly becoming aware that the fate of their games depends upon user acceptance and opinion – most commonly displayed on social media. Community management and social media engagement strategies are therefore going to be an important topic of discussion, especially among the burgeoning community of indie developers.
Over the last few months, we have been having some fascinating conversations with our customers as well as industry leaders over the need for QA to extend itself beyond the traditional beta phase of development. This led to the reimagining of traditional QA into holistic 360-degree QA that has a far-wider influence and improved value addition into the game development process.
Re-imagined QA shifts left to provide valuable insights into the design and development phases to improve predictive outcomes. It shifts right towards the release process with a focus at collecting data to provide insights into a better update and monetization strategy. It shifts up to align itself with business strategy and KPIs to provide better return on investment. And last, but not the least, it shifts down to be closer to players, social media, and communities to provide valuable insights into maximizing a game’s value proposition.
We’re excited about the week-long of exciting new developments, announcements, and deliberations at the GDC. Are you going to be there too? To set up a discussion with us, click here. and follow #TalkToGlobalStep for more updates from us!
[Aashish Washikar is the Head of Corporate Communications at GlobalStep. ]