GDC for Game Developers: Where, When, and Why to Attend


Game Developers Conference (GDC) is among the world’s biggest annual events for anybody with ties to game development. It’s a place for industry professionals to exchange their experience, knowledge, and ideas.

GDC 2024 will be held from March 18 to 22 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. A record 28,000+ participants are set to attend. Among them are: 

  • developers
  • game producers
  • team managers
  • game designers
  • sound designers
  • narrative designers
  • marketing specialists

and other industry professionals. The event’s five days will see over 1000 lectures, seminars, and round-tables dedicated to all stages of video game creation, from programming and design to monetization and marketing. GDC is worth a visit to learn about the latest industry developments, find partners and like-minded people, discuss project ideas, or simply talk about games in an informal setting

How It All Began: the Story of GDC

It all started in the year 1988, when prominent game designer Chris Crawford invited some co-workers to his home for an informal gathering to talk over their ideas and share their experiences. It started out as a small meet-up that garnered just 27 attendees. But those who came were so inspired by the idea that they decided to hold such events on a regular basis. The number of participants grew each year, and before long, GDC had grown beyond an ordinary industry meet-up. It had become a professional forum where leading game developers from all over the world gather to share their knowledge and discuss new technologies and industry trends. The first GDC event was focused on PC gaming. But as the industry grew, the program began to include console, mobile, and online gaming. In recent years, VR and AR technology has become a hot topic. What began as a small gathering of like-minded people has developed into the biggest gaming industry event in the world. It’s a place where professionals demonstrate new products, share their experiences, and learn from each other. GDC sets industry trends and proves that games are not just entertainment, but also a serious and developing business.

The Upcoming GDC 2024 Events: Why Visit

There are multiple events lined up over the five days of the conference:

  • Training sessions

Participants can expect plenty of lectures, seminars, master classes, and round-tables each day. Hundreds of speakers will have their time to shine—developers, designers, publishers, and many other industry professionals.  They’ll share their experiences on a wealth of topics: programming, modeling, animation, UX/UI, game monetization, community work, management, and a whole lot more.

  • One of the biggest gaming expos around

The GDC Expo deserves a special mention. This is where the most cutting-edge technology in the gamedev industry will be introduced. Industry giants such as Epic, Microsoft, and Google will show off their latest projects. You’ll not only get the chance to see their tech, but try it in action too.

  • Networking

Aside from the official program, GDC is famed for its friendly atmosphere and networking opportunities. Over the 5 days, you’ll be able to meet thousands of like-minded people from all over the world, make new contacts, and even find partners to implement your boldest ideas. It’s no wonder that many participants consider the conference’s informal communication to be no less useful than its official program. Who knows? Perhaps GDC 2024 will be the birthplace of a project that turns the industry upside-down.

Headline Announcements from Previous Conferences

GDC is the epicenter of the most significant industry announcements. Games that went down in history, breakthrough technologies, and projects that shaped the industry have all been presented here.

  • Cult hits

The trailers for cult hits Half-Life 2, Bioshock, and Dishonored all made their debut at GDC. Developers use this platform to demonstrate early versions of their projects and get feedback.

  • Revolutionary technologies

Innovative solutions that have gone on to radically change the industry have often been introduced right here. Unreal Engine 3, for instance, was debuted in 2005, and Unreal Engine 4 in 2014. These products boosted game graphics to a whole new level.  

  • Important rewards

GDC features awards ceremonies for the best games and developers: the Independent Games Festival (IGF) and Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA). They celebrate the brightest stars of the industry and their most striking projects.

  • Forming partnerships

Many successful partnerships in the game industry were forged at this very conference. GDC helps with finding new partners and turning ideas into reality. This conference sees new milestones in the history of the industry being set every year. We’d love to hear equally awesome announcements this time, too.

What to Expect from the Upcoming Conference

GDC 2024 promises a rich and varied program for anybody connected to the video gaming industry. Here’s some more info about what’s in store:

  • Summits and seminars

The first two days will be dedicated to summits and seminars; in-depth events about specific disciplines. The summits provide a platform for experts to share practical advice in presentations on level design, artwork, AI, and other topical themes. There will also be interactive seminars on the topics of video game and narrative design and sustainable development. It’s guaranteed to offer fresh knowledge and skills to incorporate into your work.

  • The core program

From Wednesday to Friday, hundreds of lectures, discussions, and round-tables will be held. The core program covers six key areas of game development: audio, business and marketing, design, production, team management, programming, art, and visuals.  There will also be sessions about new technologies and market trends. Experts will share their experiences of creating successful games and teams.

  • Content for indie devs

The special Independent Games Summit will spotlight the experiences of independent studios. It’s guaranteed to provide new ideas from various voices in the industry, including the finalists and winners of the Independent Games Festival.

  • The GDC Expo

At the GDC Expo, you’ll get to know the leading companies in the game industry and find out about their solutions for business tasks. GDC Play will shine a spotlight on innovative projects from new and indie developers.

  • Meet-ups and networking

The GDC 2024 conference’s meet-up app for mobile will give you the opportunity to connect with colleagues and partners in person. Speed-networking and “happy hour” sessions will also be held at the GDC Expo.

  • Awards

Don’t miss the IGF and GDCA awards ceremony, where the best games and developers of the previous year will be celebrated.

Organizational Matters

To make sure that your visit to GDC 2024 goes smoothly, we’ve compiled some useful advice about buying tickets, transport, and accommodation for participants.

Where to buy tickets

To take part in GDC 2024, you’ll need a ticket. There are a few different ticket options to choose from:

  • All Access

Grants access to the entire program: seminars, lectures, expo, and networking. Aso includes a 1-year subscription to the GDC Vault.

  • Core

Access to the main program: lectures, round-tables, expo, and networking.

  • Summits

Tickets for two days of in-depth events: summits and intensives on the first days of the conference.

  • Expo

Access to the expo only, allowing you to meet companies and visit stands.

  •  Group tickets for 10+ people

If you’re planning on attending the conference with co-workers, you can get a group ticket. This will give you a 10% discount on the current ticket price. You’ll be informed of the exact cost upon registration.  Information about ticket types, prices, and special offers can be found on the official GDC website

Getting there

There are multiple ways of getting to the Moscone Center.

  • By car

The Moscone Center is located near routes 280 and 101. This makes things convenient for visitors coming in their own cars. Bear in mind that the quantity of parking spaces on the street is limited. But in any case, paid parking lots and underground parking garages can be found nearby.

  • By bicycle

For cycling enthusiasts, the SF Bike Coalition will watch over attendees’ bikes for free on Paseo Alleyway, between 3rd Street and Howard.

  • Public transport

Taking a bus or Muni tram and getting off at the Third and Folsom stops is a convenient option. You can also take the BART, exit on Powell Street, and walk along 4th Street. The Caltrain runs from the South Bay area, with a Muni transfer on 4th & Townsend.

  • From airports

You can travel to the city center via the BART or book a Lyft or Uber from SFO international airport. Flying to Oakland works out slightly cheaper, the transfer cost remaining the same.

Where to book a hotel room

We recommend booking via the official GDC website. The conference’s organizers, alongside Convention Housing Partners, are offering special rates for accommodation near the Moscone Center event venue. A special offer is available for groups of 8+ people. It’s worth booking a room in advance, since there will be less availability as the conference gets closer, and prices will increase. You can get in touch with any accommodation queries in the following ways:

Via email:

By phone:

  • for calls from the USA: 866-561-0540
  • for calls from overseas: +1-415-813-6088 (option 6)

GDC 2024 is the biggest event of the year for anyone connected to gaming. These 5 days are your chance to gain tons of useful knowledge, meet serious experts, see the latest tech, and gather inspiration for your ideas. If you develop, promote, or publish games, then this event is a must. Events at the GDC set trends for years to come. It’s not only a place to learn, but also make connections and find partners and investors.

See you at GDC 2024!