Have You Registered for Upcoming Game Conferences?

It’s summer, which could only mean one thing: time to get ready for upcoming game conferences! There are a lot of cool events coming up in the fall, and now’s the perfect time to register for them before there isn’t any space left. But with so many events, you might not be able to go to all of them, so today I’d like to take some time to go over some big ones.


Keep reading to learn more about upcoming game conferences and events!


Okay, so this one isn’t actually in the fall, but it is coming up soon. The Electronic Entertainment Expo is June 7th to June 9th this year at the Los Angeles Convention Center. It does require a badge to get in, but if you’re a student, you might be able to get in for free or for a reduced price. The three day expo badge is going for $500 this year, but if you have proof you are in the industry, you can also get in free. E3 is a great time for developers to show off new consoles and games, and it’s a great time for you to try them out! There will be some big names this year, including Microsoft, Ubisoft, Square Enix, EA, Take-Two, Disney, Activision, THQ, and more. Nintendo is also going to be revealing their new console and Video Games Live will be putting on a concert, so this is going to be a very exciting event for gamers and developers alike. If you haven’t already registered, you’re a bit late considering the show is in two weeks, but registration is still open; you will just need to pick up your badge at the door instead of having it mailed to you. If you are going, or are interested in going, you can check out the E3 website for more information, including the floor plan: www.e3expo.com


GDC Europe

If you happen to live in Europe or are lucky enough to go, the Game Developers Conference Europe will be held in Koeln (Cologne), Germany from August 15th to August 17th. GDC Europe is very similar to the other GDC events, although it will also feature gamescom, Europe’s largest consumer and trade fair for interactive games and entertainment. A badge is required to attend, and there are a number of different badges, all of which are rather pricey. The student and expo passes, which are the cheapest, cost 350 Euros, which is about $500, while the most expensive badge, the all-access pass, costs 750-850 Euros, depending on when you register, and that’s over $1000. Unfortunately, volunteer applications have closed, so if you haven’t already applied to be a volunteer, you’re going to have to shell out the money for a pass. To register or learn more, see their GDC site: www.gdceurope.com


PAX Prime

The Penny Arcade Expo, or PAX for short, will be held in Seattle, Washington from August 26th to August 28th. There are going to be a lot of great developers showing off their stuff, but the list of exhibitors hasn’t been revealed yet, so keep an eye out for who is going to make an appearance. The Halo series will be celebrating its ten years at the event in something they’re calling Halo Fest, so if you’re a die-hard Halo fan, this is the expo for you. This year they will also have the PAX 10, which is an indie showcase within PAX Prime. If you’re an indie developer, you can submit your game to the PAX 10 by June 1st, and then a panel of judges will select the best to be showcased at the expo. This is another great opportunity for indies, so check out the site for more information and submit your game! Once again, a badge is required to attend, but PAX is much cheaper than E3. The three day passes are $65, while individual passes are $35. However, all the three day passes are sold out, so hurry and grab your individual passes before they’re all gone too! You can register for PAX Prime and learn more about it at their web site: www.prime.paxsite.com



Another of the Penny Arcade Expos, PAX Dev is strictly for developers and takes place in Seattle, Washington, right before PAX Prime: August 24th to August 25th. In order to attend, you must prove that you are a developer or a student studying game development. IGDA members get a nice discount, making the pass $199, while it would otherwise go for $250 for early registration and $130 for a limited student pass. There hasn’t been much news on what is going to be at PAX Dev, but it appears to be very business-like, with no media allowed and a terms of service you must agree to when registering that states you will not blog, tweet, or otherwise update about the conference. If you’re just looking to play games, this probably isn’t the event for you, but if you’re a developer or student who’s serious about learning, I’d recommend it. If you’re planning on going, let me know, as I’ll be attending as well! If you’d like to learn more or register, check out their web site: www.dev.paxsite.com



IndieCade, otherwise known as the International Festival for Independent Games, is the go-to conference if you’re an indie developer. It will take place in Culver City (Los Angeles) from October 6th to October 9th, which puts it literally right before GDC Online. This event features lots of indie games that you can play, as well as sessions to help you become a better developer. There are some free portions of the expo, but a pass is needed for the sessions. Pricing for the 2011 show has yet to be announced, although there will be an opportunity to volunteer when the event gets closer. If you are an independent developer, you can submit your game to the showcase by June 15th. A submission fee does apply at $70, but if you hurry, you can still get the early registration price of $45, which only lasts until May 31st. IndieCade does offer discounts on submissions and tickets to those who have registered as members, or “Heroes,” which means you’ve donated to the festival. For more information on becoming a member, as well as submitting your game and attending, take a look at their site: www.indiecade.com


GDC Online

The Game Developers Conference Online will be held in Austin, Texas from October 10th to October 13th. Formerly known as GDC Austin, this conference now focuses on online games rather than just games in general. If networking, MMOs, and casual and social games aren’t really your thing, the event also features a prominent game narrative summit. GDC Online is significantly smaller than the main GDC, but it is still a great event to attend if you’re a student or developer. I attended last year, and I am definitely going to try to attend again this year, so again, let me know if you’ll be there! Pricing for passes hasn’t been released yet, but they will be similar to the prices for GDC and GDC Europe. You can still apply to be a volunteer, which gets you into the conference for free in exchange for your work. I highly recommend volunteering, so go apply before the September 9th deadline! If you want to learn more about GDC Online, you can head over to their site: http://www.gdconline.com


If you haven’t registered for these upcoming game conferences and events, now’s your chance! Events like these are a great way to network with other developers, learn industry practices, and even showcase your games, so register now! These are the big events that I know about, so if you know of any others, let me know and I can add them to the list!

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