COVID-19 effect: Game Developers Conference 2021 to take digital route

The Game Developers Conference is changing course from its original plan of hosting a hybrid in-person to hosting a digital event in 2021. As per The Verge, the GDC made an announcement on Thursday stating that the upcoming event will be all-digital. It will be split into three separate parts to better and more safely accommodate the networking, games showcases, and instructional workshops and panels. The series of events will start with the GDC Masterclass, a collection of virtual workshops and training for developers that will take place on March 4 and 5. GDC Showcase, which will be open to the public and free to attend, will run from March 15 to 19. It will feature networking and lectures in "a new array of content and formats." Finally, GDC 2021 proper will take place during the week of July 19 as a business and education-focused event. The Independent Games Festival (IGF) will also take place that week on July 21. Last year's GDC was pushed back to the summer and held digitally, re-titled as GDC Summer. With the move of making the event digital, comes an added benefit that it could make GDC 2021 a lot more accessible. As reported by The Verge, attending GDC in past years has been prohibitively expensive for some independent developers even before including the cost of staying in San Francisco for a week. A digital event should allow more people to attend without the expense of travel.