GDC’s top speakers were on labor issues, NFT and Ukraine in between

Go in person after two years of virtual meetings

With so many people returning to GDC in the form of their first major trip since the disease began in 2020, the event is bound to sound fun – but thought -provoking – according to the discussions. at the conference on some important topics.

“We all create the serendipity of the Hotel Bar experience… running to people you wouldn’t see in the woods and being in the right place at the right time,” said Tiffany Otto, curator. joining and promoting the indie game community. IndieCade. “Even though we did our best, he was real it’s hard to do that again online. “

While some developers chose not to attend this year’s show due to covid fears and a lax mask mandate, others gathered outside at the nearby Yerba Buena Gardens, a long -awaited GDC hostel. . This year, the greenery in the middle of downtown San Francisco’s gray was featured in a section of the public and banks. The developers talked, took selfies and took a break in between conversations, all in the open air to make them (though not completely safe) from covid.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was critical to many sports industries. At a gift ceremony on Wednesday evening, attendees wore the Ukrainian flag like pins and earrings.

“The demonstrations left the topic and I only saw Unity displaying a digital banner supporting Ukraine in its store,” said George Jijiashvili, principal analyst at the research group. Of Omdia. “But that’s not to say that the people who went or the sports teams didn’t support Ukraine or did it. The unity for Ukraine from the sports community was very evident, according to reported by Ukraine Humble Bundle and Itch.io Ukraine Bundle that it is raising over $ 26 million for charity work in the country.

Companies such as Itch.io and Humble Bundle have sold a range of games for a hefty price, with money going to Ukraine.

Brandon Sheffield, Managing Director of Necrosoft Games who co -founded the Itch.io Ukraine group, said the group helped developers feel that they could contribute a little to Ukraine’s development.

“I’ve got a lot of compliments, but no one gives the impression that they think the problem has been solved. Everyone knows we have a lot more to do,” Sheffield said. He said he was able to talk to Humble Bundle about every joint venture – between itch.io, Humble Bundle and Epic giving away “Fortnite” available in Ukraine – inspiring one. “Of course, none of this is really set up between us, but there’s a feeling like that – someone is doing something, I need to do something, we should all try to do something. “

Earlier this year, “Grand Theft Auto” game developer Take-Two said it would buy “FarmVille” developer Zynga for a whopping $ 12.7 billion. A week later, Microsoft announced that it would acquire Activision Blizzard for nearly $ 69 billion in total revenue. Two weeks later, Sony announced it would buy “Destiny” -maker Bungie for $ 3.6 billion.

The first three sales of 2022 are more than 2021 as a whole – which is a total of $ 85 billion in mergers and revenues – in revenue.

“As far as I know, while it’s more busy and saturated, you get this idea of ​​integration, a bit of power, and it’s a lot harder to compete,” Roblox developer relations said. vice president Matthew Curtis in the Post. “So the people at the top started to combine their power to have a good schedule and competitive performance with other people.

“It will probably continue. It creates a lot of problems for a small, indie developer. Now, you don’t have to make a serious game, you have to have experience in job marketing and you have to have some money to support that. You have to take a lot of risks. “

The controversy over the blockchain and NFTs continues

While blockchain-related technologies have previously been available in GDCs in small batches, 2022 marks the first GDC from the “non-fungible signal” that developed before the cultural lexicon. There are a lot of blockchain and crypto boxes set up on the expo floor, some of which – like Wemix, a global blockchain platform – are as big as clothing stores from Unity and Amazon. Conversations, that is, point the neck down the subject. Some speakers, giving talks such as “Blockchain gaming: How technology can empower gamers and gaming communities,” were all on top of the topic. blockchain trains and is thought to have also supported. But there are naysayers and more at GDC, with forums like “Blockchain, NFTs, play-to-loan … is it real or a farce?”

“[There was a lot of] The standard ‘f — blockchain, NFTs’ concept has shifted between devs, ”Ysbyrd Games owner Brian Kwek told the Post. “While I thought it was kind of a bit of a mess on the part of some devs I asked the upcoming blockchain people, ‘Are you here with everything?’ Instead of just tearing them down like the internet. “

One of the problems faced by developers with NFT is their environmental impact. There was also a lot of talk about the weather at this year’s show. Another, conducted by researcher and consultant Drs. Benjamin Abraham was not faithful. “I thought this season would be filled like NFTs,” he said said in his speech about research solutions the industry can use in the face of a climate crisis.

Even some in the crypto world are not comfortable with this status quo in the face of the environment.

“You’ve got foot carbon issues to resolve, but still don’t,” said Ryan Wyatt, former head of YouTube Gaming and CEO of blockchain developer Polygon Studios. “I think everyone who is evaluating and looking at the current situation has a responsibility.”

“I’m not 100 percent sure [the booth] but is it about the merger? If that’s the case, then I really like it, ”said Cam Perry, project leader at Validate, an upcoming indie storytelling and gaming experience.“ As much as I like dev, a lot. internal problems. And if we get together, then it will probably help people say more than they did without a blacklist or about some amount of backlash.

Gabbi Pierce, an organizer for the CWA, said she was involved in first helping a nonprofit where she worked to join and then she agreed to support the campaign for video workers. arrangement. He currently supports Activision Blizzard employees.

“It’s nice to be able to be around people who just love video games or work on video games and be able to interact with people on top of that,” he said.

Anita Sarkeesian, a feminist critic who stood out in the limelight at the back of her 2013-2017 “Tropes vs women in video games” YouTube series, gave a critical speech that drew a line between misogyny in the media. play and the rapid growth of stories and appeals. about the abuse of video theaters.

“I like to think of him as ice cream,” Sarkeesian said in his remarks. “Stories that make headlines, high -profile scenes like murder, prostitution and violence – that’s what’s floating on the water. But under the hood. Skin is a daily disaster that is considered serious. “

With this in mind, he reflected on the abuse he suffered for creating his videos, which skyrocketed with the popular abuse ad “GamerGate” in 2014.

“[Maybe] You’re one of those people in 2012 who didn’t understand why I was making videos about misogyny. [in] games, or why would I stand years and years of torture for that, “he said.” But you do it now. “

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