Business & Marketing | Game Developers Conference | GDC

Business & Marketing

Gain insight into game industry trends, identify business opportunities and network with platforms and developers to explore potential partnerships. Learn the latest approaches to marketing games including user acquisition, community building, and tips to secure coverage from press, streamers, and influencers.

View all Business & Marketing sessions

Business & Marketing Track Conference Highlights (W-F)

All Access, GDC Conference+Summits, or GDC Conference Pass required.

Steam in 2017: State of the Marketplace
Sergey Galyonkin (Epic Games)
This session will talk through the significant changes that happened to Steam in 2017 and their effect on new games sales: the rise of China, the death of discoverability, the influx of low-quality titles, devs trying to outplay the algorithms, review bombing and other pleasant surprises. Also covered in this lecture are questions such as: who's #1: USA or China and what does that mean for YOUR game? How important is pricing and what are the best practices? Is free-to-play viable on Steam? Why does it seem so hard for successful indies to release a second game? This will be a data-heavy talk with graphs and numbers, so some knowledge of statistics is recommended.
Rallying the Resistance: 'Frog Fractions 2' Alternate Reality Game
Justin Bortnick (Twinbeard)
Writer and ARG Master Justin Bortnick will reveal the mysteries behind the beloved (and notorious) 'Frog Fractions 2' alternate reality game, from the early days of design through the origins of the mysterious resistance and their sparkly foes all the way to the explosive end that put the launch day of their game into the hands of their fans. Learn how what was meant to be a one to three month experience spiraled out of control into nearly three years of madness, and ultimately concluded as one of the most successful and popular ARGs of the modern gaming era.
Succeeding with Licensed IP for Mobile F2P Games
Eric Seufert (N3TWORK)
This session will provide a framework for assessing an IP license for a mobile free-to-play game in terms of its user acquisition value, using three examples of IP-licensed games that the presenter has personally worked on. This presentation will outline two areas that a developer should focus on when considering whether to license an IP for their game: demographic appeal and market fit (determining whether an IP actually enhances the appeal of the game to a target audience, versus just supporting it or even reducing it) and contractual terms (constructing contract terms that maximize a developer's ability to build an audience for a game). The three example games used in the presentation will provide very specific guidance to attendees on ways to use the framework provided to increase a game's potential for commercial success.
The Engineering Journey of Riot Esports
Steve Martin (Riot Games)
Riot has spent the last 5+ years scaling 'League of Legends' Esports to match the passion shown by their players, resulting in a thriving ecosystem of global leagues, teams, and events with a worldwide fan-base. This talk describes through the evolution of Riot Esports from inception to present day from a product and engineering perspective. Attendees will walk away with a thorough understanding of the history of Riot Esports engineering, the unique challenges and complex problems their teams continue to solve, how Esports products are built from the ground up to serve a global fan base, and early thoughts on future product direction.
Cryptocurrency in Games: A New Approach to Virtual World Economics
Cristian Gonzalez (MEGO)
Cryptocurrencies are quickly becoming easier to use and gaining traction. Recent developments in the Bitcoin and Ethereum protocol provide powerful tools to create new kinds of game economies where players become relevant actors as opposed to a walled garden system tightly controlled by a platform. This creates new dynamics never before seen in games. Cristian Gonzalez and the MEGO Games team have been making a game which implements player to player microtransactions using the Bitcoin network. The advantages, challenges and differences with traditional payment platforms for games of Blockchain networks will be discussed.
Indistinguishable from Magic: Lessons Learned from Creating Merchandise for 'Alto's Adventure'
Eli Cymet (Snowman)
For independent developers, merchandise can sometimes be an afterthought; branded t-shirts made for conferences or show-floor booths. Approached differently, however, merch is an opportunity to put the world of your game right into the hands of your players and deepen their love for it in the process. In this session, join Eli Cymet (Lead Producer at Snowman) as he discusses the creation of merchandise for mobile hit 'Alto's Adventure', including integration of physical goods right into the game itself. Learn more about the financial realities of creating a merchandise collection, the pitfalls of listening too closely to fan feedback, and the magic of a well-themed merch collection.

Related Summits & Tutorials (M-T)

All Access, GDC Conference+Summits, or GDC Summits Pass required.

GDC Mobile Summit (M-T)
Learn the nuts and bolts of great game design and successful business strategies for games on mobile platforms, including iOS, Android, and Amazon in the GDC Mobile Summit, Monday and Tuesday, March 19-20, 2018. Join top game developers from around the world to share ideas, discuss best practices, and shape the future of mobile gaming.
Community Management Summit (T)
Learn how to inspire, build and maintain user loyalty and enthusiasm through the ups and downs of community opinion and adoption in the Community Management Summit on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. Hear industry experts share case studies and postmortems on cutting edge community management strategies and learn tips to align your community's needs and interests with your company's goals.
Esports Day: Developing Competitive Communities through Conventions
Rick Thiher (Twitch)
Celebrating the drive of competitive players is the backbone of tournament ecosystems, but often isn't the primary focus of esports events. What does it mean to produce an esports gathering that isn't designed around viewership? What does it mean for brands aligned with the space? How does it serve the experiences of the player base and the culture? Is there value in refinement over growth? Twitch Event Director, Rick Thiher, will explore how the events he helped develop, particularly the fighting game convention Combo Breaker in Illinois, have helped empower communities by celebrating and improving niche activities. He will share how his goal has, and will continue to be, improving event experiences that instill camaraderie and create life-long community members; so that one day the culture is pervasive enough to support non-endemic fandom. It's a goal he'd like to see shared in esports at large.

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