GDC Play, which is still available for potential exhibitors, is a separate area of the San Francisco show that showcases emerging and independent developers with a series of kiosks and meetings rooms. It will take place Tuesday, March 26 - Thursday, March 28 at Moscone Center during the 2013 Game Developers Conference.
For the new 'Best in Play' award program, all GDC Play exhibitors will be judged on their in-development or complete games by a panel of veteran GDC organizers and Gamasutra editors. The top 8 will be named 'Best in Play' winners, and all 8 winners will receive 2 All Access Passes to Game Developers Conference 2014.
Winners for 'Best in Play' will be announced mid-February. Special 'Best in Play' designations will be attached to the honorees' GDC Play kiosks at GDC 2013, where their games will be playable to all GDC attendees. Existing GDC Play exhibitors become eligible for 'Best in Play' when they enter their booth information in the GDC Play Matchmaking Software.
In a new, expanded onsite location this year, GDC Play 2013 will be in the South Hall's Gateway Ballroom, in a prominent position directly opposite the main GDC Expo floor - providing enhanced opportunities to target the more than 20,000 attendees at the show.
Jonathan Robinson, President of Lokisplanet, says his team couldn't have been happier with his experience at GDC Play 2012. "The intimate interaction between exhibitors, attendees, press and VIPs was something that you couldn't find anywhere else. I would absolutely recommend GDC Play for anyone trying to gain exposure within the gaming industry in a environment that is perfectly suited to talk about your product."
For last year's GDC Play, 5,000 meetings were scheduled via the GDC Play Business Matchmaking Software, used to identify, contact, and request and receive meetings with major publishers, distributors, All-Access Pass holders and exhibitors attending the event. The service will once again be available this year.
Additionally, GDC Play exhibitors can once again take part in a special VIP reception. Over 280 VIPs attended GDC Play and the VIP Reception in 2012, including 2K Games, Activision/Blizzard, Big Fish Games, Cartoon Network, EA Partners, Real Networks, Glu Mobile, and Digital Chocolate.