Case study: Game Developers Conference

In March 2017, Creative Victoria supported a United States digital games trade mission for Victorian studios to attend the Game Developers Conference and the PAX East gaming festival.

The Hon. Martin Foley, Minister for Creative Industries, with Victorian digital games mission participants Lisy Kane, Matthew Clarke, Simon Joslin 

North America is a major business destination for Victorian games development studios, and with games development being 98 per cent export, attendance at international conferences is crucial to promote, network and compete. Victoria is home to around half of Australia's digital games sector - 133 companies. Australia-wide, games revenue was $2.2 billion in 2015 and is predicted to grow to $3.3 billion by 2020.

The Game Developers Conference (GDC) is the largest annual gathering of professional video game developers with over 27,000 visitors. As at 2017, the Victorian Government has been supporting Victorian studios to attend this important event for 21 years.

In 2017, thirty-five Victorian companies attended GDC in San Francisco, making important business and industry connections and developing export sales, publishing and distribution opportunities.

Creative Victoria supported two networking events at GDC:

  • The Australian Showcase, widely referred to as the best of the GDC evening networking events, attracted over 400 people. A show reel of notable Victorian developers was screened and Melbourne International Games Week was featured.
  • A Victorian Government Networking Event cocktail reception that attracted 115 people and was attended by the Victorian Minister for Creative Industries.

Following GDC, 11 companies went on to exhibit at PAX East gaming festival in Boston, which was attended by more than 100,000 people.

A space was also dedicated to reception, retail and promoting Melbourne International Games Week. A Victorian networking event was held for over 100 people, which on a cold, snowy Boston evening was an excellent turn out.

Collectively, an estimated $12 million in business will be done in the next 24 months as a result of the mission.