Gaming B2B at Games Connections USA 2014
March 2014 – The Games Connections USA conference was held in San Francisco this year overlapping with the Game Developer Conference. The B2B event is designed to help independent developers connect with publishers and distribution channels, independent and large developers to connect with specialty service bureaus, and for international trade delegations to promote and gain visibility for their leading designers and product channels. The event was held over 4 floors of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel and utilized the local restaurant community for the lunch. This event design was well suited to encouraging dialog with a diverse community and the networking with strangers that is a key portion of the successful globalization efforts.
While the time frame of the meetings was based on short discussions without NDAs, working discussion abounded at the event. The program layout was organized by country and each country organized the layout and location of the companies in their group. Groups that had multiple companies representing their development efforts- primarily in mobile and PC games were Brazil, Italy, Russia, Hungary, Korea, Greece and Taiwan. Not affiliated with a government grouping were multiple developers from Poland, Argentina, Romania, the UK and the Netherlands.
We met to Universally Speaking of the UK who is providing voice, menu, and other localization support issues for the gaming and business marketplaces. They have a number of service models and work both remotely and in common physical location as the developers.
The main direction from the international areas such as Italy, Sweden, Brazil and Russia were the ecosystem for game development in their country. This infrastructure includes universities training current and future generation game developers, capital investment groups who support he sector, consumers and an area of current short coming in most counties is global distribution publishers. In a discussion with Swedish representative, their university programs are very well established and have moved beyond how to construct games to behavioral model and AI algorithm development. For the mobile environment, their research includes power optimization techniques and multi-screen engagement methods.
In most of these countries, the dominant platform is Android, followed by Windows then iOS. However, the mobile developer community in those countries primarily develop for iOS as it has the most established monitization model, criteria for content and largest number of large aggregating publishers.