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Orlando’s Effort to Attend the GDC: The World’s Largest Game Industry Event

Around twenty members of Orlando’s game development community met at Full Sail University last night to discuss an effort to give Orlando a presence at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco beginning March 14th. Kunal Patel, president of Phyken Media, Rupert Meghnot, Founder of Burnout Game Ventures, and Angela Kendall, Mission Commander at Spark Rocket Marketing, facilitated the discussion, and kept the group on track.

The group is currently trying to raise $6,500 for a deposit or 20% of the $31,000 cost of a 20×20 booth at the Conference. So far they have raised $4,500 of their initial goal, with most of the funding coming from independent game development studios, and other local organizations. The deadline for the exhibitor deposit in January 7th.

Beyond the $4,500 the group has already raised, they have secured around $10,500 in cash commitments from the community. Unfortunately, with the deadline so close, the group does not have access to the $10,500 yet, and are working towards a slight extension on the deadline.

The overall cost of the trip is estimated at somewhere between $75,000 and $78,000, with expenses in shipping, set-up, union fees, etc. Despite the hefty cost, the group feels that Orlando’s representation at the GDC is vital.

“As a city well-positioned to specialize in entertainment technology, Orlando has an opportunity to be a center for game development. The resources and knowledge provided by one of the world’s largest clusters of modeling and simulation, combined with the art and culture created by the many people who work at the theme parks and the numerous entertainment venues in Orlando, provide the talent, insight, and technical skill that game companies need.”

According to Kunal, who is also the director at Indienomicon, “presence at GDC will help basically every type of partner.” The group firmly believes that GDC presence will bring more attention to Orlando’s game development studios, paving the way for bigger studios to become more involved here, and attracting smaller studios/talent to set up shop in Orlando.

During last night’s meeting the group organized into several committees, selecting committees on a volunteer basis. The committees include fundraising/budget management, logistics, marketing, business development, and stakeholder coordination. The group began the meeting by familiarizing, and making introductions.

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