Bad Economy Casts Pall Over GDC

The Associated Press writes up an advance on GDC09, using the sour economy to set up the conference, which opens tomorrow with sessions like "Surviving the Squeeze" and "Stability in the Stormy Weather."

While some 50 studios and publishers will have booths in the conference's career pavilion, most of the big names at the conference have gone through well publicized rounds of layoffs, making this get-together a little more schmooze than fest, especially for the unemployed.

"It's kind of like let's celebrate, but do it quietly," Meggan Scavio, the event director for GDC09, told the AP. She expects attendance to be "slightly down" from the 18,000 last year but even that may be optimistic. Scavio notes that travel, training, and wave-the-flag parties are among the first to be cut when times get tight.

It's also interesting to see the AP working the indie angle. It mentions Flower, a great example of an acclaimed commercial release by an independent studio. The flash game "You Have to Burn the Rope," is also namedropped; I always thought that to be more of a commentary on game design, or a satire, than a full game experience. But it's up for an award at the Independent Games Festival, which runs concurrent with the conference.

Recession Casts Shadow over Video Game Conference [The Associated Press on Google]