Our conference crew has been back in the office for a few weeks and, honestly, it sounded like they enjoyed themselves thoroughly at GDC2024. In order to effectively rain on their parade—or maybe just because the marketing team had serious FOMO—we made them tell us: What was your personal take on what you saw at GDC?

Each person we sent to the conference represents such a different aspect of our company, and of the gaming industry itself. Read their unique recap, their perception of industry trends, and a few hot tips to make GDC 2025 even better.

Jack Dunne, Head of Research Operations

Here’s a few things that I learned at GDC:

👥 Player Insights and experience, from talks and roundtables to the overall atmosphere from developers. Everyone seems to be talking about making sure that their games are getting more players into their development processes so that they can reduce the risks of launching something that is not as successful. Shout out to Seb Long for maybe hitting the record of the most talks at GDC?

🎮 We are seeing the indie revolution happening right in front of our eyes, some incredibly passionate and creative teams attempting to put everything from MMOs to games where you need to log into your parents broken old computer.

🏃 The GDC Run events (kick off at Market and 5th every day) were an awesome way to meet new people and network without any IPAs

🛒 Trader Joe’s is the ultimate spot to grab a bit of fruit and water without breaking the bank. They also have some of the best tote bags around!

Michael Duning, Chief Revenue Officer

“I found it incredibly inspiring and motivating, just meeting with people in person and having great conversations. So many creative and hard working folks in this industry, and I came back so motivated and ready to take on the challenges that we all collectively face in gaming."

Michael (left) with Marvin

Michael's main takeaway: Validation of PlaytestCloud's product and mission.

"It was incredible to hear the various use cases—how our newest features are being adopted by our customers. And for the folks that got to hear more about our upcoming product road map, there is real hype and validation behind our product vision and how it will be used to solve real problems in a day to day capacity.

Also, it will never get old when someone notices your t-shirt and yells across the hotel lobby 'Hey PlaytestCloud - we love working with you guys!'"

Angie Długopolska, Head Of Customer Success

"First of all, a huge shoutout to everyone who met and engaged with us. Good to see so many of our customers in person and I even got to do a few office visits! Our happy hour was a great opportunity to meet a few new customers as well, and I’m so proud of our team." 

Angie, between Jack (left) and Stephen (right)

Angie’s Key takeaways:

🤖AI - Discussions highlighted the impact of AI in game development, emphasizing the need to address copyright issues before full adoption.

👩🏻‍💻Hiring - Industry giants are cautious about hiring, preferring partnerships with external developers for cost-effectiveness and expertise.

😎VR - GDC showcased exciting VR game projects, with Apple’s Vision Pro promising innovation and wider adoption.

📱Mobile - Excitingly, mobile gaming is back on track, with promising developments in the field.

Marvin Killing on the expo floor

Marvin Killing, CEO of PlaytestCloud

"As somebody who’s really hyped about VR and AR games but still waiting for that killer app, I’m excited to see if GenAI can move the field forward. Most VR games lack believable NPCs right now, as it is even harder to cross the uncanny valley there. We’ve seen some experiments with AI NPCs that you can have an actual conversation with, and this might become a big thing going forward."

Marvin's Hot Tip for GDC:

"My additional tip: If you can, make full use of Friday. Many attendees will already be leaving Thursday night or Friday morning, but the expo floor is still open until 3pm and not as crowded. I had some of my most productive meetings that day, as it was less hectic."

Ugo (left) with Angie and Jack, having an obviously terrible time and working too hard at GDC

Ugo Bui-Xuan, Director of Research

"It was great to meet so many people IRL. People I've known for years (and maybe had not seen for years) and people I only met via Zoom, and new people too. Remote has been great and allowed for lots of flexibility, but nothing replaces meeting face to face once in a while (with or without beer)."

Ugo's takeaways:

  • The general mood of GDC this year was a bit weird, you can feel it. All the layoffs (was it 20K people total?) are definitely on people's minds. But at the same time the passion - both for games and for people's craft - is still very real, and very strong, and keeps me positively confident for the future of the industry.
  • Do not, ever, try to "import" the .cal for one talk to you calendar, as it will in fact import all 350+ talks in one single file and ruin your entire calendar. 🤦🏻‍♂️
  • I wonder—with iOS a main gaming platform for 15+ years now, when is Apple finally going to fully commit to gaming and have a booth? 👀