GDC Expands into VRDC: First Conference in 2016

Colin McMahon
Jun 30, 2016

Last March, UBM Tech expanded the virtual reality (VR) presence at its annual Game Developers Conference (GDC). The increased focus on VR turned out to be a trial run for the company. Following attendance and industry feedback, UBM Tech has decided to branch VR off into its own, dedicated conference. The first standalone Virtual Reality Developers Conference (VRDC) has been announced for later this year.

vrdc-2016-second-edition

GDC has long been a large event in the gaming industry, and virtual reality was not new in the 2016 GDC conference. While many unfamiliar with the industry still associate VR exclusively with gaming, the reality is quite different. UBM’s decision to expand VR into its own conference reflects the wealth of application variety available. Highlighted markets on the official VRDC website include: Games & Entertainment, Healthcare, Journalism, Retails & Commercial, Industrial Design, Film, Training, Live Events, and Education.

VRDC is being billed as an industry-focused developer conference. While anyone can attend, the VRDC site targets developers, business development professionals, and Venture capitalists, as well as vendor companies and sponsors. UBM’s goal is to use this event as a VR think-tank, bringing together VR experts from across various markets to meet and discuss the future of the industry.

With the conference having just been announced, tracks and presenters are still being organized. The four announced tracks include “Games & Entertainment,” “Brand Experience,” “Innovation,” and “Partners.” VRDC will take place November 2 to 3in San Francisco, CA.

InfoTrends’ Opinion

VR is a rapidly growing industry (forecasted 54% CAGR through 2020). Sony recently announced expectations to sell six million PlayStation VR headsets globally by late 2016. As GDC is a major player in the gaming industry, expectations around VRDC should not be any different. Companies looking to enter the VR market would be well advised to consult industry experts before doing so, and VRDC will offer a dedicated experience to do just that.

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