The 2018 Game Developers Conference (GDC) is one of the biggest gaming events in the world and always attracts a lot of attention for the VR industry. Many of the biggest and most influential people in all of the gaming and tech spaces will be onsite in San Francisco, CA for a whole week full of meetings, appointments, and talks from the world’s best minds.
As the first major gaming event of the year, GDC usually serves as a bit of a game-fueled counter to the outlandish tech of CES and a bit of a primer for E3, which always lands in the summer down in Los Angeles. This year is no different, but we find ourselves entering the week with far more question marks than answers this time around.
From what we know (and can tell you) so far, this is what we expect to see at GDC 2018.
What To Expect From Oculus
GDC is always a big show for the Big O. This year it will probably not have as many software demos as years’ past, though. Previously, Oculus has held a big media preview event prior to GDC to show off what they’re bringing to the show, but that’s not happening this year. We’re expecting to see the likes of Marvel Powers United of course, potentially Respawn’s VR game, and a few others, as well as unannounced titles, but it likely won’t be a massive VR gaming blitz like in the past.
What To Expect From HTC
CES was big this year for HTC. Not only did they announce the Vive Pro — an upgraded headset with improved resolution — but there was an official Vive Wireless Adapter on display, as well as a Ready Player One experience. At SXSW HTC showed off more Ready Player One content. We’re expecting to see all of that at GDC once again and, if we’re lucky, maybe some new Vive Studios titles now that Knockout League has released.
Check back next week for what HTC has in store!
What To Expect From Valve
Valve doesn’t usually do much at GDC, but this year is shaping up to a bit different. We know that they’re going to have demos on display, although some of it is from partner studios. Valve is reportedly working on several VR games, so hopefully one, or two, or all of those make an appearance. They’ve also got the Knuckle controller prototype in development that VR users have been dying to get their hands on.
Our schedule is already filling up and Valve is definitely one of the ones we’re looking forward to most.
What To Expect From Sony
Traditionally Sony doesn’t show a whole lot at GDC. Since PSX just happened, and Paris Games Week was right before that a few months ago, there isn’t much for them to talk about. Big companies like Sony typically hold off on major new announcements until E3. If they do have any demos we expect to see titles like Firewall: Zero Hour and Blood & Truth.
Realistically though, probably not very much at all — if anything — will be at GDC from PSVR.
What To Expect From Epic
There isn’t much of note that we know going into GDC on the Epic side of things. Robo Recall was a big hit last year, but unless they’re working on a direct follow-up of some kind there probably isn’t going to be anything on the gaming side of things. GDC will likely be all about the Unreal Engine for Epic, which could yield some VR-focused news still.
They’ve got a conference happening on Wednesday morning, so any VR news they’ve got to share will likely be announced then.
What To Expect From Ubisoft
During the first year or so of VR’s rise to popularity Ubisoft was all over the place. They had Eagle Flight, Werewolves Within, and Star Trek: Bridge Crew. In the future they’ve got both Transference and Space Junkies coming, and we know the latter will be there for sure, so this is still one of the bigger third party publishers to keep an eye on in the VR space.
Will they announce anything new?
What To Expect From Bethesda
Bethesda just confirmed that Skyrim VR is finally coming to PC headsets (Rift, Vive, and Windows VR specifically) on April 3rd. They probably aren’t going to be showing anything at GDC but if they do, it will likely be a demo of Skyrim VR running on PC.
We can hope, can’t we?
What To Expect From Everything Else
That may sound like a lot if you’ve read this far, but actually GDC is a hotbed of announcements and demos for indie developers too. We fully expect that most of the most surprising, impactful, and best-looking VR demos to come from non-big name developers. One of the big highlights we’ve confirmed will be at the show this year, for example, is Budget Cuts, a game that had a demo all the way back at the Vive’s launch two years ago. We’re dying to see what this talented team has been up to.
Additionally, we’re keen to see the next VR game from Myst and Obduction creators Cyan Worlds, the nostalgia-fueled retro romp Pixel Ripped, the first Atari VR game with Rollercoaster Tycoon Joyride, and many others.
Make sure you tune in to UploadVR all of next week to stay up to date on the latest and greatest news out of the VR industry at GDC! Let us know what you’re most excited about down in the comments below!