GDC was an incredible experience. It was immense, bright, and frenetic; exactly what you would want at a conference highlighting some of the most innovative technology in the gaming industry. Many of the vendors and booths were spectacular and warranted the long lines and anticipation. Wandering the maze of booths and exhibits, it was apparent to me that as the gaming industry continues to explode, it is imperative that we need to keep up with its new tech, and conversely, its growing technical needs. I want to reflect on some of the more interesting observations our team made while engaging with clients and prospects as well as some of the general highlights from the conference floor.
As one would expect, there were new games at every corner, but one of the more overwhelming presences at GDC was augmented reality and virtual reality games. Oculus had one of the largest booths (if you could call it that). Really, it was more like a small apartment building! Yes, it was spectacular. At every corner, there were countless opportunities to play and experience the latest and greatest in this up and coming gaming sector. As in-home tech becomes cheaper and more accessible, I expect that we will see an explosion of more casual VR uses in home gaming. VR over time will need continual firmware and software updates to keep up with their publisher’s new games as well as addressing compatibility issues that they will more than likely face with legacy games. This means that companies are going to be in need of more robust data analytics and anomaly detection to ensure that players stay engaged and immersed in their experiences.
Mind-blowing Booth Design
The booths were incredible and the vendors were amazing.
You can tell it was a conference for gamers, by gamers. Below is just one small portion of the conference floor in which booths were setup for one thing, face melting gameplay.
They had console and computer stations, that seemed like they were every 2 feet, for trying out the latest and greatest titles. Looming above, they had a JumboTron screen setup so we could watch some of the top Twitch streamers play Fortnite live. It was a reminder that not only is the immersive gaming experience growing, but so is its viewership community; no longer is gaming just for playing. This means that companies are now not only creating games that are exciting to play, but are equally exciting to let the casual observer watch. Mitigation of in-game issues with new patches will not only keep those playing engaged, but also keep the millions watching, on platforms like Twitch.tv.
Candy Crushing Big Data
I was really excited to hear Lukasz Korbolewski, BI Product Owner at King Gaming (Candy Crush, Farm Heroes, Pet Rescue etc) talk about how his team is using Anodot to minimize revenue loss by quickly detecting incidents for many of their mobile titles.
The first half of his talk detailed some of the challenges King faced as they scaled up their live operations pipeline. Describing how King decided to apply Anodot, he talked about how they were looking to gain real-time visibility into the daily multi-terabyte data stream, generated from billions of events in each of the company’s popular apps. Anodot’s AI-driven data analytics catches glitches and latencies that result from app updates, in-app ads, software releases and any of the anomalies that can happen in dynamic, data-intensive gaming environments. With the ability to triage and preempt incidents as well as quickly detect and diagnose ongoing live operations incidents, he demonstrated how other gaming companies should incorporate AI-based anomaly detection into their gaming experience.
In short, GDC 2018 was an incredible experience for all those involved. We’re already looking forward to GDC 2019.