GDC “looking at moving to an invite model for press access”, says CMP

Wednesday, 27th February 2008 21:24 GMT By Patrick Garratt

Uh oh. According to this, GDC organiser CMP has revealed potential plans to move the show to an invite-only model for press, news that will scare the living shit out of journalists that went through the nightmare that was E3 attendance last year.

“We don’t have it nailed down, but we are looking at moving to an invite model for press access at GDC,” said GDC boss Jamil Moledina. “It’s meant to be a networking event for people who make games, but more and more we are seeing a lot of individuals who are obtaining press credentials who aren’t full-time press. It’s kind of open to being spoofed, in a way.”

Concerns have been raised in the last couple of years about the popularity of the event, with developers complaining in private that the show’s atmosphere was being shot by an abundance of quote-seekers.

“Making sure the Game Developers Conference fits its core goals is the main thing we concern ourselves with,” said Moledina. “As long as it remains predominantly about learning, thats what we are concerned with.”

He added, “I am concerned that if we don’t focus on what makes GDC work we will face some complications down the road.”

Do read this. E3 faced exactly the same problem before publishers called the shots in 2006 and effectively shut the show down, and what GDC does now on this issue will mark the US tradeshow roadmap forever. For press to get into E3 now, they have to be invited on a basis of publisher “scores”, so unless you’re named in person by enough publishers to the E3 organisers, you simply don’t get in. GDC is the major business hub not only for development for every games media company in the world, so the ramifications of putting restrictions on press for the media industry itself could be hard felt.

The smell? The stench of fear.



  1. AMG

    A leading games analyst, Vivendi UK and a couple of indie devs all had Media passes this year, I saw them with my own eyes. Tight-wads.

    #1 7 years ago
  2. patlike

    Innit. I don’t understand why they can’t just accept that there’s a massive press interest in this sort of event and make sensible measure to ensure that journalists get proper access. If they move to an E3-style system it’ll be a disaster. If they make it very easy to get in as press, what do they expect? All they have to do is say something along the lines of “you have to show an official press card from your country of origin at check-in” or something, and all the freeloaders/fanboys would be fucked. An invite system’s ridiculous, if only because it means only a favoured section of the press is given access. The scope for bias is obvious.

    #2 7 years ago
  3. AMG

    Developers really resent it as well. A big portion of GDC is the post-mortum, where developers can stand up and say, “actually we got this wrong but we learnt from it”. But to the press that sounds more like “Levine: We Fucked Our Game Up, We’re Rubbish”. There needs to be some way of ensuring the shit bloggers and the generally shit press don’t attend. How hard would it be to come up with a list of repsected publications, mainstream and specialist? And a group of respected freelancers. Like, is there any need for Destructoid to be there, poncing around in a metal robot head?

    #3 7 years ago
  4. patlike

    They could have non-press sessions, or something. I’m sure people would still find a way to record them, but it’d put most people off. I think the big point, really, is that there isn’t a show that caters for the press any more, which is completely stupid. The reason all the journos are there is because all the developers are there, which is the next best thing to all the games being there. GDC didn’t have this problem until E3′s format was changed. Go figure.

    #4 7 years ago
  5. AMG

    Sometimes I just think: “fuck the press”. If they’re good at their jobs, they’ll get stories. That would sort the men from the boys. No press at trade shows, fuck you, work it or fuck off.

    #5 7 years ago
  6. patlike

    That’s how it used to be, back in the day. If you didn’t have the contacts you really were fucked. There were no robot heads in 1999 :)

    #6 7 years ago

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