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

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

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.

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