In an exciting (and just a bit sadistic) twist of scheduling, the 2012 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco fell exactly one week after Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Two of the premier events in mobile & gaming, separated by just 3 days and about 6,000 miles. I talked with more than a few people in the gaming world that said they were starting to feel like they were living on an airplane. Luckily for us at Apsalar, San Francisco is our home turf and Moscone is right around the corner. So while it was another non-stop week, we at least had the good fortune of sleeping in our own beds.
Of all the conferences I’ve attended in my tech career, GDC always brings out the most passionate attendees. I had one spirited developer look me square in the eye and say, “Ted, this is honestly my favorite week of the year.” He wasn’t kidding, and judging by the conversations I had, I believe others share his feeling. Just walking into Moscone North, the excitement amongst the crowd was palpable. The sessions were packed, the expo hall was buzzing and the escalators were always overflowing. People were genuinely interested in hearing about where the gaming industry is heading in 2012 and beyond. It also didn’t hurt that we all get to try out fresh new titles from some of the biggest names in gaming.
For this year’s show, we decided to take the financial plunge by signing on as a sponsor of the event and setting up shop in the Expo Hall. It was our first time with a booth, so we weren’t exactly sure what to expect. Armed with a laptop and monitor to show our product in action, we hit the ground running on Monday morning and didn’t stop until the hall shut down on Friday. I think I may have shook more hands than Bill Clinton did in ’92 (and have the business cards to prove it). Needless to say the event exceeded our expectations greatly.
I’d have to say that my favorite part of the week was seeing how well prospective customers reacted to our vision for Apsalar. We’re primarily known as an analytics provider, but when we started to dive into our larger goals of being a mobile engagement management solution, the light bulbs really started to go off in people’s heads. The conversations we had about better understanding user behavior and how that information can be used to improve the user experience and engage with them better were great. We’re looking forward to playing an even bigger role in GDC 2013.
Last but not least, we had an amazing turnout for our raffle of a brand new Kindle Fire and now must announce the winner. After furiously digging through the entries blindfolded, I’m proud to announce that Renjie Li is the recipient of this shiny new device! (Please note: prize does not include Jeff Bezos)