When E3, as we know it, was ended last summer, it concluded 12 years of what was the biggest game convention in North America. This left a gaping hole in the U.S.'s game convention schedule, whereas Japan still has the Tokyo Game Show and Europe has the Games Convention. Enter the Game Developers Conference, which has been chugging along for 20 years now. While not as high-profile as some of the other conventions, the GDC is actually the world's largest industry-only gaming event, as no laymen are allowed into the show. Next year, the GDC's showfloor will double to make room for exhibitors who may otherwise have set up shop at E3. 2007 will also see the convention make a return to San Francisco, it's primary home, after a brief appearance in San Jose.
Whereas E3 was a catch all event aimed at the entire gaming industry, the GDC is concerned with the development side of things. The conference has gained exposure over recent years with some high-profile game announcements that showcased titles making technological strides (Spore in 2005, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass in 2006). Within the conference are the Casual Games Summit, which predicted the rise of casual gaming several years ago, and the Independent Games Festival, which provides a platform for independent developers to showcase their work.
The man who brings all these developers together is Executive Director Jamil Moledina, who was previously editor-in-chief of Game Developer magazine. IGN caught up with Moledina, who is deep in preparations for GDC 2007, to talk about where the show is heading.