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GDC drops in-person plans for 2021 event

The conference shifts focus to online content, community, and networking due to health concerns

The 2021 Game Developers Conference is foregoing its plans for a hybrid event this year, and will instead be held as a digital event from July 19 through 23.

Last August, GDC organizer Informa Tech announced that its 2021 event would be a hybrid physical and digital show, taking place both online and in the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

In a press release today, GDC confirmed that while it will be keeping its date, there won't be any events in the Moscone this year.

"While we can't wait to gather in the halls of Moscone together again, and we did consider an in-person component this year, we have decided that it's more important that our speakers, attendees and sponsors be able to plan ahead, to continue to be as safe as possible, and to spend our attention on delivering the best possible GDC," the organization said.

GDC will also be hosting a GDC Showcase event taking place March 15 through 19, as a free-to-attend digital event with spotlight lectures, Q&As with developers, interactive panels, and live podcasts.

Masterclasses also return on March 4 and 5 with virtual workshops offering hands-on training and individual feedback. These classes caused a bit of controversy last year over their pricing, with seats going for $999 apiece, inspiring a counter-program to be offered as an alternative.

GDC says it will also be improving its archive for talks from throughout the years, as well as undertaking plans for industry website Gamasutra -- which is also under the Informa Tech umbrella -- to add new community features and undergo a "long-overdue rebrand."