Games Connect Asia Pacific (GCAP) has announced that their 2021 conference will go digital, after initial plans for a Melbourne-based physical conference were shaken by the ongoing Covid situation in Australia. The news comes a day after Victoria announced its sixth stay-at-home lockdown due to the virus, and during the second month of an extended lockdown in New South Wales. The event is due to take place 4-6 October 2021 as part of Melbourne International Games Week 2021.
‘With the Covid situation around Australia sadly not improving and the continuing inability for people to confidently travel domestically, IGEA [Interactive Games & Entertainment Association] have taken the decision to deliver GCAP 2021 as a virtual event,’ reads a statement on the GCAP website. ‘We know that the industry was looking forward to connecting in person this year, but safety and accessibility are at the centre of this decision.’
GCAP ran a successful virtual event during 2020 amidst lockdown restrictions, and the organisation appears confident in its ability to pull it off again. ‘We know we can Raise the Bar in 2021 and deliver a much needed industry event as we aim to replicate the experience of a physical conference and facilitate learning and connections to industry stakeholders both locally and abroad.’
GCAP plays host to a wealth of game development knowledge sharing, and the schedule of talks is due to be announced in the coming month.
The event will also move ahead with its two programs: GCAP Invest, which will provide knowledge and opportunities for developers to connect with investors; as well as GCAP Loading, which looks to set up emerging game developers with useful knowledge for their careers.
The Australian Game Developer Awards (AGDAs) will also presumably shift to a digital format. They are currently set to take place on Wednesday 6 October, at the conclusion of GCAP.
The other major event during Melbourne International Games Week, the community-focussed games culture convention PAX Australia, has not yet announced any changes to their planned in-person event.