hi5 Wraps Up a Successful Week at GDC (pictures & video)

hi5 GDC Reception JPG.jpghi5 concluded a week of high-profile and heavily attended activities at the 2010 Game Developers Conference this week.  Our presence at the show kicked off with a mixer event on Tuesday, March 9 to end the first day of the Social & Online Games Summit.  The event was attended by over 400 show goers in the North hall lower lobby.

hi5 GDC Reception 2 JPG.jpgApart from running out of beer (GDC conference organizers only expected 200 people), the event was a huge success.  In addition to a progression of retro video games from different eras, we raffled off some fun prizes, including a Pac-Man joystick USB game, an Atari Flashback2, and DJ Hero.

The reception was a great start to the conference, and demonstrated how much excitement there is in the community around the development of social games.
hi5 GDC Reception 3 JPG.JPG
The festivities continued on Wednesday, with Alex St. John's appearance in a panel at the GamesBeat@GDC conference.  The topic of the panel was "Disruptive Game Platforms" and was moderated by Dean Takahashi, Lead Writer at GamesBeat and VentureBeat.  Alex's fellow panelists included Jack Buser, U.S. Head of Sony's Home Virtual World, Gareth Davis, Games Platform Manager for Facebook, and Peter Relan, Founder and Chairman of Aurora Feint and CrowdStar.  The panel Alex St John on GamesBeat Panel.JPGsparked some spirited exchanges, several of which were captured on video.

Alex St. John's remarks prompted several articles in major tech blogs, including:

hi5 Lightbox at GDC.JPGFor the many meetings during the week, hi5's huge lightbox display in the entrance to the Social & Online Games Summit area was a popular meeting spot to connect with potential partners and press throughout the event.

hi5's GDC run culminated with a dedicated speaking session on Wednesday, March 10 at 4:15.  By 4:00, a long line had already formed outside room 122 where Alex St. John was to speak.  The room filled to capacity and spilled out into the hallway, where hi5 employees did spontaneous Q&A with those who were unable to get into the session.

Line to get in.JPGFor the over 200 people who made it inside, they were treated to an entertaining presentation by Alex St. John, who went through the details of hi5's new Game Developer Program.  In addition to Alex's remarks, three early partners in the program spoke about their experiences developing games for hi5 and why they chose to launch their games exclusively on hi5.com.  The speakers included:
  • Matt Wilson, Founder & Director of Development, Detonator Games
  • Steve Victorino, President & COO, Immortal Games
  • Dave Long, CEO & Co-founder, Exponential Entertainment
For those who missed it, the full session as well as the Q&A at the end was captured on video, including some Packed House.JPGshots of the standing-room-only crowd.

Also on Wednesday, hi5 issued a press release announcing the Game Developer Program.  The news was the latest in a series of announcements by hi5 leading up to GDC, including the acquisition of Austin-based social developer Big Six and support for a new set of Facebook compatible APIs.

The announcement garnered widespread media coverage, including the following articles:
Crowd in the Hall.JPGThanks to everyone from hi5 and all our partners who made this year's GDC a huge success!  We'll see you again next year.

Session full.JPG

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