Level Up Your Game: Key Announcements and Highlights from GDC 2022

Thursday 4/7/22 08:53am
Posted By Ana Schafer
  • Up0
  • Down0

Snapdragon and Qualcomm branded products are products of
Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

We recently participated in the 36th annual Game Developers Conference (GDC), held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA, from March 21st to 25th. Through our gaming and XR demos in our booth and presentations, we showcased how Snapdragon performs at a high level in both mobile gaming and XR. It was great to be back in person talking to developers!

Exciting Presentations and Announcements
On the mobile gaming side, Micah Knapp, Sr Director of Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI), and Justin Cooney, Global Director, Business Development and Partnerships (USA) at Razer, presented A Platform of Platforms – Bringing the G3x Handheld to Life. This presentation covered the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 Gaming Platform, originally announced in December 2021.

During this discussion we reinforced our vision of aggregating your favorite gaming experiences onto a single device, loaded with top-tier specs and features. Micah walked through our thought process of creating this new platform and how to fulfill the unmet need for a new type of Android mobile gaming device, while Justin discussed the developer benefits.

Check out Razer’s developer portal for more details on the Snapdragon G3x Handheld Gaming Developer Kit. Also, check out Micah’s recent blog: Developing The Place to Play all your Games: The Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 Gaming Platform.

On the XR side, Steve Lukas, Director of Product Management, XR Ecosystem, QTI, and Katie McCort, XR Product Manager, QTI, presented Designing Augmented Reality Games with the Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Program. This presentation showed how to use various input mechanisms and design considerations when adapting mobile applications into AR using the Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform.

We also made a couple of exciting XR announcements. First our Snapdragon Metaverse Fund. This fund will offer up to $100 million to help developers, creators, and companies create next-generation core technologies and immersive content for AR more easily across gaming, health, entertainment, education, and enterprise. Developers interested in learning more can sign up for our Snapdragon Metaverse Fund newsletter.

We also announced that we are now collaborating with Square Enix to build on our Snapdragon Spaces Developer platform. Developers can register for the Snapdragon Spaces Pathfinder Program, which provides qualifying developers early access to the platform’s technology, project funding, co-marketing and promotion, and hardware development kits to help them succeed. Developers interested in staying up to date on Snapdragon Spaces can sign up for our Snapdragon Spaces newsletter.

And we must give a shout out to Lynx and their Lynx R1 mixed reality headset, which we showcased in our meeting rooms. It offers both VR mode and AR mode (and you can easily switch between the two), and it’s powered by the Snapdragon XR2 Platform.

Common Themes
As usual, the plethora of presentations at GDC provided game developers with a wealth of information on game development topics. From recruitment to using ML for in-game AI, GDC 2022 had it all! Here are just a few common themes we picked up on.

Several presentations provided statistics that continue to put mobile gaming at the top of gamers’ preferred method of play, while complementing other platforms (e.g., through cross-play). This aligns with our vision for the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1, to allow gamers to play all their games on the go. It also reinforces how Snapdragon remains the platform of choice for the majority of mobile gaming devices today.

Player diversity was another subject in many talks. Several presenters outlined the benefits of building games that capture and engage today’s growing diversity of gamers through approaches like authentic character representations reflecting how players want themselves to be portrayed. There were also talks about success in supporting the diversity of game developers. One of the big console manufacturers shared their efforts to build a more diverse workforce and how it led them to support more educational opportunities for underserved communities and build future employment prospects. In turn, more diverse developers can build games and game assets that better represent players of similar backgrounds. These sentiments were echoed in other presentations as well. These initiatives align well with our corporate policy for inclusion and diversity and represent positive steps for growing player and game developer communities.

Monetization was another common theme across several talks. Strategies like user-generated content (UGC), free-to-play games, click-to-play (C2P) ads, and digital currencies were all cited as strong elements for the future of revenue streams.

UGC was particularly interesting. For example, not all gamers are hardcore. Some simply enjoy contributing content which can include game assets, online videos, mods, etc. The content, in turn, can help build brand awareness, add additional lifespan to a game, and even allow players to earn money or rewards.

Interestingly, social interactivity was seen as a strong driver of such streams, since gamers generally have more fun when playing with others, especially with meaningful connections.

And finally, we would be remiss not to mention something about the cloud. Several presentations showcased the increased usage of cloud services like AWS in game development. Amazon presented several gaming-specific services, including Amazon GameLift (a dedicated server for hosting multiplayer games), Amazon Luna (a game streaming service), and others.

With the global rollout of 5G and the capabilities of Snapdragon (found in the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 and Snapdragon 888 Mobile Platform), we are poised to help power cloud services for mobile gaming devices anytime, anywhere.

GDC delivered an exciting event and a breadth of valuable knowledge. Given everything we’ve seen, along with our Snapdragon gaming and XR initiatives, we’re fired up for another exciting year of growth and innovation in mobile gaming. We can’t wait to see what you, the game developer, will build next!

Ready to start building your next mobile game? The powerful heterogeneous architecture and efficiency of Snapdragon, along with our SDKs, are ready to help. Also, be sure to check out the following resources:

Snapdragon, Snapdragon Spaces, and Qualcomm Adreno are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.
Snapdragon Spaces Pathfinder is a program of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.