The organizers were kind enough to fly out myself and my friend Mathew Anderson from Events For Gamers to check out the 5th annual China Game Developers Conference. The 3-day conference took place alongside many other ChinaJoy events happening in and around the Shanghai New International Expo Centre including the ChinaJoy Gaming Expo, the Business to Business Expo, the China Game Outsourcing Conference and the China Game Business Conference. We both mainly stuck around the CGDC although we did make a few forays into the Expo halls to check out the gaming expo and Mathew popped into the BtoB area as well.
The CGDC took up a large ballroom at the Kerry Hotel just behind the Expo Centre that was subdivided into several rooms to host simultaneous sessions from various tracks including online, mobile and social gaming - which makes up the majority of the eastern gaming market. I attended several talks each day although I have only found several of them with information that is worth writing home about. This doesn't mean the talks themselves were bad, but a lot of the Chinese talks I attended weren't well translated and the slides were all in Chinese. One talk had an English speaker and a Chinese speaker taking turns for each slide however all the slide were in Chinese. I've never experienced foreign-language lectures before so I can't relate the translation quality with previous experience, but I had trouble following the few Chinese talks I attended.
The gaming expo was massive, occupying 4 halls of the expo center and as with any major expo was completely jam packed. Unlike all the US expos and conferences I've been to where you simply walk past security guards who glance at your badge, ChinaJoy required you to pass through a turn style for each event (as pictured above). Your badge's RFID chip would activate the turn style and while it did cause a bit of line jam entering (and exiting too required a badge scan) people seemed used to it. While there have been a lot of changes recently regarding the use of booth babes in China they still factor strongly into the culture of the expo - many huge booths are built with stages for performances featuring the girls and even the ones simply staffing the booth's counters were being crowded by photographers.
The CGDC, CGBC and CGOC held a combined reception the second night of the conference at a rooftop revolving restaurant that was well catered and attended by all the various conference attendees. The various outsource companies were of course walking around handing out business cards to anyone that would take them, looking for new clients. The views over Shanghai were stunning, especially at sunset.
Over the next few days I'll be posting write ups of several talks, and Mathew will also have stuff up over at Events For Gamers which we will most likely cross post here (and vice-versa). In the meantime check out the photo gallery over to the right (or on Facebook).