Game On! Here's What You'll Play Next - NBC Bay Area

Game On! Here's What You'll Play Next

GDC hits San Francisco with new titles



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    The Game Developer's Conference is here, so get your thumbs ready.

    While day one of GDC's expo was pushed aside by the spectacle of Steve Jobs unveiling the Apple iPad2, day two is wide open: all video games, all the time. And with new trends taking over the industry, this is a pivotal time for gamers and game developers alike.

    A bit of a spoiler, perhaps, to tell you about which games have already won Best in Show (GDC does this before it opens the expo floor):  "Red Dead Redemption" and "Minecraft" took top honors this year.  "Mass Effect 2" took top writing honors, but if you look a little further, you get a hint of what's to come:  "Cut The Rope" won best handheld game this year.

    "Cut The Rope" is huge in my house.  It's not on a gaming console, but you can play it as an app, and my young daughters, who really know nothing of console games yet, would play this constantly, but for occasional interruptions for food and "iCarly" episodes. It's cool, fun, and mobile.

    And that's where the industry seems to be going.  The hot companies hauling in big profits are not the big studios like Electronic Arts, but the smaller (albeit quickly growing) companies like Zynga.  Both EA and Disney have snatched up smaller screen-based gamers, because they want a piece of the action.

    So get your game on, but be prepared to squint a bit.  The big screen games, with their big price tags, may have seen their day.  Now, it's all about mobile, and rope-cutting.

    If you're at GDC, Scott will be there to say hi.  He's also on Twitter:   @scottbudman