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Tech Week Ahead: Game Developers Conference


From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. And it's time now for All Tech Considered.


CORNISH: This week marks the beginning of the Game Developers Conference, the world's largest and longest running event for those in the gaming business. Some 23,000 professionals, from designers to programmers to producers, are expected to attend.

For a sneak peek, NPR's Laura Sydell joins us now from the floor of the conference in San Francisco. Hey there, Laura.


CORNISH: So let's start with the big announcements. What are gamers getting excited about?

SYDELL: Well, there are some big announcements from the big gaming companies. So EA has an invite-only event where it is expected to unveil "Battlefield 4." And Sony's giving a big talk that developers are very excited about attending because it's about making games for its PlayStation 4 console, which is expected out later this year. And it does seem like the number four is kind of big. A lot of repeats.

And I think that what's more interesting this year, in many ways, is not the repeats of the old, but what's coming from smaller independent developers.

CORNISH: So does this say something about how the gaming world is changing?

SYDELL: Yeah. More and more, I think you see games being developed for mobile devices and finding new ways to make money and get both casual and hard-core gamers excited about games on those platforms. And there's a lot of talk here about that. Also, how to make money off of mobile games and how to expand audiences.

CORNISH: Expanding audiences, but to where?

SYDELL: To people outside the U.S. So there're several panels here about bringing games to developing countries. And in those countries, mobile is going to be the way to reach people. And, of course, as in every industry, there is interest in China and finding ways to make a cross-cultural connection to that huge market. And dealing with China can be culturally and politically complex. American companies deal with everything there from intellectual property theft to China's tendency to favor its own company's. And, you know, this is going to come up on panels here.

CORNISH: Before we go, Laura, anything else you expect out of this conference?

SYDELL: Well, gamers have a chip on their shoulder here. And there's a lot of people talking about how to make the world see games as a serious art form, with strong narratives and characters, the way film and novels are seen today.

CORNISH: NPR's Laura Sydell joining us from San Francisco and the floor of the Game Developers Conference. Laura, thank you.

SYDELL: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Laura Sydell fell in love with the intimate storytelling qualities of radio, which combined her passion for theatre and writing with her addiction to news. Over her career she has covered politics, arts, media, religion, and entrepreneurship. Currently Sydell is the Digital Culture Correspondent for NPR's All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, and
Audie Cornish
Over two decades of journalism, Audie Cornish has become a recognized and trusted voice on the airwaves as co-host of NPR's flagship news program, All Things Considered.