Though there are a great many interesting and useful videogame conferences scheduled for 2010, several stand head and shoulders above the rest. The Electronic Entertainment Expo has rediscovered its form of late and joins the Game Developers Conference, Gamescom, and the Tokyo Games Show as being among the most important that incorporate industry-only meetings with public events.
Despite the relatively closed-access nature of those industry keynotes, many popular videogaming websites track progress throughout the conferences by means of live video streaming, live blogging, audio commentaries and reports, interviews, Twitter updates, chat, and quickfire articles.
G4TV, Gamespot, GameTrailers and IGN have become known for supporting live video feeds wherever possible, whilst sites such as 1UP, Eurogamer, GiantBomb, Joystiq, Kotaku, and VG247 are great bets for a host of coverage options.
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
This conference, whose title is an acronym for "Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain," stands in contrast to many other industry conferences with its focus on the business side of video games production and is set up primarily as a networking event for higher-ups. That said, it also hosts the prestigious Interactive Achievement Awards which celebrate the best of the previous year's games, the industry's equivalent to the Oscars.
March 8-10 / December 7-9
San Francisco, California, USA / Lyon, France (Lyon's December date TBC)
Aimed at developers, publishers, distributors, and independent studios, Game Connection likens itself to "a speed dating event for business-focused game makers." Prior to the connection's commencement, attendees schedule a series of 30-minute meetings and pitches between themselves in order to efficiently evaluate as many potential clients and business partners as possible over the conference's duration.
Game Developers Conference
San Francisco, California, USA
A very wide-ranging umbrella conference which also incorporates a series of other video gaming and digital industry events around San Francisco, such as the celebrated Independent Games Festival and the Game Developers Choice Awards. The GDC also puts on events specific to China (October), Austin in Texas (October), Canada, and Europe at other times of the year.
Electronic Entertainment Expo aka E3
Los Angeles, USA
One of the most famous videogaming expositions has been reclaiming its reputation as one of the biggest industry gatherings in recent years, with a focus on keynote presentations where Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo all try and outdo each other with new game trailers, technology, and sales figures summaries.
Games Convention Online
Formerly known as the Leipzig Games Convention but now reinvented to emphasis online and social gaming, including mobile technologies in its broad remit, which, given the rise and rise of Facebook games in 2009, may not have been such a bad idea. This trade conference overlaps with a consumer access track that runs July 9-11.
Games Convention Asia Conference
Suntec City, Singapore
Part of the Games Convention Asia, which itself was set up by the Leipzig-based Games Convention Online, the GCA Conference also incorporates the Asian arm of the prestigious DICE Summit whose main meeting is half a year beforehand in Las Vegas, USA.
Tokyo Game Show
The TGS, along with North America's GDC and E3, and Europe's Gamescom, is one of the world's biggest trade and public shows of videogaming technology. Based as it is in Japan, the home of Nintendo and Sony, world exclusives are often premiered here, though Microsoft has not been shy at using it to display its wares in recent years.