Pocket Gamer’s ultimate GDC 2017 party guide

Stay busy during the evenings at GDC

Pocket Gamer’s ultimate GDC 2017 party guide

GDC 2017 is finally here – but how are you going to fill those long evenings and nights in San Francisco away from the hustle and bustle of the daily sessions and meetings?

Well don’t worry, we’ve got your covered. There are a whole host of parties and gatherings taking place throughout the week.

Party on

So to help you plan your week in an orderly fashion, we’re supplying a list of events going on around one of the biggest games industry conference of the year.

We’ll be adding more parties as we hear about them, so keep checking back for more.

Got a party to recommend? You can email PocketGamer.biz Editor Craig Chapple at craig.chapple@steelmedia.co.uk, or simply tweet us at @pgbiz.

Sunday, February 26th

  • What: 6th Annual Pre-GDC Dinner!

When: Sunday, February 26th, 5pm to 10pm
Where: Canton, 655 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94107
How: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/6th-annual-pre-gdc-dinner-tickets-31720285227
Cost: $25 to $30
More info: Join developers for a buffet dinner and drinks, and then hit the bar.


Monday, February 27th

  • What: Pocket Gamer Party @ GDC 2017 in association with Kiip Neon

When: 8pm to 12am
Where: The Grand, 520 4th St, San Francisco
How: http://www.pocketgamer.biz/events/868/pocket-gamer-party-gdc-2017-in-association-with-kiip/
Cost: FREE
More info: Join us in San Francisco during GDC for another spectacular PG Party sponsored by our friends at Kiip! We will be transporting you into outer space with a wacky space themed party! As always you can expect the usual mix of grade-A networking activity, plenty of drink, food and fun as we party the night away.

  • What: HEVGA & ESA Education Summit Mixer

When: Monday, February 27th, 6pm to 8pm
Where: Moscone Center, South Hall, Street Level
How: Just turn up! http://www.gdconf.com/events/
Cost: FREE
More info: The Higher Education Video Game Alliance (HEVGA) will be hosting their annual mixer during GDC's Education Summit. Network with colleagues and industry professionals in games and higher education.

  • AOL Mixer

When: Monday, February 27th, 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Where: Moscone Center, West Hall Lobby, 2nd Floor
Cost: FREE (With GDC pass)


Tuesday, February 28th

  • What: European Mobile Drinks

When: Tuesday, February 6th, 6pm to 8pm
Where: B Restaurant & Bar, 720 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94103
How: Invite Only
Cost: FREE
More info: A networking opportunity for games industry representatives to network and share interesting conversations over food and drinks.

  • What: Autodesk VIP event

When: Tuesday, February 28th, 7pm to 10pm
Where: Autodesk Gallery, 1 Market St, Suite 200, San Francisco, CA 94105
How: Invite Only
Cost: FREE
More info: A games industry networking event complete with virtual reality demos, drinks, appetizers and more!

  • What: WIGI GDC 2017 Networking Party

When: Tuesday, February 28th, 6pm to 9pm
Where: Museum of the African Diaspora, 685 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105
How: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wigi-gdc-2017-networking-party-tickets-31257780864
Cost: FREE
More info: 10th annual GDC networking event with opportunities to network with industry peers.

  • What: A Nite to Unite

When: Tuesday, February 28th, 5pm onwards
Where: Fairmont San Francisco, 950 Mason Street, San Francisco
How: https://www.nitetounite.org/
Cost: $500 for individual ticket
More info: The ESA brings together more than 600 industry members for a charity gala to raise funds for scholarships and other critical education and digital learning programs.

  • What: Made In MA at GDC 2017 Party

When: Tuesday, February 28th, 5:30pm to 8:30pm
Where: Johnny Foley's, 243 O'Farrell St., San Francisco, CA 94102
How: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/made-in-ma-at-gdc-2017-party-tickets-30889267631
Cost: $15
More info: Catch up with industry peers over drinks and snacks.

  • What: Phunware Mobile Summit Mixer

When: Tuesday, February 278h, 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Where: Moscone Center, West Hall Lobby, 2nd Floor
How: http://www.gdconf.com/events/partiesnetworking.html
Cost: FREE (With GDC pass)

  • What: 2017 IGDA Networking Event @ GDC

When: Tuesday, February 28th, 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Where: Children's Creativity Museum, 221 4th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
How: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2017-igda-networking-event-gdc-tickets-31774759160
Cost: FREE
More info: The annual IGDA networking event features karaoke, a photobooth, game demos, drinks and light snacks.


Wednesday, March 1st

  • What: My.com After Hour Social

When: March 1st 2017, 7pm -8pm
Where: The St. Regis Hotel, 125 3rd Street
How: Invite Only
Cost: FREE
More info: An exclusive after hour social for all key press and influencers who attended meetings with My.com.

  • What: The 17th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards & 19th Annual Independent Games Festival Awards

When: Wednesday, March 1st, 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Where: Moscone Convention Center, GDC Ballroom, West Hall, Street Level
How: All GDC attendees invited to attend
Cost: GDC ticket required http://www.gamechoiceawards.com/
More info: The Game Developers Choice Awards recognises achievements in the digital games industry and celebrates the creativity, artistry and technical expertise it takes to make games. The IGF Awards recognises the best independent game developers with eight awards and over $50,000 in total prize money.

  • What: THAT PARTY 2017

When: Wednesday, March 1st, 7pm to 2am
Where: Public Works, 161 Erie Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
How: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/that-party-2017-tickets-31368271344
Cost: $20 (Waiting list)
More info: Hosted by Venus Patrol & JUEGOS RANCHEROS, those in the games industry are invited to party the night away.

  • What: 11th Annual GGP at GDC Party

When: Wednesday, March 1st, 8pm to 1am
Where: Codeword, 917 Folsom St, San Francisco, California 94107
How: https://www.facebook.com/events/386653845015339
Cost: Unknown
More info: The 11th annual Gay Gaming Professionals Celebration includes pizza and drinks.

  • What: VRDC/GDC VR Mixer

When: Wednesday, March 1st, 7pm to 11pm
Where: Temple SF, 540 Howard street, San Francisco, CA
How: http://www.vrmixer.com/#rsvp
Cost: TBC
More info: The fourth annual VR Mixer.

  • What: GDC 2017 Serious Games Networking Reception

When: Wednesday, March 1st, 3pm to 6pm
Where: Google Launchpad, 301 Howard Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105
How: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gdc-2017-serious-games-networking-reception-tickets-31735949078
Cost: FREE
More info: Network with other practitioners in the field of serious games and celebrate the achievements of peers who have made great contributions to the sector.


Thursday, March 2nd

  • What: Big Indie Pitch & Big Indie Drinks @ GDC 2017 in association with iDreamSky

When: Thursday, March 2nd 2017 3pm to 9pm
Where: Barbarossa Lounge, 714 Montgomery St, San Francisco
How: http://www.pocketgamer.biz/events/865/big-indie-pitch-gdc-2017/
Cost: FREE
More info: The Big Indie Pitch sponsored by iDreamSky is returning to GDC. So, come join us for networking and pitching, as we once again put the spotlight on some of the world's best indie developers. Spectators are also welcome to check out the competition and stick around for networking drinks afterward.

  • What: One Life Left's Marioke Party at GDC 2017

When: Thursday, March 2nd, 8pm to 12am
Where: Encore Karaoke Lounge, 1550 California St, Fl 2, San Francisco, California 94109
How: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/marioke-gdc-2017-tickets-31443558530
Cost: $20 (Waiting list)
More info: Karaoke, drinks, lots of industry professionals. What more could you want?

  • What: Prizm PlayTable Party

When: Thursday, March 2nd, 8pm to 11pm
Where: Lemnos Labs, 1155 Indiana Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
How: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/prizm-playtable-party-tickets-31807281435
Cost: FREE (VIP tickets also available)
More info: A networking event connecting games industry and tabletop game professionals. Also includes a live band, drinks and tacos.

  • What: Zynga Casino Happy Hour

When: Thursday, March 2nd, 5pm to 7:30pm
Where: Zynga HQ, 699 8th Street (Shuttle provide from Moscone to Zynga
How: Bring GDC badge and ID for entry
Cost: FREE

  • What: Game Night with Kickstarter and Game Jolt

When: Thursday, March 2nd, 8pm to 11pm
Where: The Royale, 800 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94109
How: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/game-night-with-kickstarter-and-game-jolt-tickets-31649941828
Cost: FREE
More info: Join Kickstarter and Game Jolt for an evening of games and festivities with various games also available to demo.


Friday, March 3rd

  • What: GDC 2017 Japan Party

When: Friday, March 3rd, 5:30pm to 9pm
Where: Canton Seafood & Dim Sum Restaurant, 665 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA 94017
How: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gdc2017-japan-party-tickets-30910638552
Cost: $47
More info: Held by IGDA Japan, the event offers a chance to speak with Japanese developers directly. International guests are welcome to attend.

Also a big thanks to the Fellowship of GDC Parties and the countless other crowdsourced party lists that make it possible for all of us to find each other at the show!

All images from Pocket Gamer's party at GDC 2016.

Head of Content

Craig Chapple is a freelance analyst, consultant and writer with specialist knowledge of the games industry. He has previously served as Senior Editor at PocketGamer.biz, as well as holding roles at Sensor Tower, Nintendo and Develop.