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The year that was: How Pocket Gamer Connects 2023 is shaping the future of the games industry

Looking back on a year of growth in the games industry through the eyes of Pocket Gamer Connects
The year that was: How Pocket Gamer Connects 2023 is shaping the future of the games industry

As we prepare for our 10th year of Pocket Gamer Connects, we're taking a moment to reflect on just how far we've come. In the past decade, we've welcomed over 48,000 individuals into the PGC family, forging a vibrant and dynamic community of games industry professionals.

Looking back on 2023, we celebrated another successful year with five full-scale conferences across the globe. Our events brought together representatives from 1,500 companies from 70 countries, with many returning to join us on multiple occasions.

Throughout the year, over 800 speakers shared their knowledge and innovations with more than 6,550 attendees, who networked and connected with investors, developers, and publishers.

Even our digital attendees joined in on the action, with over 200 additional delegates networking via the MeetToMatch platform from locations all across the world.

The PG Connects conference series stands out as a paramount opportunity for networking and staying informed about cutting-edge innovations within the dynamic realm of the games industry.

While the main events provide a central stage for industry leaders and keynotes, it is the wealth of fringe events that truly distinguishes PG Connects.These additional gatherings offer an invaluable chance for professionals to engage in informal discussions, forge meaningful connections, and gain firsthand insights into the latest trends and breakthroughs.

The diverse array of fringe events below ensures that participants not only expand their networks but also gain the latest knowledge on the ever-evolving landscape of the games world. In this comprehensive and inclusive environment, PG Connects activities ensure help foster collaboration and propel the industry forward.

Publisher SpeedMatch

The curated Publisher SpeedMatch sessions at PG Connects conferences in 2023 were a resounding success! The response was overwhelming, with 266 applicants eager to showcase their projects and connect with potential publishing partners.

A total of 40 publishers were selected to participate in this speed-dating style networking event at our conferences throughout the year, connecting with 94 developers. The event created a vibrant atmosphere and provided valuable networking opportunities for all involved

The numbers speak for themselves, highlighting the enthusiasm and engagement within the games industry at PG Connects 2023.

Publisher Speedmatch in action
Publisher Speedmatch in action

Investor Connector

Investor Connector, a key component of PG Connects events in 2023, brought together a diverse group of investors and developers. The event received an overwhelming number of applicants, with over 200 individuals eager to seize the opportunity and present their projects to the investment community.

A rigorous selection process resulted in 60 investors in attendance, and the event provided an excellent platform for developers to showcase their projects and connect with potential funders.

The response was remarkable, with over 100 developers participating in Investor Connector and demonstrating a high level of interest and engagement within the industry. Investor Connector successfully facilitated meaningful connections and fostered collaborations to drive innovation and growth in the games industry.

Big Indie Pitch

As always, the Big Indie Pitch was one of the highlights of PG Connects in 2023, showcasing the talent and creativity of indie game developers. A total of 210 submissions were received for the pitch, indicating the immense interest and participation from the indie game development community.

Out of these submissions, 108 pitchers had the opportunity to present their projects to a panel of esteemed judges. The competition was fierce, with only the top three finalists making it to the final stage at each event.

he year’s activities culminated in the announcement of seven overall winners, who stood out for their innovative ideas and exceptional execution. The Big Indie Pitch served as a platform for indie developers to gain recognition, receive valuable feedback, and (in those seven cases) get their hands on the coveted golden baseball bat prize!

PGC London 2023 Big Indie Pitch Winner
PGC London 2023 Big Indie Pitch Winner

In 2023, we also established a relationship with Global Game Jam as our official indie partner, and we’ll be working together in 2024 to encourage the community to participate in jams and pitches. 

Careers Zone

The Careers Zone at PG Connects events proved to be a valuable resource for jobseekers in the games industry. With over 140 individuals seeking career opportunities, the zones we’ve run have provided an opportunity for talent to connect with potential employers and explore job prospects.

In addition, the event saw a significant presence of recruiters, with 10 recruiters in Seattle alone actively seeking talented individuals to join their organisations.

We’re grateful for the help of Cami Smith from GG Locators in bringing that Careers Zone together. The event demonstrated the high demand for skilled professionals in the games industry and the collaborative atmosphere at PG Connects.

Following the success in Seattle, an exciting partnership was launched with Games Factory Talent in Helsinki, expanding the reach of the Careers Zone and providing even more opportunities for jobseekers and recruiters to connect

The Careers Zone at PG Connects in Helsinki showcased the still-vibrant job market in the games industry and cemented the event as a hub for career development and talent acquisition. Part of the ongoing focus of PG Connects is to support the continued growth and prosperity of the games industry internationally, and we’ll continue to work with Games Factory Talents in 2024.

Games Factory Talents
Games Factory Talents

As we look forward to what the future holds, we remain committed to fostering this incredible community and continuing to connect individuals across the games industry. We‘re counting down the days until we reconnect with old friends and welcome many more new additions to the PG Connects family at our global events in 2024.

Want to join us? Register for Pocket Gamer Connects London (January 22nd to 23rd, 2024) here. You can also register for Pocket Gamer Connects San Francisco (March 18th to 18th, 2024) here.