Sonantic at GDC 2022: Key Takeaways

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Zeena Qureshi

CEO and Co-Founder

April 25, 2022

Sonantic brought their A-game to GDC 2022

Just after our Love AI campaign for Valentine's day, our teammates from London, the Netherlands, New York, and San Francisco all came over to share the latest on AI voice.

If you weren’t able to attend this year, we’ve got you covered. Here are our top takeaways from the event.

Ricky Shin, Sales Director at Sonantic

The Growing Role of AI Voice

Of course, we couldn’t leave out the excitement of AI voice that we heard at our booth. Our recent LoveAI Campaign brought lots of new excitement to the booth to learn about the leaps that AI voice has made, as well as the potential applications of that technology.

The range of interest in AI voice at GDC, was of particular note, with the industries in attendance extending far outside of gaming. There was interest from industries as broad as education, health, and other entertainment fields, as they explore ways that AI can impact and improve our experience with both digital and physical technology interactions. 

Blockchain, Crypto, and Web3

Blockchain and NFT gaming has exploded in popularity in the online gaming world over the last year, already generating billions of dollars from NFT transactions. Unsurprisingly, this was a major theme at GDC, as developers looked to better understand how they can incorporate these concepts into their strategies.

There was major presence from vendors throughout the show, such as the impressive WEMIX booth which occupied a gleaming space right at the centre of the expo. WEMIX is a blockchain platform that looks to use its currency to help other developers turn their titles into blockchain games. But the booth and panel presence for NFTs was a sure sign that this was a major theme of the event.

From new game design through Web3, leveraging NFT microtransaction opportunities and play-to-earn, to simply better understanding the potential risks and challenges associated with blockchain, this was a recurring theme on the event floor as well as on the official event schedule.

Metaverse and the AR/VR opportunities

While the metaverse continues to be built by tech companies, there was understandably major interest at GDC about how to take advantage of the possibilities that will be unlocked by it.

One major announcement at the event was the $100m Snapdragon Metaverse Fund launched by Qualcomm which, according to President and CEO Cristiano Amon, would empower “developers and companies of all sizes as they push boundaries of what’s possible as we enter into this new generation of spatial computing.”

This fund could mean incredible things for the industry, allowing the creation of “unique, immersive XR experiences, as well as associated core augmented reality (AR)and related artificial intelligence (AI)technologies,” according to the company. This fund will also have great potential for supporting startups and allowing them to expand their offerings and keep up with the latest technology trends.

Netflix’s Entry into Gaming

One recurring theme that the Sonantic team heard throughout the event was the implications of Netflix’s entry into gaming. 

Recently, Netflix announced the acquisition of Boss Fight Entertainment, a small independent video game studio based in Allen, Texas, which made for the third such acquisition in gaming.

Netflix has been slow to expand, and has major ground to catch up on competitors like Microsoft and Sony, but it’s clear that they have a plan. Mike Verdu was recently brought on to lead Netflix’s gaming initiatives, coming from Facebook and Electronic Arts. According to Verdu, the expansion would be slow and careful. But it’s certainly on the radar for developers as we saw at GDC.

What remains to be seen is what changes this move might have on the industry. As Netflix changed movie consumption through subscriptions, will it have the same impact on the gaming industry?

Summary

Coming out of GDC 2022, there were many many innovative announcements - some we’ll watch as they develop, like the Metaverse and Netflix, but many that are already changing the industry right now - like Sonantic AI voices.

But one thing was certain coming out of GDC 2022 - it’s an exciting and transformative time for the gaming industry, and much of that transformation is already happening.

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