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This is not surprising considering that Insider Intelligence estimates 54% of the US population are now digital gamers. And mobile gaming is the most significant growth segment, with 48.3% of the population (162.9 million people) playing games on their smartphones.

GDC 2023 featured over 1,000 speakers in 700 sessions, with a wide range of workshops, roundtable discussions, and networking opportunities. More than 330 exhibitors displayed their latest advancements in technology solutions, services, and offerings. Industry leaders like Epic Games, AWS, Adobe, Sony Interactive, Discord, Bungie, Nvidia, Intel, Google, Unity, Riot Games and Scopely had a strong presence.

Developers used the event as a gathering place to share news about their latest insights and advancements in the gaming industry.

GDC23 showcased many impressive game reveals, including new footage for
The Seven Deadly Sins Origin, Counter-Strike 2, and others. Microsoft sparked excitement with 12 new ID@Xbox demos. The main stage event, "The Future of Play," focused on game design for marginalized cultures, creating a healthy studio with a remote workforce, and building a successful user-generated content platform that benefits players and developers.

That was just the tip of the iceberg compared to the presentation from Epic Games' GM of the Creator Marketplace, Bill Clifford, who announced, "This year, we'll be merging our content offerings into a new, unified creative marketplace called Fab."

Clifford explained that Epic's Fab would be an open marketplace serving the entire digital content creation industry. It will offer millions of assets, including 3D models, sound, animations, and visual effects. The primary focus is on independent artists, who will benefit from low fees and 88% of revenue from their sales. The Fab plugin will allow users to drag and drop content directly into their scenes without leaving the game editor. Creators will have access to all game engines, every digital content creation tool, and Metaverse-inspired OpenWorlds. So, whether you're working on a megahit game or movie in a major production studio or an independent creator at home building your first Fortnight island, Fab will bring you everything you need to build your world in one place. The new creative marketplace will have 3D models, materials, sound, plugins, animations, digital effects, and more.

"Fab will be the new home of Quixel Megascans, MetaHumans, and other incredible Epic content—all designed to push the limits of what's possible," added Clifford.

With accelerated growth and unprecedented innovation in gaming and beyond, five critical trends reverberated throughout GDC23 that will impact and influence your IT and business.

Trend 1: The creator economy is booming

Fab means significant disruption for the gaming industry and beyond. Now that any creator can use high-quality, professional tools to develop content and sell their assets directly into the digital marketplace, this opens up opportunities for thousands, even millions of people. Creators across the globe will benefit from accessing this revolutionary digital marketplace.

Think of the new Fab unified creative marketplace as a one-stop-shop for content creation in game engines and the metaverse. Epic's Fab empowers independent artists with low fees. It connects digital content creation tools to improve workflows.

A universal application for asset management is also being developed. The application will include various types of assets such as Mega Scans, Sketchfab and Unreal Engine asset marketplace. The application will be DCC and game engine agnostic, giving it the flexibility it needs to be used with any engine or software.

Sketchfab is empowering a new era of creativity, as it announced a digital store for selling assets on every game engine. Sketchfab has created an ecosystem for content creators to sell assets on every game engine with a 12% royalty. There is massive potential for Sketchfab to become an enormous success, and they are filling a critical gap in the industry.

Unreal Engine 5.2 will hook into Fortnite, enabling asset imports. This update will allow for easier asset importing across engines. It will also provide a much more streamlined editing experience for Fortnite content creators. 

Fab is user-friendly too. It connects digital content creation tools to improve workflows, leveling the playing field for more novice creators. And its partnership with Adobe allows for the easy export and publishing of models. Fab's digital asset management capabilities are strong for storing, managing, and sharing assets. 

As the emerging metaverse continues to shape opportunities for everyone, everywhere, WWT is uniquely positioned to help with all aspects of the development journey. Whether you need to create multi-dimensional immersion across platforms, strategize ways to improve collaboration or accelerate innovation, or expedite business transformation, WWT will help at any stage—across digital and virtual landscapes, in the cloud, at the edge, and in your data center.

Trend 2: Businesses are considering the ethics of AI

The more readily available technologies are, the more startups race to develop disruptive products and business models. Generative AI has triggered an overall sense of urgency everywhere.

In the rush to create, people should remember the importance of ethical AI. The marketplace is like the Wild West, with individuals creating products and objects that can be traded, purchased, used for game development, and more. Without a system to moderate, there is a risk that content will contain inappropriate subject matter that has not been vetted by specific professional and ethical standards.

Think about this: You create a realistic 3D digital image of a barbecue. Next, you create a believable digital image of a kitten. Individually, these images are not problematic. However, by combining the two and placing your kitten on the barbecue—you now have an unsettling image that should not be traded on the marketplace.

Of course, people can do an unlimited amount of nefarious things. And when millions of companies and individual contributors are creating, how does that all get regulated?

WWT can help keep you on top of the continually-evolving regulations, ensuring your company navigates and maintains compliance. Our expertise spans the globe and covers all major industries, so we can help you track key policy developments, scope out state aid and tax incentives, and stay on top of IP and copyright laws. From the regulations in the European marketplace to the upcoming ratifications in California, WWT helps you know you are adhering to best practices without violation.

Trend 3: Lines are blurring between real and unreal

As gaming technologies go beyond gaming and world-building is more widely accessible, enterprises are embracing the Unreal Engine to create Digital Twin (DT) technology industry-wide.

Digital twins are virtual representations of physical objects or systems that help you monitor performance, predict future behaviors, troubleshoot, innovate, improve processes, develop holistic plans, and make crucial decisions in ways you never could with physical assets alone.

Enterprises use Digital Twin technology to test their products, objects, and systems against time, space, pressure, temperature and limitless variables—to see and understand what they're creating before it even exists—thus saving time and money and giving companies a way to adapt, pivot and innovate before, during, and after development. See how WWT can help you explore and construct Digital Twins to benefit your business.

Trend 4: Expanding vision for computer vision

Computer vision is how computers gain a high-level understanding from digital images and videos. Today's computer vision still depends on conventional camera capture invented decades ago to accommodate how humans see. Yet computers and humans see the world very differently.  What works for human vision does not always align with computer vision. This is especially true for computer vision based on deep convolutional networks.

Evolving industries are pushing us toward a need for improved computer vision. When using GPUs and deep learning, you can reverse the resolution degrading effects of conventional visual capture and then reconstruct on demand to significantly improve the accuracy and processing efficiency of computer vision applications.

Of course, this requires new creative architectures. WWT and Nvidia continue to research and analyze the interplay between hardware, software, and media processing algorithms, collaborating efforts so all industries can take advantage of these game-changing technologies.

Trend 5: Accelerated computing and AI as powerful tools for innovation

Accelerated computing and AI are critical tools for tackling challenges and opportunities. Acceleration libraries are at the core of faster computing, connecting to applications across industries. NVIDIA recently developed 100 of its top accelerating libraries and AI models to help enterprises reach their goals easier and faster. 

With WWT and Nvidia, you can leverage accelerated computing power that includes CFD simulation and quantum computing. NVIDIA's RAFT library accelerates indexing and data retrieval for vector databases. You can also leverage cloud-scale acceleration libraries, including CV-CUDA and VPF for computer vision and video processing.

WWT and Nvidia are transforming industries with software-defined, AI-powered medical instruments and computational lithography.

As generative AI continues to evolve, it will likely revolutionize every industry. NVIDIA is working hard to expand access with DGX Cloud and AI Foundations. DGX supercomputers are essential for companies in AI, and DGX Cloud brings NVIDIA's ecosystem to Microsoft Azure, Google GCP, and Oracle OCI for instant access to NVIDIA in global-scale clouds.

Other exciting Nvidia technologies include:

  • NVIDIA AI Foundations, a cloud service for building, refining, and operating custom LLM and Generative AI trained with proprietary data and domain-specific tasks
  • NVIDIA Nemo and Picasso services that enable custom generative AI models
  • BioNeMo, NVIDIA's application framework for imaging instruments, genomics, and drug discovery
  • NVIDIA's inference platform with one architecture optimized for diverse AI workloads

Digitalization with the Omniverse optimizes operations, saves time and brings new business opportunities to the forefront—expanding the art of the possible. And as AI, game creation, and gameplay blend and serve each other, it's exciting to see all the places your IT organization and business can go.

Watch Epic's entire "The State of Unreal" presentation, including segments from Tim Sweeney and other key Epic contributors.