GDC is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

View, browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by day, pass type, topic, and format. With this Session Viewer, you can view GDC 2023 session details and speakers, and share your favorites via social media. You will be able to build your schedule and access it during the show via export or Mobile App, once live. Sessions do fill up and seating is first come, first serve, so arrive early to sessions that you would like to attend.

Defiant in Life and Death: What Happens After You Fail?

Morgan Jaffit  (Founder, Defiant Development)

Location: Room 2014, West Hall

Date: Wednesday, March 22

Time: 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass

Topic: Business & Marketing, Production & Team Leadership

Format: Lecture

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: Intermediate

Founder Morgan Jaffit explores the rise and fall of the award-winning Australian studio Defiant Development, and the emotional toll of its 2019 closure. This talk looks in detail at the ways a company structure and culture are built, and how this can set game developers up for success or failure. Morgan considers and outlines some of the ways the Defiant culture helped and how it ultimately hindered its ultimate success.

Finally, this talk is an exploration of how to weather successes and failures: What is the emotional toll of failure, and what are the opportunities offered when things fall out from underneath you?


Attendees will learn how to avoid failure, but also what to do when everything falls apart. How do you build robust development structures that can survive challenging times, and what do you do when that's not enough?

Intended Audience

This is for anyone running or intending to run an indie business, and anyone who's ever feared failing or wondered what to do once they have.