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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.

Independent Games Summit: Developing a Live Game That Never Truly Left Early Access

Mikhail Akopyan  (Lead Game Designer, Ghost Ship Games ApS)

Location: Room 2005, West Hall

Date: Monday, March 20

Time: 10:50 am - 11:50 am

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass, Independent Games Summit Pass

Topic: Independent Games

Format: Lecture

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

When Deep Rock Galactic started as a small indie project back in 2016, it was never the plan to make a live service game. But somehow, that became the most natural progression for the game—due to a passionate community, open development, and a game focused on co-op.

Six years later, DRG is a full-fledged live game, with seasons and events, while still engaging with fans and the player community for playtesting and design feedback.

This talk will go into detail on the journey from Early Access to Live Service, how open development and fan involvement became an integral part of that journey, and everything the team learned from making DRG a live game that never truly left early access.


Attendees will learn how community management and game development are closely linked for games that let passionate fans and players be part of the journey, and how F2P concepts can be co-opted to improve a Live Service Game

Intended Audience

This is for anyone working on an early access title, live service game title, co-op title, or any other project that lets fans be a part of it (or wants to). It's also for those with an interest in community management and live game development.