Gen Con has announced that game industry veteran David Hoppe will join the company’s executive team as President. As such, Hoppe will take over the management of Gen Con’s operations at the company’s Seattle office, beginning in May 2017.
After 10 years of leadership, in which Gen Con’s annual attendance has more than doubled, Adrian Swartout will step down as CEO following this August’s Gen Con 50 event. Hoppe and Swartout will work together to jointly manage the company and ensure a smooth leadership transition throughout the next four months. Subsequently, Swartout will continue to serve on Gen Con’s Board of Directors.
David Hoppe is currently Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for Blastworks, Inc. a mobile games developer and publisher with operations in North America and Europe. At Blastworks, David oversees performance marketing, analytics, data science, and business development. Prior to Blastworks, David spent five years as a Director of Business Operations for Xbox Live and Microsoft, as well as being a founding member of two game development startups (Flashlight Creations & Tenacious Games). He also served as a consultant to Upper Deck Entertainment, and from 1995 to 2002 was SVP of Organized Play, as well as Brand Management at Wizards of the Coast during the meteoric rise of both the Magic: The Gathering and Pokémon trading card game franchises.
The Gen Con has announced Donato Giancola as the Artist Guest of Honor for Gen Con 50.
With 25 years as a professional, Giancola is one of the most respected and heavily awarded artists in the fields of sci-fi and fantasy with dozens of accolades from around the world, including eight Spectrum medals and three Hugo Awards. Donato’s dedication to the craft of art has gained the admiration and attention of galleries and collectors alike, all the while sharing his passion with the next generation of talent at the School of Visual Arts, online through the SmArt School, and at the illustration Master Class.
His current projects range from book cover illustrations to private commissions to personal projects on empathetic robots and the fantastic worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien and George R.R. Martin. Donato lives in works in Brooklyn, New York with his wife and two daughters. Make sure to visit him in the Gen Con 50 Art Show, where he will have a prominent, featured placement.
For more information on Donato and to view his work, visit his website, www.donatoart.com. *Pictures used with permission by Donato Giancola.
Gen Con has announced a new and very interesting partnership with Temple University’s Digital Scholarship Center which will work on the creation of an online database of events for all 50 years of the Gen Con gaming convention.
The database will be available for public use with an accompanying exhibit site for articles. With this event information, researchers can apply digital scholarship techniques, including textual and network analysis, to learn how gaming has changed as reflected through Gen Con.
The project is expected to “go live” July 2017.
Gen Con has chosen Indianapolis-based charity Child Advocates as its Official Charity Partner for 2017. As part of this agreement, they will receive the proceeds from Gen Con’s numerous longstanding charity events, including a charity auction, a balloon sculpture and its destruction, and the popular “Cardhalla,” a giant construction of cards.
Child Advocates is celebrating their 35th year of advocacy for children in the Indianapolis area. Child Advocates is the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) chosen by the courts in Marion County to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children. They fulfill their mission through advocacy, monitoring, evaluation, fact-finding and mediation. Volunteers assist staff professionals in each child’s case to make sure those children do not get lost in the system, that their needs are met during their court cases, and that a safe, permanent home is found for them as soon as possible.
The organization helps ensure that the more than 7,000 children whose cases they monitor each year have a voice in court and are placed in a safe and permanent home as soon as possible.
In 2017, Gen Con will take place from August 17-20, celebrating its historic 50th convention and its 15th year in Indianapolis. During its time in Indy, Gen Con has raised more than $230,000 for local charity partners including organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana, Gleaners Food Bank, and the Julian Center.
You can purchase badges for this year’s convention now. Sign-up for charity events will begin in May 2017.
Gen Con, the longest-running gaming convention in North America, has announced a renewal of their partnership with Sun King Brewing Company, continuing an uninterrupted relationship that began in 2012. As part of this partnership extension, Sun King will craft the official beer for the historic Gen Con 50, operate an outdoor 21-and-over beer garden during the convention, and provide entertainment on W. Georgia St in Indianapolis.
For Gen Con 50, taking place August 17-20, Sun King will brew a Belgian-Style Golden Ale, available in both cans and drafts at the convention as well as via bar, restaurant, and packaged liquor providers in the Indianapolis metro. Sun King Brewing has created official beers for five prior Gen Con events, including last year’s 20-Sided Rye.
Gen Con, the longest-running gaming convention in North America, has reached an agreement with Rio Grande Games to return as one of the show’s three Co-Sponsors for Gen Con 50 (2017). Game publisher Rio Grande Games first participated as a Co-Sponsor at Gen Con 2016. As a Co-Sponsor, Rio Grande Games will have their own dedicated space inside the Indiana Convention Center, during Gen Con 50.
Along with their dedicated gaming area, as a Co-Sponsor, Gen Con will offer the gaming publisher additional pre-show promotion, on-site graphics, and other marketing opportunities.
Gen Con will return to Indianapolis on August 17-20, 2017, to celebrate its historic 50th convention.
Gen Con has announced that it is extending its partnership with Indianapolis in a deal that will allow the convention to renew its contract annually. The convention will stay in Indy until 2021 in a one year extension. It was unknown what would happen to the “best four days in gaming” after controversy swirled within the state of Indiana in 2015 over legislation signed by then Governor Pence that would discriminate against LGBT individuals.
In 2015 Gen Con threatened to leave Indianapolis due to the passing of legislation SB 101 which discriminated against LGBT individuals in the form of “religious freedom.” The convention took a stand to protect LGBT attendees and fight discrimination against them by local businesses. At that time the convention announced it had a contract to stay in the city until 2020 with bidding as to what would happen after beginning this year or next. It was speculated by some the convention would use the controversy to get a better deal from the city to stay.
This coming year the convention will celebrate its 50th convention. The convention has an estimated $72 million economic impact for the region annually.
In 2016, Gen Con featured a record number of turnstile attendees, 201,852, a 2.5% year-over-year increase. Attendees came to Indianapolis from 64 countries, all 50 states, and each Canadian province. Last year, Gen Con also expanded into Lucas Oil Stadium, and due to increased space, also featured a record number of exhibitors (525).
Gen Con moved its annual convention to Indianapolis in 2003 and last completed an extension agreement in 2011. Since moving to Indianapolis, Gen Con’s attendance has more than doubled, from 23,000 unique attendees to a unique attendance record of more than 61,000.
The convention will return to Indianapolis on August 17-20, 2017, to celebrate the historic Gen Con 50.
Gen Con continues to grow and saw a record-setting convention this year. 2015 saw over 400 exhibitors while 2016 boasted over 500. The convention continued its streak of turnstile growth. This year saw 201,852 attendees, up from last year’s 197,695. The unique attendance dipped a little with 60,819 individuals compared to last year’s 61,423.
The convention made some changes in how badges were sold as well as space used. A new pricing structure for 4-day badges increased the value of the show for attendees. The convention expanded its exhibit hall taking over some of the gaming hall. There was also growth into Lucas Oil Stadium where anime screenings and the True Dungeon were held. This helped traffic flow allowing for ease of movement on the show floor and creating more space for gaming for attendees.
There was also a record number of events with the number of events at the convention, surpassing 16,500 ticketed events. The pre-show Trade Day program, held on August 3, once again sold out with more than 550 participants. Gen Con’s official charity partner of 2016, The PourHouse, will receive more than $35,000 from donations created from on-site programming, including a large contribution from Mayfair Games.
The convention drives an estimated $71 million into the city of Indianapolis.
The convention returns next year to Indianapolis, August 17-20, to celebrate the historic Gen Con 50.
It’s a new week and Gen Con has wrapped up. We’ll have more from that convention as well as San Diego Comic-Con this week! Until then, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.
Around the Tubes
Tampa Bay – Comic books dealer reports rare merchandise missing from Tampa Bay Comic Con – This is horrible. If anyone has info, please help.
Hyperallergic – A Conceptual Artist Designs Tactile Comic Books for Blind Readers – This is amazing.
Indy Star – Gen Con cosplayers: What’s your day job? – This is a great idea.
Truthout – A Lawyer Who Turned the Tables: Graphic Biography Immortalizes Leonard Weinglass – Interesting read.
The Art of Meghan Hetrick – Harley and Me – If you read one thing today.
Around the Tubes Reviews
ICv2 – Demon Vol. 1
Talking Comics – Hero Academia Vol. 5
Talking Comics – Kill or Be Killed #1
Talking Comics – Suicide Squad: Rebirth #1
It’s the last day of Gen Con, which is rather sad, but the best four days in gaming continues to still be the best! Here’s some photos from Saturday at Gen Con.