Today we’re revealing the eighth group of speakers for our third annual GamesBeat 2011 conference. They’re the oddballs fo the group because they aren’t necessarily from the mobile game industry, which is the focus of the conference. Rather, these folks all have experience with their panel topic, Raising a Big Pile of Money.
The speakers include Lars Buttler, CEO of Trion Worlds; Shervin Pishevar, managing director of Menlo Ventures and founder of SGN; Joe Kraus, partner at Google Ventures; Kevin Chou, CEO of Kabam; and game industry consultant Mark Friedler, the moderator. Stay tuned on this channel. By the end of this, we could have more than 70 speakers. In fact, we’ve got 58 speakers already who are the who’s who in gaming. (see our agenda).
This group is uniquely qualified to talk about the topic of raising a lot of venture capital money. They can talk about it from multiple point of views. Kraus, for instance, led the investment in Chou’s Kabam.
Lars Buttler’s Trion Worlds has raised more than $100 million to create a factory for massively multiplayer online games. The company took almost five years to launch its first game, Rift, which has topped a million users for the subscription-based game. More MMOs are coming because Buttler made a huge bet, hiring multiple teams to work on multiple MMOs at the same time. Buttler previously was the vice president for global online at Electronic Arts, where he ran EA’s strategy for online games. He also worked at the Carlyle Group and Wingcast Europe. Buttler is also serving on another session at GamesBeat 2011 that we’ll talk about a little later.You’ll like it.
Shervin Pishevar joined Menlo Ventures just a few weeks ago to invest in social web, consumer internet, and mobile investments. Before that, he was chief application officer and general manager at Mozilla. He also founded Social Gaming Network, which was recently acquired by Mindjolt. he also founded Webs.com, Hyperoffice, and Hotprints and has invested in more than 40 companies as an angel investor, including Aardvark, Milo.com and others. He is active in social media and isn’t shy about expressing his opinion.
Joe Kraus has been a partner at Google Ventures since 2009. His focus is on mobile, gaming and local services. Prior to Google, Kraus was a two-time entrepreneur. In 1993, he co-founded Excite.com, one of the pioneers in internet search. And in 2004, he co-founded JotSpot, a wiki company that Google bought in 2006. At Google, he has had roles with products such as Blogger, Picasa, Sites, Friend Connect and OpenSocial. He has been an angel investor in LinkedIn, Aardvark, Kongregate and Open Candy. Among the deals he has handled in games is the investment in Kabam.
Kevin Chou recently raised $85 million for Kabam, which focuses on hardcore gamers on Facebook. Kabam has raised more than $125 million to date. The large amount of money suggests the opportunity before Kabam is huge, as the company races to build games (such as Dragons of Atlantis, Kingdoms of Camelot, Global Warfare and Glory of Rome) that appeal to gamers who play six or seven days a week and don’t mind spending to get ahead in their games. Kabam only has about 8 million users, for less than Facebook game leader Zynga. But those users are spending a lot of money in their games.
Mark Friedler is a consultant for game companies in the mobile, social and ad/media markets. He was a founder of companies including IndustryGamers.com (acquired by Eurogamer), GameDaily (acquired by AOL/Time Warner), Gigex, and V-Cast (acquired by Verizon Wireless). He’s also a veteran moderator at our GamesBeat events.
The GamesBeat 2011 conference takes place July 12-13 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco.
Our previous announced speakers include Peter Driessen, CEO of Spil Games; Julian Farrior, CEO of Backflip Studios; Kris Duggan, CEO of Badgeville; Jeferson Valadares, general manager of games at Flurry; Gabe Leydon, chief executive of Addmired; Lou Fasulo, chief operating officer of Z2Live; Dave Castelnuovo, CEO of Bolt Creative; David Marcus, founder and CEO of Zong; Rich Wong, a partner at venture capital firm Accel Partners; Chris Bergstresser, executive vice president of online gaming portal Miniclip; Neil Young, founder and CEO of Ngmoco; Andrej Nabergoj, founder and chief executive of Outfit7; Jason Citron, founder and chief executive of OpenFeint; Steve Perlman, chief executive of games-on-demand firm OnLive; Trip Hawkins, chief executive of Digital Chocolate; Peter Relan, chairman of YouWeb and chief executive of CrowdStar; Si Shen, chief executive of PapayaMobile; David Ko, senior vice president for mobile at Zynga; our keynote speaker, longtime game entrepreneur and founder of Atari, Nolan Bushnell; Tim Chang, partner at Norwest Venture Partners; Daniel Terry, co-founder of mobile game maker Pocket Gems; and Bing Gordon, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and former chief creative officer at Electronic Arts; Jennifer Lu, director of business development at TinyCo; Sana Choudary, CEO of game startup accelerator YetiZen; and Tim Merel, managing director of Digi-Capital.
Each year, GamesBeat follows a big trend. In 2009, we focused on how All The World’s a Game, with the explosion of games onto a global stage. Last year, GamesBeat@GDC focused on Disruption 2.0. This year, our theme is Mobile Games Level Up, and it focuses on the busy intersection of games and mobile technology. We’ll focus on everything from smartphone games to tablets and handhelds.
Console games dominated the news in the past, but the center of attention is rapidly shifting toward mobile as more and more users play games on the run. While there are hundreds of millions of gamers on Facebook, analysts believe the number could be much higher for mobile games. Our speakers are right at this intersection of gaming and mobility. GamesBeat 2011 targets an audience of CEOs, executives, entrepreneurs, investors, marketers and other key figures in the game business. Stay tuned for more speaker announcements.
We’ll be exploring the most disruptive game technologies and business models at our third annual GamesBeat 2011conference, on July 12-13 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. It will focus on the disruptive trends in the mobile games market. GamesBeat is co-located with our MobileBeat 2011conference this year. To register, click on this link. Sponsors can message us firstname.lastname@example.org. To pitch a startup at the Who’s Got Game contest at GamesBeat 2011, click here.