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We’re pleased to announce that we have a panel on investing in the game business, one of the hottest investment categories of the past couple of years, at our annual GamesBeat 2012 conference on July 10-11 in San Francisco.
This panel, dubbed Disruption + Adaptation, examines the state of investments in the game industry and the disruptive forces that are shaping startups. Our records show that 145 game companies raised $1.54 billion in funding in 2011, and that’s only among the companies that disclosed the amounts raised. That was up 47 percent from the $1.05 billion raised by 91 companies in 2010. This year, mobile game companies and social casino game companies have been raising a lot of money.
These numbers don’t include the $2 billion-plus raised in the public markets by companies such as Zynga and Nexon.
Will the trend continue? What will be hot in the future? Is the bubble bursting, or are the good times just starting? The panel features some of the most interesting experts on the topic today:
Martin Rae, moderator of the panel and president of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. Rae’s nonprofit organization stages the game industry’s high-end DICE Summit every year in Las Vegas, and it also holds the prestigious Interactive Achievement Awards and the Indie Game Challenge. Prior to joining AIAS in 2010, Rae was CEO at Sunleaf Studios. He also held executive positions at Boss Entertainment, Boss Game Studios, Boss Film Studios, and the Electric Playground.
Atul Bagga, senior equity research analyst at Lazard Capital Markets. Bagga focuses on the video game and China Internet industries. Previously, he was an equity analyst covering social media and video games at Think Equity, where he wrote multiple research notes on topics such as games-as-a-service. He is regularly quoted in the press and speaks at a number of different conferences.
Nabeel Hyatt, venture partner at Spark Capital. Hyatt focuses on investments in games. Prior to joining Spark Capital, he was general manager at Zynga’s Boston office. He joined Zynga after it acquired Conduit Labs, where he was founder and CEO. Prior to that, he worked at Ambient Devices and internetsoccer.com.
Jeremy Liew, managing director at Lightspeed Venture Partners. He invests primarily in the Internet and mobile sectors, with interest in social media, commerce, gaming, and financial services. He was named to the Forbes Midas list of top VCs in 2011 and 2012. He previously worked at AOL, Netscape, InterActive Corp., and McKinsey & Co. He will join our game investments panel.
Tim Merel, managing director of Digi-Capital, the digital investment bank focused on games across America, Europe, and Asia. Merel keeps tabs on investments in the game industry and is an occasional contributor to GamesBeat on reports on the state of game investments. He recently wrote a feature on whether console games have a future.
GamesBeat 2011’s theme is “the crossover era.” The game industry as we know it is changing. We’re seeing established companies cross over from one market to another, where once they faced barriers. As companies adapt to change, we are witnessing disruption, change, consolidation, innovation, and the arrival of big money. We’re talking billions of dollars that are at stake.
Our previously announced speakers are Mark Pincus of Zynga, Will Wright of Stupid Fun Club, Bing Gordon of Kleiner Perkins, David Perry of Gaikai, Mitch Lasky of Benchmark Capital, Chris Petrovic of GameStop Digital Ventures, Riccardo Zacconi of King.com, Peter Vesterbacka of Rovio, Seamus Blackley of Innovative Leisure, Will Harbin of Kixeye, Brock Pierce of Clearstone Global Gaming Fund, David Bezahler of Blitzoo, Nicholas Talarico of 12 Gigs, Jesse Jasonov of Zynga, Christopher Griffin of Betable, Tim Schafer of Double Fine Productions, Cindy Au of Kickstarter, Brian Fargo of InXile Entertainment, Jesse Divnich of EEDAR, Phil Eisler of Nvidia, Greg Canessa of Activision Blizzard, and Jamie Berger of Activision Publishing.
We’re expecting 500 movers and shakers from throughout the game industry — social, mobile, online, and console. Please join us.
We want to thank the industry leaders that are supporting GamesBeat 2012: W3i as Platinum Sponsor; King.com as Corporate Sponsor; Flurry & Tapjoy as Gold Sponsors; Greystripe, LifeStreet Media & Nokia Developer as Silver Sponsors; and Game Insight, Gree, Kontagent, Nexage, Paypal, Pontiflex, Swrve & Betable as Event Sponsors.
GamesBeat 2012 is VentureBeat’s fourth annual conference on disruption in the video game market. This year we’re calling on speakers from the hottest mobile, social, PC, and console companies to debate new ways to stay on pace with changing consumer tastes and platforms. Join 500-plus execs, investors, analysts, entrepreneurs, and press as we explore the gaming industry’s latest trends and newest monetization opportunities. The event takes place July 10-11 in San Francisco, and you can get your tickets here.