We’re pleased to unveil our GamesBeat University speaker track at GamesBeat 2014, our game-industry conference that takes place Sept. 15 and Sept. 16 at the Parc 55 Wyndham Hotel in San Francisco.
We’ll round up some speakers who can offer tips and tricks on how to succeed in the games business on a global basis. These speakers will run in parallel to our GamesBeat 2014 speakers, who will talk about the high level of running a modern games business. We’re now taking submissions for GamesBeat University speakers, and we welcome pitches for 20-minute talks on topics such as monetizing games, mobile analytics, HTML5, how to raise money, and marketing intelligence. These will be curated talks for attendees who want how-to instruction.
We’ll cover the full spectrum of gaming at our sixth annual GamesBeat event, which will gather the top executives, investors, analysts, journalists, and entrepreneurs from the industry to explore the latest trends and monetization opportunities.
GamesBeat editor-in-chief Dan “Shoe” Hsu and I will once again serve as masters of ceremonies. Our theme for 2014 is “Total World Domination.” Gaming is competing on the world stage to become the dominant medium for entertainment. Will it succeed? And will blockbusters dominate the game business across all platforms — consoles, PCs, mobile, and online — or will diversity thrive as indies stay strong?
We also opened up applications for our Who’s Got Game Innovation Showdown. The contest judges will select the best innovation in games for small or large companies, and we’ll pick the winner after on-stage presentations at GamesBeat 2014. Applicants should apply by Aug. 11 at 11:59 pm Pacific time.
If you purchase one of the first 50 tickets for GamesBeat 2014, you can get up to $400 off the event.
Our most recently announced speakers include:
- Rick Thompson, chairman of Signia Ventures. Thompson is an active investor in game startups, including Funzio (acquired by Gree for $210 million), Wild Needle (acquired by Zynga for $3.8 million), Idle Games, Red Robot Labs, Grand Cru, Rumble Entertainment, Project Slice, Fun+, Airy Labs, Noise Toys, Viki, Social Shield, Udemy, Triangulate, AdChina, and Iddiction. He is the former chairman of social gaming firm Playdom, which he sold to Disney in 2010 for up to $763.2 million.
- Chris DeWolfe, chief executive of SGN, the social mobile casual game publisher. He was formerly cofounder and the chief executive of social network MySpace, which he ran from 2003 to 2009. When he left the company in 2009, it had more than 125 million monthly active users. With funding from Austin Ventures, he acquired social casual game publisher MindJolt. He also acquired SGN, HallPass Media, and Mob Science. Renamed as SGN, his company has 35 million monthly active users, 45 million mobile downloads, and more than 80 million installs on Facebook.
- Phil Sanderson, a game-savvy partner at IDG Ventures. He has invested in companies such as Telltale Games, maker of the acclaimed The Walking Dead episodic adventure game series; Hammer & Chisel, the game company started by Jason Citron; and Funzio (sold to Gree for $210 million). He has also invested in Next Games, which is doing a mobile version of The Walking Dead, and Plain Vanilla Games, creator of the big trivia app QuizUp.
- Peter Levin, president of interactive ventures and games at Lionsgate, the film studio that made The Hunger Games and Divergent movies. Levin is in charge of making games and game investments based on Lionsgate’s film properties. He is a seasoned game investor and was previously cofounder and CEO of Nerdist Industries, a multiplatform digital entertainment channel. He invested in Rovio Entertainment, maker of Angry Birds, advised Japanese media mogul Yoshimoto Kogyo, and started his career as a corporate advisor at Creative Artists Agency.
Other announced speakers include Mike Gallagher, president and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association; Jens Begemann, chief executive of German social mobile game publisher Wooga; Mitch Lasky, a general partner at Benchmark and an investor in Riot Games and Natural Motion; John Riccitiello, a gaming investor and the former CEO of Electronic Arts; Evan Hirsch, the founder of Engine Co. No. 4 (talking about seeing signs of trouble in game studios); Alisa Chumachenko, the CEO of Moscow-based mobile game maker Game Insight; and Tim Chang, the managing director at the Mayfield Fund.
Our advisers include Brock Pierce, the managing director of the Clearstone Global Fund; Eric Goldberg, the managing director of Crossover Technologies; Michael Chang, the managing director of Mavent Partners; and Tim Chang. We’ll roll out a steady drumbeat of speakers as we get closer to the event. We expect to have about 100 speakers.
Each year, GamesBeat follows a big trend. In 2009, we focused on how “All The World’s a Game” with the explosion of games on the global stage. In 2010, GamesBeat@GDC focused on “Disruption 2.0.” In 2010, our theme was “Mobile Games Level Up,” focusing on the busy intersection of games and mobile technology. In 2012, we explored the Crossover Era, defined by the time when so many big game companies and startups were transforming themselves by expanding from one market to the next. Last year, we talked about the Battle Royale as barriers between the different industry segments came down. Now, in the bid for Total World Domination, the competition to become the biggest global gaming company is wide open.
As game companies adapt to change, we’re witnessing disruption, change, consolidation, innovation, and the arrival of big money. Billions of dollars are at stake. Last year, more than 550 notables from throughout the game industry — social, mobile, online, PC, and console — attended the event. Please join us.
This year, we’ll see the return of our contest for the best gaming startup. The attention that these startups get for speaking onstage and winning the event is invaluable. An all-star panel of judges will pick the most promising game startup, based on freshness, innovation, and potential for business success. The top nominees will appear onstage, and the judges will pick the winner at the event.
We are still exploring our subthemes for the event and welcome your suggestions. If you’d like to sponsor, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s what a couple of game-industry leaders said about last year’s event:
“Thanks for the contributions GamesBeat has made for this industry.”
–Bing Gordon, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
“It’s really refreshing listening to the cutting-edge innovation that is happening in the industry. I’m learning so much by being here.”
– Mike Gallagher, the president of the Entertainment Software Association