Today, we are excited to announce three more must-see speakers for GamesBeat 2014, our game-industry conference that takes place Sept. 15 and Sept. 16 at the Parc 55 Wyndham Hotel in San Francisco.
Our next speakers include:
Dan Connors, CEO of Telltale Games
Connors has run Telltale for a decade as it embraced interactive storytelling in video games. The company has had some big hits with The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us. Since Connors co-founded Telltale in 2004, the firm has shipped more than 20 products, including titles like Back to the Future and the latest Sam & Max adventures. The Walking Dead won more than 90 “game of the year” awards from a wide range of publications.
Before joining Telltale, Connors worked at LucasArts on games like Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance, and Sam & Max Hit the Road.
Connors will talk in a fireside chat with Phil Sanderson, partner at IDG Ventures. IDG Ventures invested in Telltale early on as it began making narrative-based releases. Now, Telltale has mastered the art of episodic game creation, and it is working on big titles like Tales From the Borderlands and Game of Thrones. Connors and Sanderson will discuss the origins of Telltale’s vision and its execution amid business realities of the gaming industry. We’re excited to hear the perspective of a company that has been named one of the most innovative in its field.
Mike Frazzini, vice president of games at Amazon
Amazon has moved slowly but inexorably into games. The world’s largest e-commerce vendor began as a seller of interactive experiences. Six years ago, it acquired its first game studio, Reflexive Entertainment. In 2011, it debuted its Amazon Appstore with thousands of playable releases. In 2012, its own Amazon Game Studios launched its first title. In February, it bought Double Helix Games.
The firm also added gaming capability to its Kindle Fire tablets. Then, it launched the Amazon Fire TV set-top box with Android offerings like Sev Zero. And this summer, it finally debuted its Fire Phone with games like To-Fu Fury.
Frazzini leads Amazon Game Studios and Amazon Game Services. He is the head of the team responsible for making games inside the company, and he is also responsible for developing services to help game and app makers move more quickly, reach new customers, and sell more content.
Amazon’s services for developers include GameCircle, AppStream, Analytics, A/B testing and more. Frazzini joined Amazon in 2004. He’ll talk at a fireside chat during GamesBeat 2014.
Chris Petrovic, head of corporate development and licensing at mobile game publisher Kabam
Petrovic is a games, tech, and digital media veteran with 15 years of experience in the sector. At Kabam, he leads corporate development and licensing for both first-party and third-party free-to-play mobile titles and the Web. He manages the company’s mergers and acquisitions, along with partnerships with Hollywood studios and other intellectual-property holders.
Before joining Kabam, Petrovic served as the general manager of GameStop Digital Ventures, where he served as the principal leader of GameStop’s global digital strategy. Prior to joining GameStop, Petrovic held senior-level digital positions at Playboy, AG Interactive (a division of American Greetings), drkoop.com, and theglobe.com.
Petrovic continues to serve as an advisor to a handful of early- and growth-stage companies, including Highwinds (where he is also a board member), Turbulenz, Happy Cloud, SEAL Innovation, Feed.fm, FightClub.com, Koolbit, and Frag’d.
Petrovic will speak alongside Peter Levin, head of games at film company Lionsgate Studios in a talk entitled “Hollywood IP: From the big screen to mobile devices.”
Our previously announced speakers include:
- David Helgason, CEO of Unity Technologies
- Peter Molyneux, CEO of 22cans
- Clive Downie, chief operating officer of Zynga
- Jonathan Simpson-Bint, chief revenue officer at Twitch
- Malathi Nayak, a reporter for Reuters
- Bob Meese, global head of game business development at Google Play
- Lucy Bradshaw, a senior vice president of the Maxis label at Electronic Arts
- Rachel Franklin, general manager of The Sims Studio at EA
- Rick Thompson, chairman of Signia Ventures
- Chris DeWolfe, chief executive of SGN
- Phil Sanderson, a game-savvy partner at IDG Ventures
- Peter Levin, president of interactive ventures and games at Lionsgate, the film studio that made The Hunger Games and Divergent
- 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, founder of Engine Co. No. 4 (talking about seeing signs of trouble in game studios)
- Tim Chang, managing director at the Mayfield Fund
Our advisers include:
- Brock Pierce, managing director of the Clearstone Global Fund
- Eric Goldberg, managing director of Crossover Technologies
- Michael Chang, managing director of Mavent Partners
- Tim Chang, managing director at Mayfield Fund
We’ll roll out more speakers as we get closer to GamesBeat 2014. 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 2011, 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, 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 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 sub-themes 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
Thanks to the following industry leaders for supporting GamesBeat 2014: NativeX as Corporate Partner; Tapjoy and SupersonicAds as Gold Partner; TrialPay, InMobi, and TapSense as Silver Partners; SponsorPay, LifeStreet Media, SGN, and Personagraph as Event Partners; and Nudge and Pwnit as Nest Partner.