GamesBeat

A trio of speakers adds new voices for GamesBeat 2014 on data, virtual reality, and games made in China

Above: Flurry's chief executive officer Simon Khalaf speaking to GamesBeat's Dan "Shoe" Hsu.

Image Credit: Michael O'Donnell/VentureBeat

We are excited to announce today 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:

Simon Khalaf

Above: Simon Khalaf

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

Simon Khalaf,  the president and CEO of Flurry. Khalaf joins us once again as the master of data, as his company captures analytics on more than 170,000 apps and 150 billion play sessions a month in mobile games. In past years, Khalaf has impressed us with his observations about the growth of mobile games and the app economy.

But this time he’s an employee of Yahoo, which paid an estimated $240 million to acquire Flurry earlier this year. Khalaf is an expert in the field of mobile apps and development. He has been an entrepreneurial executive for over 20 years, and he has built numerous consumer, media, and enterprise solutions that have generated over $800 million in merger and acquisition and initial public offering transactions. Prior to Flurry, Simon held senior executive positions at tech companies JustOn, Novell, Vernier, Volera, and Worldtalk.

Khalaf sets the stage at GamesBeat 2014 with his talk, “The Global Village: How mobile games cross borders — or fail to.” Khalaf will show how some entertainers, like Michael Jackson, become worldwide stars, but others stop at their countries’ borders. With games, the same is true. What appeals to a broader audience? What games work mainly in just one country, or spread to adjacent countries?

Purchase a ticket now and save $200!

Survios demo

Above: Survios demo

Image Credit: Survios

James Iliff, the chief creative officer and cofounder of Survios. Iliff is a virtual reality designer with many years experience developing with VR headsets and motion capture installations, with a focus on avatar embodiment, interactive cinema, and narrative architecture. At Survios, he is helping to create a complete virtual-reality system, using the Oculus Rift VR headset as well as other technologies for sound, input, positioning, and portability. After all, virtual reality involves a lot more than just a set of goggles.

Prior to cofounding Survios, he was the producer of Project Holodeck, a full-motion virtual reality project at the USC Interactive Media and Games Division.

DIGITAL CAMERAAndy Zhong, the CEO of FunPlus. Zhong runs a free-to-play mobile and social game publisher that is based in Beijing and makes games for the worldwide market. FunPlus made headlines earlier this year after it raised $74 million in a venture capital round. And this week, FunPlus also sold off its existing game subsidiary to Zhongji Holding for $960 million to focus on disruptive experimental games.

Zhong and Yitao Guan founded the company in 2010 and have built it into a profitable firm with 250 employees, most of them in Beijing. Dan Fiden, a former venture investor at Signia Venture Partners, has signed on as chief strategy officer at the company’s office in San Francisco. FunPlus has grown to its size thanks to games like Family Farm, Farm Farm Seaside, Royal Story, and Fantasy Slots. Such success, based on a small number of titles, is a rarity.

Mike Vorhaus, the president of Magid Associates, moderates a session with Zhong.

We’ll have plenty of other speakers to come.

Our previously announced speakers include:

  • Mike Frazzini, the vice president of games at Amazon
  • Dan Connors, CEO of Telltale Games
  • Chris Petrovic, the head of corporate development and licensing at Kabam
  • David Helgason, the CEO of Unity Technologies
  • Peter Molyneux, the CEO of 22cans
  • Clive Downie, the chief operating officer of Zynga
  • Jonathan Simpson-Bint, the chief revenue officer at Twitch
  • Malathi Nayak, a reporter for Reuters
  • Bob Meese, the global head of game business development at Google Play
  • Lucy Bradshaw, a senior vice president of the Maxis label at Electronic Arts
  • Rachel Franklin, the general manager of The Sims Studio at EA
  • Rick Thompson, the chairman of Signia Ventures
  • Chris DeWolfe, the chief executive of SGN
  • Phil Sanderson, a game-savvy partner at IDG Ventures
  • Peter Levin, the president of interactive ventures and games at Lionsgate, the film studio that made The Hunger Games and Divergent
  • Mike Gallagher, the president and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association
  • Jens Begemann, the 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)
  • 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
  • Tim Chang, managing director at Mayfield Fund

We’ll roll out more 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 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 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 sales@venturebeat.com.

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

Purchase a ticket now and save $200!


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 as Nest Partner.

More information:

Flurry is optimizing the mobile experience for developers, marketers and consumers. Flurry’s market-leading analytics product sees activity from more than 500,000 smartphone and tablet apps on over 1.3 billion devices worldwide, givi... read more »

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