Mark is the founder, CEO and chief product officer of Zynga. He founded the company in 2007 with a mission of connecting the world through games, and in founding zynga.org, he also believes that games can do good
On his way to creating Zynga, Mark started three companies. In 2003, he launched Tribe.net, one of the first social networks. Before that, he founded Support.com, a pioneer in automating tech support, and took it public. In 1995, he launched FreeLoader, the first web-based consumer push company. Mark started his career in new media and venture capital before he discovered his calling as a consumer technology entrepreneur. Mark also made founding investments in Napster, Brightmail, Twitter and Facebook.
Mark graduated summa cum laude from University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is an angel investor in multiple Silicon Valley startups and regularly gives lectures to aspiring entrepreneurs.
Peter is the Founder and Chairman of YouWeb, the groundbreaking techology incubator that incubated OpenFeint (acquired in May 2011 by Japanese gaming company GREE for $104 million), CrowdStar (one of the leading companies in mobile social gaming), iSwifter (The “Netflix” for Rich Interactive Flash, Java, PC Apps streamed from the cloud to any mobile device), and Spaceport.io (The mobile development and cross platform runtime engine for the Flash developer ecosystem, with Live Updates to support Games as a Service). Peter’s experience in social mobile gaming dates back to the first release of a social mobile game on the iPhone, since Aurora Feint, one of the apps available on the Apple App Store on launch day in July, 2008, was built at YouWeb.
Before founding YouWeb, Peter was founder and CEO of Business Signatures, the first online consumer fraud detection solution based on detecting “signatures” through click stream query processing in real time. Business Signatures raised over $10 million from TPG Ventures and Walden International, and was acquired in 2006 by Entrust, a public security software company.
Prior to Business Signatures, Peter was founding CTO for two years at Webvan Group, which filed for the largest IPO in Silicon Valley in 1999 ($8B). Peter was responsible for a 400 person organization that built one of the most sophisticated supply chain platforms in the world in a record 12 months.
Before his entrepreneurial career, Peter was a technology executive at Oracle, where he was founding vice president of its Internet Division, and Hewlett-Packard, where he was principal architect of the OpenView enterprise platform.
AJ Glasser is Managing Editor at Inside Network. Previously, she served as Lead Writer for Inside Social Games. Before Inside Network, she served as News Editor at GamePro Media and as San Francisco Correspondent for Gawker Media games blog, Kotaku. Her work can also be found in Future US Inc. publications like GamesRadar.com and the Official PlayStation and Xbox magazines. AJ earned her Masters of Journalism from Stanford University, and her undergraduate degree in International Relations from Mills College.
A.J. Yeakel is currently a mobile strategy consultant and advisor to companies, including Flurry/Activision Mobile Publishing, Presidio Mobile, and Popover Games, among others.
Previously, A.J. served as Head of Mobile Marketing and Revenue at Zynga, helping to grow Zynga’s mobile division from 100k to over 15m daily active users. During his time in the mobile group at Zynga, A.J. oversaw 15+ marketing launches across iOS, Android and HTML5. A.J. also managed Zynga’s mobile advertising revenue business, responsible for over 10b monthly impressions.
Prior to joining Zynga’s mobile group, A.J. oversaw Zynga’s PC marketing partnerships, including Facebook and more than 30 advertising networks.
Before Zynga, A.J. served as a high-volume media buyer across a variety of consumer verticals and launched a luxury-focused website network, Ballerhouse Inc.
Founder HTML5DevConf, GameDesignCon (new), Game Dojos Game Accelerator, Bay Area Game and App Developers, and a long time mobileweb game developer.
Ann is a game developer who joined the game industry with Macromedia Shockwave.com where she worked on some of the worlds first hit browser based casual web games and original work web showcases for such artists as Tim Burton and Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park. She and partner Liran Nuna eventually formed their own game development company. Together they worked on social and mobile games for the local school system and companies such as Crafted Fun, Quizmonster, Zynga. After having prototyped the hit game “It Girl” which morphed later into “Top Girl” on mobile for Crowdstar, Ann’s partner stayed on at YouWeb and their small dev company concluded with a reasonably happy ending. Ann founded the HTML5 Developers Conference, Bay Area Game and App Developers Group, Games.js, and chairs the Silicon Valley IGDA and the SF Mobile Dev Group. Ann is always interested in the next platforms and the next games and the art of fun.
Anthony Ha is a writer at TechCrunch, where he covers media, advertising, and startups. Previously, he was a staff technology writer at Adweek, worked as a senior editor at the tech blog VentureBeat, and was also a reporter at the Hollister Free Lance, where he won awards from the California Newspaper Publishers Association for breaking news coverage and writing. He attended Stanford University and now lives in San Francisco.
Atul is currently the Senior Equity Research Analyst covering Video Games & China Internet Industries at Lazard Capital Markets. Previously, Atul was the Senior Equity Research Analyst covering Social Media and Video Games industry at ThinkEquity where he authored multiple research notes including a couple white-papers on Games-as-a-Service. He has been regularly presenting at industry conferences in the US as well as international such as Game Developer Conference, LOGIN, Inside Social Apps, Social Games Summit, Virtual Goods Summit, ChinaJoy and others. He has also been regularly interviewed on TV and print media such as Economist, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time, Forbes, Bloomberg, Washington Post. Prior to ThinkEquity, Atul worked as Equity Research Analyst with Smith New Court (now Merrill Lynch.) Atul received his MBA from Haas School of Business at University of Berkeley, Masters in Management from University of Bombay and Bachelors in Engineering from National Institute of Technology in India.
Benjamin Joffe is a widely recognized expert on Asia’s digital space with over 12 years experience across China, Japan, Korea and South-East Asia.
He is the Founder and CEO of the Asia-focused research & strategy firm +8* | Plus Eight Star (www.plus8star.com) and a Founding Partner at the social gaming company Cmune (www.cmune.com), makers of the leading free-to-play FPS UberStrike.
Benjamin shared ideas on Asia, digital goods, gaming and digital ecosystems at over 100 events across 21 countries including at Stanford University, TEDx, SXSW and LeWeb, and has been quoted in numerous media such as Forbes, The Economist, TechCrunch and Al Jazeera.
He is also a mentor at 500 Startups, Founder Institute, YetiZen, JFDI (Singapore), Chinaccelerator (China) and Gamma Rebels (Poland).
Benjamin speaks fluent English, Japanese and French as well as daily-life Mandarin, Korean and Spanish
Ben Vu is the Co-Founder and CEO of SkyVu Entertainment, a Top 50 Mobile Game Developer with over 17 million downloads of their award-winning BATTLE BEARS core mobile game franchise. A recipient of TouchArcade’s Best iPhone Games of the Year and iLounge’s Top 100 Games of the Year, SkyVu’s core 3D action games have reached the top of charts in both paid, free, and top grossing in over 50 countries. Having animated on the Oscar nominated film CORALINE and graduating from CalArts, Vu and his young team specializes in creating cross-platform multiplayer games based on their own original character brands.
Bertrand leads the charge at App Annie, the industry leader in app store analytics and market intelligence. He is a technology entrepreneur with 14 years of executive experience in the mobile, Internet and analytics space. Previously, he was VP Mobile for Gomez (web analytics) acquired in 2009 by Compuware for $295M, and before that he was COO and VP Marketing at Zandan (mobile analytics) acquired by Keynote. Bertrand holds an MBA from The Wharton School and a Master in Computer Science from ISEP, France.
Bing Gordon joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in 2008. At KPCB, he leads on the sFund, the investment initiative to fund and build applications and services that deliver on the promise of the social web. The sFund, launched in late 2010 with strategic partners Amazon, Facebook, Zynga, Comcast, Liberty Media and Allen & Co, has made 14 investments to date, including 4 seeds. Bing serves on the board of directors of sFund companies Lockerz, Cafebots and Klout; sFund strategics Zynga and Amazon; as well as Zazzle and Mevio. He was also a founding director at ngmoco (acquired by DeNA 2010) and Audible (acquired by Amazon 2008).
Previously, Bing was a long-time exec at Electronic Arts, since its founding in 1982 with initial funding from Kleiner Perkins. He was Chief Creative Officer of Electronic Arts from 1998 to 2008, and previously headed EA marketing and product development. Bing drove EA’s branding strategy with EA Sports, EA’s pricing strategy for package goods and online games, created EA’s studio organization, and contributed to the design and marketing of many EA franchises including John Madden Football, The Sims, Sim City, Need for Speed, Tiger Woods Golf, Club Pogo and Command and Conquer.
Bing was awarded the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011, and held the game industry’s first endowed chair in game design at USC School of Cinematic Arts. He earned an M.B.A. from Stanford University and a B.A. from Yale University, where he serves on the President’s Council. Bing’s favorite games of all time are World of Warcraft, the Sims, Diablo, Pogo, Civilization, Columns, Freecell, Farmville and Cityville.
Brian Fargo has been in the software publishing industry since 1983 where he founded Interplay Entertainment Corp. While at Interplay, Mr. Fargo brought Universal/MCA in as a 45% equity partner and later took Interplay public in 1998. In addition to Interplay, Mr. Fargo formed an on-line entertainment company with partner Softbank in 1996 and sat on the board of Virgin Europe after it was acquired by Interplay in 1998. Mr. Fargo has served on the board of the IDSA and has given key speeches at the industry’s leading shows such as E3, Global Gaming Forum and the Computer Game Developers. Brian Fargo has been behind some of the greatest RPG franchises of all time including: The Bard’s Tale, Wasteland, Neuromancer, Dragon Wars, Stonekeep, and the hits Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, and Planescape Torment. Currently he is working on creating the Wasteland 2 RPG for which he raised over 3 million dollars through crowd sourced funding.
Brian Wong is the founder of kiip (pronounced “keep”), a mobile rewards network, backed by True Ventures. Kiip has raised over $4.4 million in funding to date and is redefining the advertising industry through a “moments”-based model, versus the traditional attention-based screen estate model. Very recently, Kiip was listed by Forbes as one of the “4 Hot Online Ad Companies to Put on Your Watch List”, and was also named to the Dow Jones’ FasTech50 List.
Techcrunch and the Wall Street Journal called Brian the “youngest person to ever receive funding by a venture capital firm”. He was an early Bachelors of Commerce graduate from the University of British Columbia, graduating at the age of 18, after skipping four grades in elementary and high school. He was recently honored in the prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30, and was also lauded in Mashable as one of “The Top 5 Young Entrepreneurs to Watch”, and the Vancouver Sun called him “a budding internet visionary”. He was also recently a recipient of the Top 20 Under 20 awards in all of Canada. Brian was also recently listed to AdAge’s Creativity Top 50, and Business Insider’s Top 25 Under 25 in Silicon Valley list.
Before starting kiip, Brian was responsible for key publisher and tech partnerships at the social news website Digg.com. He also launched the Digg Android mobile app, adding to the company’s rising mobile presence.
Brock Pierce (31) is an entrepreneur best known for pioneering the market for virtual goods in online games. He has started or acquired more than 30 businesses and secured more than $200 million of funding on behalf of his companies. Pierce is currently a Managing Director of the Clearstone Global Gaming Fund, CEO of Playsino, and sits on the boards of IMI Exchange, Xfire, Spicy Horse Games and Evertune.
Pierce is co-founder of Playsino and assumed the role of CEO in November 2011. Playsino is a developer and publisher of social casino games for social and mobile platforms. Playsino’s investors include IDM Venture Capital, Eric Schmidt’s Tomorrow Ventures, Pacific Capital Group and many of Southern California’s most successful entrepreneurs.
Among his other current ventures, Pierce is the founder of IMI Exchange, which raised over $100 Million from blue chip investors such as Goldman Sachs and Oak Investment Partners. During Pierce’s tenure he established operations in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and the United States, supporting more than 600 employees. Today, IMI Exchange owns the world’s leading marketplaces for the trading of virtual goods with sales exceeding US$1 billion annually. Pierce was responsible for acquiring Xfire from Viacom. Xfire was previously acquired by Viacom in 2006 for $110 Million. Xfire is a social platform for hardcore gamers with over 21 million registered users. Pierce joined the board of American McGee’s Shanghai based Spicy Horse Games in December 2011. Pierce is co-founder of EverTune, a patented proprietary technology that keeps any stringed instrument in tune for the life of the string set by utilizing a spring based constant tension system.
Among his past ventures, Pierce founded Zam, the largest media property serving hardcore PC gamers. Zam was sold in January, 2012, to Tencent, the largest Internet company in China and four-largest in the world. Pierce co-founded GamesTV, a joint venture with Shanghai Media Group. GamesTV was a TV channel similar to G4, serving the mainland Chinese market. Pierce is also the founder of IGE, the company credited with pioneering the market for virtual goods in online games. IGE generated nearly $100 Million in revenue in 2006 and was sold in early 2007. Prior to entering the game business, Pierce co-founded Digital Entertainment Network (DEN), one of the first and most ambitious web television companies. DEN raised more than $88 million from investors including Microsoft, Intel Capital and NBC. He began his career as a successful Hollywood actor, starring or appearing in twelve major motion pictures, including The Mighty Ducks and First Kid, as well as many commercials.
Since 2010, Pierce has been an oversea advisor to the China Youth League, which governs the education and recreational activities for China’s youth up to the age of 28. His interest is to promote “green and healthy” online games for China’s Youth.
Pierce generally plays the role of strategist and dealmaker in each company after attracting the management teams and capital. He is an active angel investor, a founding mentor of the Founder Institute’s LA Chapter, and a member of SoCal Tech and Media Entertainment Technology Alliance. Pierce is an active supporter of non-profit and advocacy organizations and is a member of Clinton Global Initiative.
Both Wired and Fortune have written lengthy biographical feature stories on Pierce’s career. In addition, he is a paid speaker and has spoken at the Milken Global Conference as well as many video game and entrepreneurial conferences. Pierce also acts as a guest lecturer at Stanford, UCLA and USC.
Chris Baker writes and edits stories about video games and other geeky topics for Wired magazine. He has also written for publications like Slate, Entertainment Weekly, Kill Screen, EGM, Giant Robot, and the 1-Up zine.
Before beginning work on indie game Spy Party, Chris Hecker previously worked at Microsoft and on Spore at Maxis with Will Wright. Hecker was also an editor for Game Developer Magazine, and is currently the longest-running advisory board member of the Game Developers Conference.
Chris Kohler has been writing, talking and generally thinking too hard about videogames for the past couple of decades. He has written about games for Wired.com and Wired magazine since 2002 and is the editor of Wired’s videogames blog Game|Life. He is the author of two books on games: Power-Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World an Extra Life (Brady) and Retro Gaming Hacks (O’Reilly).
He can often be found talking about classic games on 1up.com’s Retronauts podcast.
If you put him in front of a crowd of people for an hour, he will entertain them by talking about videogames. He has moderated and appeared on panels at events like DICE, Penny Arcade Expo and the SF MusicTech Summit.
He began his foray into writing about games with Video Zone, a fanzine that he self-published during high school and college. Since then, his writing has appeared in publications such as Wired, Animerica, Electronic Gaming Monthly, and Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine and around the web on Wired.com, IGN, Gamespot, 1up.com, Gamasutra, GameSpy, and way too many others.
Chris Petrovic serves as GM of GameStop Digital Ventures, the digital strategy, M&A and incubation arm for GameStop, the world’s largest provider of video game products and services. As a member of the company’s senior management team, Chris serves as the principal leader of GameStop’s global digital strategy. He is responsible for building on the company’s ongoing efforts to integrate digital initiatives into the company’s multi-channel strategy, as well as overseeing the development and execution of digital acquisitions (Jolt Online Games, Kongregate, Impulse & Spawn Labs), strategic partnerships (IGN) and investments. This includes leveraging the company’s unique and distinctive relationship with customers in-store, online and around the globe.
Chris has over 12 years of experience in digital media, having held senior level positions at Playboy, AG Interactive (a division of American Greetings), drkoop.com and theglobe.com. He began his career in the late 90’s as an entrepreneur, serving as the CEO of Internet start-up BannerGreetings.com. From there he went on to become COO of Buzztone.com, a leading interactive marketing agency, before joining Prime Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm started by current Demand Media CEO Richard Rosenblatt.
Christopher Griffin is an entrepreneur, experienced fund raiser and startup advisor with proven success working with early and mid stage companies. His work with those companies has led to the creation of hundreds of millions of dollars of value.
He is currently the Founder & CEO of Betable, a revolutionary platform that gives game developers the ability to legally integrate real-money gambling and betting into their games. He is responsible for Betable’s vision, management, execution, and product roadmap.
Cindy is Director of Community at Kickstarter, the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects. She enjoys working closely with users, and spends much of her time building relationships within the Games and Comics communities. Previously, she has worked as a writer and editor covering topics in games, comics, and geek culture. She holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she taught literature and media studies. She currently resides in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and loves hosting game night.
Colin Sebastian is RW Baird’s senior equity research analyst covering Internet and Interactive Entertainment. Prior to joining Baird in 2011, Colin spent six years at Lazard Capital Markets having established the company’s Internet and Video Game research practice. Colin also worked as an investment banker at JP Morgan/Hambrecht & Quist. Prior to Wall Street, Colin was a business analyst developing software at Chubb Corporation, and was a co-founder and CFO of Latin American career services website Detacuche.com. Colin has ranked as a top analyst according to Starmine and Greenwich Associates, and also appears frequently in the financial and industry press, including CNBC, Bloomberg, CNN, Wall Street Journal, and Financial Times. Colin graduated with honors from Vanderbilt University and with an MBA in Finance from the Anderson School at UCLA.
David Ko is Chief Mobile Officer for Zynga. He is responsible for leading Zynga’s mobile business globally, and oversees all strategy, product, platform, and business development as well as monetization activities for the business. Under Ko’s leadership in 2011, Zynga Mobile launched 9 new mobile social games across multiple platforms including CityVille Hometown and Dream Zoo, and most recently in 2012, Matching With Friends, Zynga Slots, and Draw Something in 12 new languages.
Before joining Zynga in November 2010, Ko spent 10 years at Yahoo! where he was Senior Vice President of Yahoo!’s Audience, Mobile, and Local businesses. As part of this role, he led all aspects from strategy to product of Yahoo!’s mobile business globally and spearheaded the company’s initiatives in the local space. He was also responsible for the vision, strategy and continued innovation of Yahoo!’s media properties including Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Sports, Yahoo! Finance and Yahoo! Entertainment. Prior to this, David served as Vice President for Yahoo!’s mobile business in Asia Pacific.
Ko began his career as a Senior Associate for Equity Capital Markets at Salomon Smith Barney, where he was responsible for identifying, executing and closing deals in the technology, media and telecommunications sectors. Before joining the Equity Capital Markets group, he was a financial analyst for the Investment Banking Division in Global Energy. Ko graduated from New York University, Stern School of Business.
David Cole is the founder and CEO of DFC Intelligence, a research firm focused on tracking digital entertainment. Since 1994, he has personally authored numerous reports on the video game and interactive entertainment industry, spoken at leading industry conferences and consulted with top companies in the entertainment, telecommunications, investment and consumer electronics industries. Starting in 2001, Mr. Cole was one of the first analysts to start tracking emerging business models in Asia and the growth of markets such as Korea. Mr. Cole is one of the most widely quoted analysts on video games, computer software and the Internet. Mr. Cole has a BA in economics and industrial relations, as well as a JD from the University of North Carolina.
David Wallerstein has worked with Tencent since 2000 and joined the Tencent executive team in
2001. Mr. Wallerstein is a U.S. native with 20 years of experience living and working in China and
Japan. Mr. Wallerstein is responsible for Tencent’s international strategic initiatives.
Prior to joining Tencent, Mr. Wallerstein was Vice President, Business Development of MIH Asia,
overseeing MIH’s entry strategy into China’s Internet sector. Before MIH, Mr. Wallerstein was
a management consultant based in Shanghai and Beijing, working primarily with Fortune 500
Mr. Wallerstein has a Master’s Degree in Political Economy from UC Berkeley, and a Bachelor’s
Degree from the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle.
He is proficient in Mandarin Chinese and Japanese.
Mr. Wallerstein can usually be found in the early morning hours in League of Legends playing mid
and dodging ganks as Miss Fortune.
Dean is lead writer for GamesBeat at VentureBeat. He covers video games, security, chips and a variety of other subjects. Dean previously worked at the San Jose Mercury News, the Wall Street Journal, the Red Herring, the Los Angeles Times, the Orange County Register and the Dallas Times Herald. He is the author of two books, Opening the Xbox and the Xbox 360 Uncloaked. Follow him on Twitter at @deantak, and follow VentureBeat on Twitter at @venturebeat.
Dennis Fong is the CEO and Founder of Raptr, the leading community that helps connect more than 12 million gamers share and discover content about the games they love. Fong previously co-founded three companies: Xfire, an instant messenger designed for PC gamers that reaches over 15 million users (acquired by Viacom/MTV for $120 million); Lithium, the leading provider of Social CRM solutions for the enterprise; and Gamers.com, rated the #1 gaming portal by Nielsen in ’99.
Better known as “Thresh” in gaming circles as the world champion of Doom, Quake, and Quake II, Fong was called the “Michael Jordan of video games” by the Wall Street Journal and “King of the Gamers” by the Washington Post. Fong was also the world’s first celebrity pro gamer and once won John Carmack’s Ferrari in a Quake tournament.
Eric Eldon is the Co-Editor of TechCrunch.
He was previously the cofounder and editor of Inside Network, where he managed publications including Inside Facebook, Inside Social Games and Inside Mobile Apps.
Before that, he spent a couple years covering technology and finance at VentureBeat, a leading Silicon Valley publication where he was the first employee.
While Inside Network sold to WebMediaBrands for $14 million in May of 2011, Eric also had a failed startup a few years ago. Called WriteWith, it offered online writing collaboration software.
Before getting into the tech world, Eric attended Stanford University and graduated with a degree in international relations in 2005. There, he reported and edited news for The Stanford Daily student newspaper, and ran its business for a year.
Goldberg is a 30-year veteran of the game industry, serving in capacities ranging from game designer to executive. Since 2002, he has been a board member of, advisor to, or consultant for over 30 consumer-facing technology companies, from seed-stage to public, in the game, virtual world, consumer Internet, wireless data, and monetization sectors; and to three US venture capital firms. Previously, he was co-founder and president of Unplugged Games and of Crossover Technologies, the consumer online firm; and president of West End Games, an adventure game company. His award-winning games include Paranoia, Tales of the Arabian Nights, The Tom Peters Business School in a Box, and MadMaze, the first online game to draw one million players. Goldberg helped judge our contest last year.
Gabriel “Gabe” Leydon is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Machine Zone, Inc., a high growth, free-to-play, mobile, social gaming company. Under Gabriel’s leadership Machine Zone has created top-grossing hits such as iMob, iMob2, Original Gangstaz, and Global War for Apple iOS devices. Gabriel launched the company (then known as Addmired) in September 2007, joined Y Combinator in Winter 2008, and is now driving the company to become the leader in free-to-play mobile games. Under his leadership, company revenue growth doubled in 2010 and then again in 2011; and in Q1 2012, Gabriel guided the company to an $8 million Series B investment (from Menlo Ventures), which will be used to build a larger development team. Prior to Machine Zone, Gabriel built a successful career designing coin-operated arcade games at Atari, Tsunami Visual, and Global VR.
Gordon Bellamy is the executive director of the IDGA. Bellamy runs the international body that represents game developers. He was previously a senior producer at yU+co, a senior sales executive at Image Metrics, and the business development director at Double Fusion. He also worked at MTV Networks, AIAS, THQ, and Electronic Arts.
A twenty-year industry veteran specializing in game services, digital distribution and emerging devices and platforms, Greg Canessa has served as Vice President of Activision Mobile since the inception of the role in 2011. In this capacity, Mr. Canessa is responsible for leading the development of Activision’s mobile strategy and game development for the iOS and Android operating systems.
Prior to joining Activision, Canessa served at Blizzard Entertainment where he oversaw development of the Battle.net® platform, the company’s popular online gaming service. In this capacity he led a team dedicated to crafting the network from the ground up to offer a polished, feature-rich competitive and social experience for players.
Prior to joining Blizzard Entertainment in early 2009, Canessa served as Vice President of Video Game Platforms at PopCap® Games, overseeing the company’s console, smartphone and handheld efforts, and before joining PopCap, he was the creator and General Manager of Xbox® Live® Arcade for Microsoft.
Canessa holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies with Computer Science from Pepperdine University, and a joint Master’s degree in Business Administration and International Management from the University of Denver in Colorado.
Hal Halpin is the President of the Crest Group, a management firm specializing in the interactive entertainment sector. Crest operates a number of businesses including running the day-to-day operations of the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA), the organization which represents Gamers in the U.S. and Canada. The firm also founded and ran the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA, now EMA), the trade group which represents the interests of the major gaming merchants such as Wal-mart, Target, Best Buy, etc. During that period, Hal established and ran the association’s related annual conference, the IEMA Executive Summit. Prior to Crest, He was the President of Cyberactive Media, a business-to-business publishing company, which produced numerous trade-related magazines, books and websites. Before Cyberactive, Hal launched Video Games On-Line (VGOL) in 1994. VGOL was a short-lived venture which created the game industry’s first online gaming portal and digital distribution vehicle.
Jack Buser is the Senior Director of PlayStation Digital Platforms for Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA). Jack has over 15 years of product marketing and business development experience, and acts as the business unit general manager for digital platforms, including PlayStation Network, PlayStation Suite, PlayStation Home and e-commerce.
Jack is involved in all aspects of digital platform strategy including business strategy, marketing, customer experience, product planning, integration of 1st and 3rd party games, pricing, communications, media, PR, distribution and promotions.
Previously, Jack served as Director of Worldwide Technology Evangelism at Dolby Laboratories. At Dolby, he drove the adoption of new audio and video technology by developing new business segments for both Games and Internet entertainment.
Jack received his Bachelor of Science degree with honors in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.
Jamie Berger is a long time industry veteran, with over 15 years of experience in games, digital entertainment, media and technology. He started his career at the Walt Disney Company, managing consumer products for Disney and Pixar animated films, including Toy Story 2 and Tarzan. He then entered the video game industry via a Director of Marketing role at Disney Interactive.
Jamie joined GameSpy Industries in 2003, and after the merger with IGN held numerous roles at IGN Entertainment as SVP Consumer Products & Technology, including running ecommerce, digital distribution, the GameSpy middleware technology business, and business development. In 2009 he joined Activision Blizzard, taking over Call of Duty’s digital business lines as Vice President. While at Activision, he launched Call of Duty ELITE, an all-new online platform for the storied Call of Duty franchise. In addition, Jamie manages ATVI’s highly-successful Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 DLC business.
Jamie holds a B.A. from Washington & Lee University, and MBA from The University of Virginia, and is an avid gamer since childhood. In addition to playing games, in his spare time, Jamie is an avid cyclist and wine collector.
Jeremy Liew invests primarily in the Internet and mobile sectors, with a particular interest in social media, commerce, gaming, financial services and methods for increasing monetization. He joined Lightspeed in early 2006. He was named to the Forbe Midas list in 2011 and 2012. Previously, Jeremy was with AOL, first as SVP of Corporate Development and Chief of Staff to the CEO and then as General Manager of Netscape.
Jeremy joined AOL from InterActiveCorp (originally USA Networks), where he was VP of Strategic Planning. While there, he was responsible for acquisitions, divestitures and investments in TV Networks, consumer Internet companies and online travel companies.
Jeremy started working in the consumer Internet industry as an early employee of CitySearch in 1996, where he held a variety of sales management, operational and business development roles. He was also a management consultant at McKinsey & Company.
Jeremy holds an MBA from Stanford and a BA/BSc from the Australian National University in Linguistics and Pure Mathematics.
Jeremy is a frequent contributor to the Lightspeed blog at http://lsvp.wordpress.com.
As the Vice President of EEDAR’s Insights & Analysis Division, Mr. Divnich is responsible for the creation, development, and execution of EEDAR’s custom research, forecast, insights and market analysis.
Mr. Divnich has more than 11 years’ experience within interactive entertainment, primarily as a financial analyst for private investments firms with strong economic interests in the interactive entertainment sector, in addition to over 7 years’ experience within multi-media retail.
Mr. Divnich also represents EEDAR for the majority of media and press relations activities and is one of the most widely referenced analysts across mainstream, financial and specialist video game industry media outlets.
Jesse Janosov brings more than 13 years of industry experience to Zynga. In his current role, he’s the Vice President/General Manager of the Zynga Casino franchise, which includes overseeing the management of Zynga Bingo and Zynga Poker.
Previously, Jesse was the CEO of Rivet Games where he grew the company from its initial virtual pet roots into a full game development and platform business. Prior to this role, Jesse was VP of Product Development at Playdom, where he helped the company grow from 50 to over 500 employees by building several studios, the monetization department, the QA department, the mobile and destination site businesses as well as helping to define publishing standards. Prior to Playdom, Jesse was an investment associate at Lightspeed Ventures, where he covered games, consumer internet, and enterprise infrastructure spaces. Jesse also spent nearly a decade at Microsoft working in the Home Entertainment Division, where he held leadership roles working on many hit console and PC Game titles.
Jesse earned a BSE degree in Computer Science Engineering and a BA in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, and holds an MBA from Harvard University.
Joe Bayen is Founder and CEO of ICS Mobile Inc. and its flagship website and application FreeAppADay.com
In September 2007, Joe Bayen founded ICS Mobile Inc. The company initially focused on iOS applications and released the Apple front page featured game application entitled “Navy Patrol Costal Defense”. The app lead the company to search for effective means to monetize iPhone applications and became the key inspiration behind the development of FreeAppADay.com, a pioneer platform behind the development of the freemium business model era on iOS.
Prior to launching ICS Mobile Inc, Joe joined In-Fusion/Zenops as COO of the US operations in 2006.
Joe Bayen started is career in 2004 as a business developer at Allegorithmic, and help the company become a major industry player in the texture/middleware industry.
Joe holds a BA in International Finance and Marketing and received a full track and field scholarship from the University of Miami where he graduated on the Dean’s list.
As president, Joe Monastiero brings over 20 years of technology management experience to Ludei. He co-founded appMobi, a pioneer in HTML5 mobile application development platforms, helping the company acquire over 50,000 active developers. He also co-founded Intervideo, (formerly IVII, acquired by Corel Corporation) where he was responsible for sales, marketing and business development activities and helped drive the company to become the dominant force in delivering DVD software playback to the world. Over 500M copies of WinDVD have been delivered to the market worldwide.
Prior to joining appMobi, Joe was a leading consultant to technology startups, including muvee Technologies of Singapore and Cyberlink Corp of Taiwan and was also employed by Rockwell Semiconductor, Zoran and Turtle Beach Systems. Joe’s experience includes helping to take two companies public and managing two successful exit M&As.
At Ludei, Joe is responsible for coordinating all business strategy and planning, funding initiatives, strategic partnerships, business models, product planning and roadmapping, new hires, marketing, PR, and of course, developing a sound revenue and profitability plan. He works daily with most of the larger companies in the mobile game industry and its ecosystem. As a technologist, he is also actively involved in the day-to-day planning of the company’s offerings. Ludei is a cross-device native mobile game development and delivery platform that allows app developers to build, deploy and monetize high performance, native competitive HTML5 games for both iOS and Android from a single codebase.
As senior vice president of social games, John Spinale oversees all aspects of Disney’s social gaming business, including Playdom. Spinale joined Disney in November 2011 from OnLive, the cloud-based entertainment service. As vice president of games and media at OnLive, Spinale was responsible for establishing the content strategy at OnLive, and helped shape its overall consumer offering from its early beginnings. During his tenure, he and his team created the definitive new cloud-based games platform, bringing hundreds of titles on board, and gaining the support of publishers and developers around the world. He was previously responsible for building numerous interactive entertainment organizations, including serving as senior vice president of product development at Eidos during its recent turnaround and sale. Prior to this, he played a key role in the restart of Activision as a creative director and executive producer, building the products and teams to fuel the resurgence. John also has a track record as a successful entrepreneur. In the late ’90s he founded and ran Bitmo, a wireless messaging start-up, which was acquired in 2001 and has since grown to become the world’s largest mobile transaction network. He holds an engineering degree from Yale and currently serves as an advisor to several startups.
Games industry expert Jon Kimmich has been an author, instructor, strategic advisor and consultant to companies, individuals and investors in the games industry for over 15 years. As a contributor to and the editor of The Crowdfunding Bible and CEO of Software Illuminati, Jon works with development studios, publishers, educators and investors to incubate and drive strategic innovation in content and business models in the mobile and digital entertainment sectors. Jon started his career in digital entertainment as a Planner for Microsoft during pivotal parts of the Xbox conception and launch, where he was instrumental in the acquisition of many well known franchises for Microsoft Games Studios including companies such as Bungie Studios & FASA Interactive, and critically acclaimed games including Halo, Dungeon Siege, Crimson Skies, MechWarrior, Rise of Nations as well as many others.
Josh Williams is president and chief science officer at Kontagent, where he is responsible for driving Kontagent’s world-class proprietary data processing, analysis platform and algorithms into new verticals and markets. A serial entrepreneur, Josh has led two successful startups to two large exits: 1) as CTO at an early big-data firm in automated real-time financial securities analysis which was acquired in 2003; 2) as CEO and CTO at a leading game technology company which was acquired in early 2007. Josh is an investor and loves helping other entrepreneurs however he can.
Justin Davis is the Mobile Games Editor for IGN.com, a position he has held since 2011. In this role he oversees IGN’s coverage of games created for iOS, Android and tablet devices. Prior to joining IGN, Justin was General Manager & Co-Founder of IndustryGamers.com from 2009 to 2011, when the company was sold to Eurogamer. He served as Editor-in-Chief of handheld games enthusiast site Modojo from 2006-2009 and
Associate Editor for video game trade news outlet GameDaily.Biz from 2004-2006.
Throughout his career, Justin has served as a guest speaker for numerous high profile mobile gaming events.
He was a guest speaker and judge for the 2008 Global Mobile Content Awards in Seoul, South Korea; he
also served as a judge for the International Mobile Gaming Awards (2008), the Independent Games Festival
Mobile Awards (2007) and the CTIA Technology Marketing Awards (2006).
Kristian Segerstrale is Executive Vice President, Digital of Electronic Arts. Prior to his current role, Mr. Segerstrale was Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Playfish Limited from 2007 until November 2009 when the company was acquired by EA. Thereafter, Mr. Segerstrale took the role of General Manager of EA’s Playfish business unit.
Prior to Playfish, Mr. Segerstrale was a Co-founder of Macrospace Ltd which later became Glu Mobile. During his tenure at Glu Mobile, Mr. Segerstrale served as the company’s Managing Director of Europe, Middle East and Asia. Mr. Segerstrale holds a B.A. degree in Economics from Cambridge University and a M.A. degree in Economics from The London School of Economics. Mr. Segerstrale has also served on the board of LOVEFiLM, a leading European digital film subscription service until its acquisition by Amazon in 2011.
Kyu Lee is Vice President of GAMEVIL Inc. and Head of GAMEVIL USA Inc. GAMEVIL is well known for revolutionizing the sector with its original and innovative mobile games, backed by unparalleled expertise in advanced mobile and network technology. Kyu, who has been in GAMEVIL since the beginning at 2000, has constantly played a key role in the evolution of Korean mobile gaming and has continuously introduced the innovation to the world. Kyu has graduated Seoul National University with a B.S. in Physics and is currently on the board of advisory at GDC Mobile.
Manuel Bronstein is a General Manager at Zynga, the world’s leading provider of social game services. He joined Zynga in 2010 and he currently oversees Zynga’s consumer platform. Prior to his current role, Manuel held product and game design leadership roles for Farmville and Zynga Poker.
Before joining Zynga, Manuel was Director of Social Interactive Entertainment at Xbox LIVE, leading
strategy, portfolio and business management for the Video & Music business, Applications, and New
Interactive Entertainment Experiences for Xbox, including Netflix, LastFM, Facebook, Twitter and ESPN.
Prior to this role Bronstein launched “1 vs 100” on Xbox LIVE. As the founding leader of Xbox LIVE
Primetime he envisioned, pitched, secured funding and built a team to create the first ever programmatic, massively concurrent online game, service and platform on a videogame console. “1 vs 100”, based on Endemol’s popular TV game show, was the first of this breed of new games to feature a live host, real prizes and daily fresh content. The game launched in June 2009 in US, Canada, UK, FR and DE to strong and positive press and consumer reviews, exceeding key performance metrics.
Manuel’s Microsoft career started as a product planner on Xbox 360 prior to the launch of the console. He later led the Xbox Incubation Team and served as a liaison between the Xbox organization and the startup and venture capital community. Over his career at Microsoft, Bronstein has contributed to more than 5 patent submissions (one already granted).
Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Manuel received a bachelor of science in Electrical Engineering from Universidad Simon Bolivar in Caracas, Venezuela and an MBA from U.C. Berkeley Haas School of Business, where he worked on projects for AOL Music and Hewlett Packard in India. He currently resides in Palo Alto with his wife and two sons.
Mark is a serial entrepreneur and business development/marketing who has founded, grown and sold 4 companies. He cofounded IndustryGamers.com that was acquired in 2011. He started GameDaily.com and grew it to one of world’s largest video games websites and ad networks. It was acquired by TimeWarner AOL in 2006. He was founder/CEO of Gigex, the leading download service for game and software demos, and Internet content delivery leader VCast, Inc. He spent 6 years in Europe as Managing Director of a division of Philips Media and founded Sweden’s first chain of cookie stores.
He is a frequently invited speaker to leading business and technology conferences including CES, EO, GDC, E3, VentureBeat, Digital Hollywood, MI6, OMMA, AdTech and IMedia.
Mark consults with several games, technology and advertising companies and advises executive teams on business growth strategies. He is a patented inventor, angel investor and and a board member of several Internet games and commerce companies.
Martin Rae brings his experience in video games and finance/business development to his
position as President of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. Rae took the helm of the
non-profit organization in October 2010, championing the $65 billion video game industry by
raising awareness of individuals, games, companies, organizations/associations and changing
issues by promoting innovation and commitment.
As President of the AIAS, he is the voice of the Academy and oversees the annual D.I.C.E.
(Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit, the Interactive Achievements Awards
(IAA), the Indie Game Challenge, the Academy scholarship programs and the Into the Pixel video
game art exhibit. Rae will continue to advance the international presence of the Academy, work
with related industry conferences like PAX East and the E3 Expo to promote the interactive
video game industry and work with industry-related organizations like the Entertainment
Software Association and International Game Developers Association.
Prior to joining the AIAS, Rae served as CEO at Sunleaf Studios where he provided overall
business and strategic leadership of Pandanda.com, an internationally acclaimed children’s site.
He also held executive positions at Boss Entertainment where he served as CEO at Boss Game
Studios , COO at the Oscar Award winning Boss Film Studios, and The Electric Playground.
Earlier in his career, Rae held senior level positions in business development, sales and finance
in many entrepreneurial startups, including Microserv, China Shopping Network and Krakatoa
Rae earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Washington.
Matthäus Krzykowski manages all growth and sales activities at Xyologic. Translating customer experience into product innovation and development, he drives Xyologic forward.
Passionate to help ideas develop into products and companies, he is an investor and advisor to other innovative startups. He has extensive product management experience in commerce, online marketing and mobile content.
A move to Silicon Valley in 2008 saw Matthäus breaking important trend pieces as a VentureBeat contributor. Working on content and sales, he helped to build up the MobileBeat conference series as co-chair with Matt Marshall. A regular blogger and speaker, he continues to contribute to the international conference circuit.
He holds a Masters in Business from the top-ranked research university of technology RWTH Aachen in Germany.
Michael Chang joined the Corporate Development team of Electronic Arts in July 2010 and is responsible for executing on acquisitions and investments for EA.
Prior to EA, Michael held investment professional roles at several VC / PE firms, including Bertram Capital, Apax Partners, Technology Crossover Ventures, and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Michael started his career as a technology M&A banker at Jefferies Broadview.
Michael graduated from Stanford University with an MS in Management Science and Engineering and a BS in Electrical Engineering.
Mihir brings over 20 years of experience within technology, social, and mobile having helped build and run a number of growth stage businesses; and claims he has more than 20 years left in him.
Prior to Tapjoy, Mihir was Vice President and General Manager of the Ad Network at RockYou! where he oversaw the growth of the largest in-app social advertising platform. Prior to RockYou, Mihir was the Vice President and GM of worldwide Direct Selling Services at QuinStreet (QNST). Mihir graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Quantitative Economics. When not spending time with his wife, Julie, and their kids, Mihir collects (drinks) red wine and plays with mobile apps including current favorites CoinDozer, Contract Killer, and the Elmo app.
Mike Yuen is Senior Director of Business Development for Qualcomm where is oversees worldwide Snapdragon gaming business efforts. Mike has 20 years of expertise in consumer electronics, games, technology and wireless including senior roles at startups and Fortune 500 companies. He also has many years experience in governance and advisory roles with companies such as Zeebo and Floodgate. He also has held an advisory role with the Games Developer Conference, GDC. He is a seasoned spokesperson with media and in keynote roles.
Mitch Lasky has spent more than two decades in the mobile gaming, new media and interactive entertainment business. Prior to joining Benchmark Capital, Mitch served as executive vice president of Mobile and Online at Electronic Arts. Previously, he was chairman and chief executive officer of JAMDAT Mobile, Inc (NASDAQ: JMDT), the leading global publisher of wireless entertainment applications, which he joined as a startup in 2000, took public in 2004, and sold to EA in 2006.
Prior to JAMDAT, Mitch served as general manager of eCompanies Wireless LLC, a startup incubator. He also spent five years at Activision, the world’s largest game publisher, most recently as executive vice president of Worldwide Studios. Earlier in his career, Mitch practiced intellectual property law, worked at the Walt Disney Company and started a massively multiplayer online game company.
Nabeel Hyatt is a Venture Partner at Spark Capital. Prior to joining Spark, Nabeel spent 15 years as a startup founder, CEO and head of product at the confluence of design and technology.
Most recently, Nabeel served as a General Manager at Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA). Nabeel joined Zynga via the acquisition of Conduit Labs where he was founder and CEO. Prior to that, he was VP, Product at MIT Media Lab spinoff Ambient Devices, where he was a nominee for Top Innovators Under 30 by MIT Technology Review.
Earlier in his career, Nabeel served in various executive product roles at internetsoccer.com, culminating in the to sale and IPO of Teamtalk plc (LSE: TTK).
Nabeel received a B.A. in Design from Maryland Institute, College of Art and studied Computer Science at Purdue University.
Naoki joined GREE, Japan in March 2006 as the company’s CFO. In January 2011, he assumed the position of CEO for GREE’s first North American subsidiary, GREE International.
Naoki has over 10 years of experience in the technology and internet sectors, in addition to 4 years of financial operations and management for Deutsche Bank. While at GREE, he has managed financial efforts (both pre- and post- IPO) and M&A, in addition to negotiating a successful partnership between GREE and KDDI – Japan’s 2nd largest mobile carrier.
Neil Young is the CEO and Founder of ngmoco and serves on the Board of Directors of parent company DeNA (T.2432), the leading global mobile social games company.
Neil and his partners established ngmoco in 2008 as a creator and publisher of games exclusively for the next generation of mobile devices. In 2010, ngmoco was acquired by DeNA Co. Ltd, and merged with the mobile social games giant. Neil currently oversees DeNA’s western business, product development and publishing operations, driving the expansion of the company’s social entertainment network Mobage across borders and platforms, and serves on the executive management team of the global company.
Prior to founding ngmoco, Neil held various positions at Electronic Arts, most recently as a Group General Manager & Vice President. Neil joined EA in 1997 and has supervised the launch of the world’s first Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing game, UltimaOnline™, created the first Alternate Reality Game, Majestic, produced the companies highly successful Lord of the Rings properties and has managed the EA Los Angeles & EA Maxis studios and overseen the blockbuster franchises Medal of Honor, Command & Conquer and The Sims amongst many others.
Neil is 42 years old & lives in San Francisco, CA with his wife & two children.
Nick is the Founder & CEO of 12 Gigs, a social-mobile HTML5 casino gaming engine & network. Prior to starting 12 Gigs, Nick led publisher development for Offerpal (now Tapjoy). Before Offerpal, Nick was an original member of YouWeb (the incubator that gave rise to iSwifter, Pluto Games, Open Feint, Sibblingz, and Crowdstar), where he led development and operation of early social games that held top positions on MySpace, Facebook, and Bebo (remember them?). As President of FORGE, a non-profit organization that works in capacity building with refugee communities in southern Africa, Nick oversaw social media, online branding, and online fundraising. His work helped FORGE become a leader and innovator in online strategies for non-profits and the organization garnered social media awards including the The Jenzabar Foundation’s Social Media Leadership Award and a Facebook Causes Giving Challenge winner.
At Flurry, Patrick is responsible for the company’s Game Acceleration Program, partnered with Activision, that helps independent developers turn their mobile titles into hits. Over his career, Patrick has led production across several platforms including next-gen consoles, PC, browser-based MMOs, Facebook and mobile. His teams have shipped hit casual titles including Lemonade Tycoon, Sim City Societies, Skate Mobile, Kasparov Chessmate, Hard Rock Casino and Jamdat Bowling 3D. Patrick joined Flurry from Electronic Arts, where he was Worldwide Head of Production for Pogo.com, a leading online subscription-based gaming site. Prior to this, Patrick served as GM of EA Mobile Montreal, Executive VP at Jamdat Mobile Montreal and GM of Hexacto Games. Patrick holds a philosophy degree from the University of Montreal and is an avid cyclist, rock climber and photographer.
Flurry is the leading data-driven mobile app advertising platform, with its services used by over 55,000 companies across more than 150,000 apps on iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone. At Flurry, Peter leads all marketing functions. Prior to Flurry, Peter led worldwide product marketing for mobile game maker, Digital Chocolate. He joined Digital Chocolate from Electronic Arts, where he led product management for The Sims franchise, the #1 PC game of all- time. Peter spent the first seven years of his career in consumer packaged goods as head of marketing for Pacific Sun, a foods manufacturer. Peter earned an undergraduate business degree from the University of California at Berkeley and an MBA from the Wharton School.
Peter Vesterbacka is the CMO and Mighty Eagle of Rovio. Peter drives the company’s marketing and brand strategy, taking Angry Birds to new and unexpected places.
Phil spearheads NVIDIA’s new cloud gaming platform, GeForce GRID, which will enable an incredible gaming experience on a TV, PC, tablet or phone. Phil joined NVIDIA in 2009 to work on 3D Vision stereoscopic gaming and sees great potential to deliver 3D games to 3DTVs via the cloud. Prior to joining NVIDIA, Phil worked in leadership positions at AMD and ATI for 14 years in graphics processor, digital TV and chipset divisions. He has a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and an MBA from the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.
Phyllis Guo is Chief Strategist for The9 Limited (NASDAQ: NCTY), focusing on corporate business development and new marketing strategies. She is The9’s U.S.-based liaison, also supporting the Mobile Business Unit as its mobile social gaming platform, The9 Game Zone, expands to partner with U.S. developers bringing their games to China.
Prior to The9, Phyllis was involved in founding several companies, including AsiaInfo (NASDAQ: ASIA). She has 20 years of experience in sales, business development and company management. Phyllis earned her degree from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications.
Riccardo Zacconi is the CEO and co-founder for leading provider of casual social games company, King.com. With over 150 games and more than two billion games played per month, King.com has a proven track record of developing successful social, competitive and pastime experiences to millions of people across the globe. The company has been profitable since 2005, with investments from Apax and Index Ventures. As CEO, Zacconi leads the overall strategic direction of King.com, establishing the company with influential team members from his previous roles and ventures.
Prior to forming King.com, Zacconi was vice president of sales and marketing for the successful dating service, Udate.com, which was bought by InterActive Corporation (IAC) for $150M; he was entrepreneur in residence at Benchmark Capital; and CEO for online portal, Spray Network, whose parent company sold to Lycos for $760M. Zacconi also worked in strategy consulting for over eight years, primarily for the Boston Consulting Group in Germany.
Rob Dyer is the Vice President of Partner Publishing at Zynga, the world’s leading provider of social game services. Rob is responsible for cultivating and maintaining relationships with external development partners on the Zynga Platform. This includes working with developers to strategize on their game launches, assist in tuning and monetizing their games, and marketing their games. Zynga’s partner relations program enables game developers to reach Zynga’s audience of millions of monthly activity users.
Prior to Zynga, Rob was Senior Vice President of Publisher Relations at Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) where he managed relationships with external developers and publishers in North America, in addition to overseeing PlayStation Network. He also oversaw the production forecasting, scheduling and royalty analysis for all third party operations and helped shape and drive the overall company strategy and objectives. Prior to SCEA, Rob held positions as President and Chief Operating Officer at Crave Entertainment Group, and he managed all areas of operations as President of Eidos Interactive and Crystal Dynamics, two of the industry’s leading developers and publishers of entertainment software. Rob also worked on new market development and sales initiatives of movie videos in the Asia/Pacific region as the Director of International Sales and Business Development for The Walt Disney Company.
Rob received his Bachelor of Arts in economics from Washington University in St. Louis and his Diploma in Accounting and Finance from the London School of Economics.
Rob Weber co-founded W3i in 2000, growing W3i to be a leader in app user acquisition and monetization. For 42 consecutive quarters the company continues to be profitable and has grown to over 120 employees. For more than a decade, Rob worked to create solutions to increase distribution, drive revenue and heighten engagement for app developers, such as DeNA, Gree, Kabam, PocketGems and many other indie and public developers. Under Rob’s leadership, W3i recently launched a mobile offer exchange that includes partnerships with leading offer providers.
Rob’s business philosophy is to provide a collaborative environment developing solutions that provide value to app developers, advertisers, agencies and ad networks.
In addition, Rob shares his passion for apps, digital media and entrepreneurship by serving on the board of several tech companies. Rob recently presented at GDC, GDC Online, APPNATION, iPhone/iPad App DevCon and also judged Start-Up Weekends.
Rob is an angel investor in a number of game, social media, music, video and mobile app start-ups.
Seamus Blackley is a former agent with Creative Artists Agency representing video game creators. After helping birth the original Xbox way back in 2000, Seamus Blackley left Microsoft to get back to game development. He put that dream on hold in 2004 when his studio, Capital Entertainment Group, folded, choosing to soldier on as a talent coordinator at Creative Artists Agency. Beyond negotiating deals for famous names like BioShock creative lead Ken Levine and Flower devs thatgamecompany while at CAA, Blackley most recently helped ex-Infinity Ward heads Vince Zampella and Jason West navigate that debacle’s dangerous waters.
Steve Fowler is General Manager of [a]list games. Steve is a thirteen year veteran of the interactive entertainment industry. He is responsible for the brand identity and launch of the Halo franchise at Microsoft Corporation, Inc., and has held marketing and business development roles at Interplay, Sega Sammy Holdings, Inc., Square Enix, Inc., and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.
Prior to [a]list games, Steve led strategy and client service at Ayzenberg Group, helping put together go-to-market plans for multiple AAA game releases for the industry’s biggest publishers. A thought leader in the space of digital marketing and advertising for the videogame industry, Steve is the chief architect of the one of its kind annual industry conference the [a]list summit. He is a regular contributor to the [a]list daily, a news source focused on marketing and advertising for the game space.
Tim Merel is Managing Director of Digi-Capital, the digital investment bank focused on games across America, Europe and Asia (China, Japan and South Korea). As well as its investment banking and venture partner work, Digi-Capital publishes its Global Video Games Investment Review. Tim is a frequent contributor to GamesBeat on games investment and M&A globally.
Tim Schafer is the President and CEO of Double Fine Productions, a San Francisco-based video game developer, makers of the critically acclaimed games Psychonauts,Brütal Legend, Costume Quest, Stacking, Iron Brigade, Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster, and Double Fine Happy Action Theater. Prior to Double Fine, Tim was a Project Leader at LucasArts Entertainment Company, where he was responsible for several classic PC adventure games, including Grim Fandango and Full Throttle. Tim also co-designed Day of the Tentacle, and served as a writer and assistant designer on The Secret of Monkey Island 1 & 2.
Torsten Reil (CEO and co-founder) holds a BA in Biology from Oxford University and an MSc in Evolutionary and Adaptive Systems from Sussex University. Prior to founding NaturalMotion, Torsten was researching for a PhD in Complex Systems at Oxford University’s Zoology department, from which he spun off NaturalMotion. Torsten has been named amongst MIT’s TR100 global top innovators, Next-Gen’s 25 People in the Games Industry, and Develop magazine’s 25 Game Changers.
As Chairman & CEO, Will drives KIXEYE’s overall strategy, product development and game design.
Prior to KIXEYE, he co-founded Affinity Labs, a company focused on building a global network of online communities. Post acquisition by Monster Worldwide, he served as General Manager and led all operations for Affinity Labs and Monster’s Education properties. Previously, he was part of the team responsible for restarting Netscape Communications Corp. where he led product management for the Netscape Browser and was responsible for various patents in security and usability. Before Netscape, he co-founded MD Drinks, Inc (d/b/a Function Drinks) a maker of all natural physician developed functional beverages and currently available in over 50,000 retail outlets. He also co-founded Media1st, an e-learning provider responsible for numerous innovations in online education and video streaming, and served as Vice President of Research and Development. He has also held positions at Yahoo, Internet Security Systems, Radiant Systems and was an EIR with Trinity Ventures.
Will currently serves on the Board of Directors for MD Drinks and is an advisor to numerous technology companies. He graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science from Vanderbilt University.
Will Wright (born January 20, 1960, Atlanta, Georgia) is a well-known computer game designer, and is co-founder of Maxis. He created groundbreaking games unlike any others such as: SimCity, The Sims and Spore. Known for his unusual ideas and projects, which later have become groundbreaking hits sealing his reputation as one of the most important game designers in the world. Currently CEO of “Stupid Fun Club”, he’s now working on new concepts to expand the realm of gaming into our everyday lives. When asked what he does he just says “I design stuff”. Rolling Stone magazine called him “one of the 100 people that changed America”.