As President of Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE), John Smedley oversees the company’s overall vision and growth. Most recently, he led SOE’s company-wide transition to a free-to-play business model, establishing SOE as the owner of the largest and most diverse free-to-play line-up of any publisher.
Under Smedley’s visionary leadership, SOE has grown from a small developer with a single online PC game to a global industry leader with millions of players and multiple titles published on PC, Mac, PlayStation® computer entertainment system, PlayStation® Vita, PSP® system, wireless and handheld platforms. SOE has formed beneficial partnerships in Europe, Asia and Russia through Smedley’s guidance, which in turn has increased diversity among players, and has added to SOE’s growth in both population and profits.
Smedley, also known as “Smed,” has more than two decades of experience in the interactive entertainment industry. Prior to his current role as President of Sony Online Entertainment, he worked at ATG, Knight Technologies and also served as Director of Development at 989 Studios for five years. Smedley was instrumental in the creation and development of the original, groundbreaking massively multiplayer online game, EverQuest®, and was co-founder of Verant Interactive Inc., which became Sony Online Entertainment after it was purchased by Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2000.
Smedley is an avid gamer who enjoys first-person shooters. He also plays acoustic guitar during his personal time.
Mr. Riccitiello is a private investor. He also serves on the Board of the Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley and on the Board of Councilors for the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
Until March of 2013, Mr. Riccitiello served as the CEO of Electronic Arts. Mr. Riccitiello originally joined EA in October 1997 as President and Chief Operating Officer. He was President during a period of dynamic growth — with his help EA grew market share, diversified its product portfolio and strengthened the company’s international business. He left the company in 2004 to become a founding partner and managing director of Elevation Partners, a private equity partnership focused on the media and entertainment sector. He returned to EA as CEO in 2007, reorganized the company and re-committed EA to leading the industry in quality and innovation and by leading EA’s transformation from a packaged goods game company to one leading in mobile, online and could / digital gaming. During this time the company has seen an aggregate increase in game quality, and saw its online, mobile and digital revenues grow to exceed $1.6 billion in revenues. Prior to joining Electronic Arts, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the worldwide bakery division at Sara Lee Corporation. He also served as President and CEO of Wilson Sporting Goods Co. and held executive positions at Haagen-Dazs, PepsiCo, Inc. and The Clorox Company.
Mr. Riccitiello holds a Bachelors of Science degree from University of California, Berkeley. Mr. Riccitiello lives with his wife and children in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Tony Bartel is President of GameStop Corporation where he leads the company’s digital growth strategy. He has been instrumental in defining the company’s multichannel approach spearheading GameStop’s digital and online enterprises. Tony is also responsible for the Company’s recommerce initiatives.
He was the Executive Vice President of Merchandising and Marketing from March 2007 until June 2010. Prior to that, he was the Senior Vice President of International Finance, a role he held since joining GameStop in 2005. Prior to GameStop, Bartel was Chief Administrative Officer for NCH Corporation from 2003 to 2005. From 1989 to 2003, he held various positions with PepsiCo and Yum Brands, Inc., including operational finance, strategic planning, controller and eventually Chief Financial Officer of Pizza Hut. Prior to 1989, Bartel held various positions with KPMG Peat Marwick.
Kevin Chou is co-founder and CEO of Kabam, the western world leader in free-to-play core games. Kevin is an entrepreneur who has guided Kabam’s explosive growth, which started with a handful of people working above a dim sum restaurant and catapulted to $180 million in 2012 revenue, profitability, and more than 600 employees across three continents.
Since co-founding Kabam in 2006, Kevin has led the disruption of the video game industry by revolutionizing the way players access and pay for games. He has secured partnerships with leading game platforms, as well as with Hollywood studio giants such as Paramount Pictures, Warner Brothers, MGM, and NBCUniversal for games based on some of the world’s most beloved movie franchises. Under Kevin’s leadership, Kabam has raised more than $125 million in capital from venture and strategic investors including Google, Intel, Canaan, Redpoint, Pinnacle, SK Telecom, Warner Brothers, and MGM.
Before co-founding Kabam, Kevin worked at the global venture capital firm Canaan Partners, where he invested in 14 consumer technology and online media companies. Earlier, Kevin advised public technology companies on M&A and corporate finance as part of Deutsche Bank’s technology investment banking practice.
Kevin graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from UC Berkeley with a BS in Business Administration. At UC Berkeley, Kevin was admitted into the inaugural class of Gates Millennium Scholars. He was named by Fortune as one of the “Smartest People in Tech,” and the Los Angeles Times called him “absurdly accomplished.”
Trip Hawkins, founder and CEO of Digital Chocolate, also founded and built Electronic Arts. Best known for Millionaire City, MMA Pro Fighter , Rollercoaster Rush and Tower Bloxx, Digital Chocolate led all software companies in App Store downloads in 2009 and in 2010 has been the fastest-growing maker of Facebook social games with virtual goods. Hawkins got the world’s first college degree in video games and was the first game business executive named to the Hall of Fame by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences. The inventor of three patents and the NanoStar virtual goods platform, he has also led the design and production of many hit games including John Madden Football.
Robin Hunicke is a game designer and producer, with a background in fine art, computer science and applied game studies. She joined EA in 2005, where she worked on The Sims2, MySims, and Steven Spielberg’s Boom Blox series for the Nintendo Wii. In the spring of 2009 she joined thatgamecompany as Executive Producer of the award-winning PSN downloadable title, Journey. Recognized as an influential Woman in Games, Robin is an evangelist for diversity of thought and participation in game design and game culture. She co-organizes the annual Experimental Gameplay Workshop, has chaired the IndieCade Festival, and lectures extensively on how developers can create novel, experimental designs by focusing on the feeling.
Renowned game creator of The Sims, SimCity and Spore, widely acknowledged for creating the simulation video game genre, unveiled the highly anticipated SporeTM in September 2008. Fans eagerly embraced the creation tools in Spore and have created over 100 Million pieces of user-created content, as of Summer 2009. Spore has been distinguished with such honors as Popular Science’s “Best of What’s New Award,” Popular Mechanics’s “Breakthrough Award,” PC Magazine’s “Technical Excellence Award,” Time Magazine’s “50 Best Inventions of 2008,” and the Jim Henson Technology Honor. A true gaming industry legend as a result of his pioneering contributions to video games, Wright has been the recipient of several prestigious awards and honors. Rolling Stone named Will Wright “One of the 100 People who are Changing America,” in March 2009, placing him among artists, leaders, scientists, and policymakers who are “fighting every day to show us what is possible.” IN 2008, Will received the first-ever Gamer God Award at the Spike Video Game Awards as a testament to his revolutionary work
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.
Brendan spent his entire career in the video games market as a serial entrepreneur and product evangelist, working on a range of successful disruptive technologies. He’s currently the CEO of Oculus VR, developer of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, which has been making headlines and winning awards since its successful Kickstarter launch in August 2012. Before co-founding Oculus, Brendan was the chief product officer at Gaikai, the innovative GPU cloud streaming company that was acquired by Sony and is now integral to PlayStation 4. Prior to Gaikai, Brendan spent a decade as co-founder and CEO of Scaleform, the #1 user interface technology provider in the video game market. Under his leadership, Scaleform was adopted by thousands of video game developers worldwide and successfully merged with Autodesk.
Tim is a proven venture investor and experienced global executive, known for his thought leadership in Gamification, Quantified Self, and Behavioral/Social Science-led Design. He has been named to the Forbes Midas List of Top 100 Tech Investors, as one of CNET’s 12 Most Influential Tech Investors and as a Power Player West, Digital Media and Mobile Power Player by Always On. Tim invests in the mobile, social, adtech, and health 2.0 themes. Tim’s investments include Moat, a brand analytics SaaS platform, Zirtual, a virtual assistant services marketplace, Basis, a wrist-based health tracker and online personal dashboard, BranchOut, a career networking application on Facebook, and HealthTap, an interactive health network that virtualizes the doctor-patient experience. Tim’s prior investments include Badgeville (gamification as a SaaS platform) and Lumos Labs (brain wellness games).
Sean Ryan manages the Games Partnerships team for Facebook. He leads a global team that is focused on growing Facebook’s ecosystem of desktop and mobile games. Prior to FB, Ryan was EVP/GM, Games at News Corp, having been recruited to start up the digital games division. Before News Corp, Ryan was a consultant in digital goods and social media monetization, including serving as Global CEO of Live Journal, a top Russian social platform. He previously was the founder and CEO of Meez, a leading, teenage-oriented virtual world service. Ryan previously served as vice president of music services at RealNetworks, where he managed the music division after selling Listen.com to Real in August 2003. As CEO of Listen.com, Ryan helped lead the development and roll-out of the award-winning Rhapsody subscription music service. Prior to joining Listen.com, he ran business development for online game company SegaSoft Networks, spent several years at the GAP helping launch the successful Old Navy clothing line, and worked at Chemical Bank. Ryan holds an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Management and a BA from Columbia University, and has also co-founded companies in the virtual goods platform, prepaid card and online karaoke sectors.
Steve Wadsworth has been an influential senior executive and leader in the Internet and interactive digital media industry since 1995.
Steve has served on the Tapjoy Board since 2011, and prior to that he was president of Disney Interactive Media Group (DIMG), where he was a pioneer for the company’s digital media and technology business including more than 11 years as Disney’s chief Internet and digital media executive.
During his tenure, Steve led DIMG’s global creation and delivery of entertainment and lifestyle content across digital and interactive media platforms, including mobile devices, Internet, video game consoles, and social media platforms.
Steve is a frequent spokesperson on Internet and digital media issues and guest speaker at Internet industry forums. In 2010, he was selected as one of UCLA Anderson’s 100 Inspirational Alumni, and he was named to The Hollywood Reporter’s Digital Power 50 List in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Steve also served on the board of the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) for a decade where he served in the roles of chairman and chairman emeritus
Steve holds a Bachelor of Science in engineering from the University of Virginia and a Master of Business Administration from the UCLA Graduate School of Management.
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.
Tony Tamasi serves as senior vice president of content and technology at NVIDIA. He leads the development of tools, middleware, performance, technology and research for all of the company’s development partners, ranging from those involved in handheld devices to supercomputers.
The content and technology team is responsible for managing the interactions with developers, including support, custom engineering and co-design. Prior to joining NVIDIA in 1999, Tamasi was director of product marketing at 3dfx Interactive and held roles at Silicon Graphics and Apple Computer.
He holds three degrees from the University of Kansas.
For 15 years Adam Sessler has covered the video game industry on television and the internet. He was best known as the host of the long-running show X-Play on TechTv and G4. Known for his outspoken opinions coupled with an irreverent wit he is one of the most recognized and respected voices of the industry as a whole. Able to speak to various audiences from insiders to casual consumers of video games, Adam has amassed a large following and is considered one of the most influential people in the video game industry. He is currently Executive Producer, Host, and Editor in Chief for Rev3 Games on Revision3, a Discovery Digital Video Network.
After several years of pioneering work in the Internet and technology space, both in the US and throughout Asia, David Kim now serves as the CEO of Animoca. Prior to that, he was the CEO of mail.com corporation, a leading personalized email and messenger service co-based in Seattle and Hong Kong. Mr. Kim also manages several independent financing and advisory projects, ranging from private equity investments to refinancing of distressed assets. In recent years, he has advised and served on the boards of many prominent companies around the Pacific Rim, including Bamboo Networks in Hong Kong, Viztel of Malaysia, and Daum Corporation in Korea, where after 7 years of service as the chairman of the Audit Committee, he spearheaded the USD 105 million acquisition of Lycos, Inc. After the highly publicized transaction, Mr. Kim managed the integration of the acquisition as the CEO of Lycos. In 1999, when he steered China.com to its initial public offering, Mr. Kim became the youngest CFO of a company listed on the NASDAQ. He has also served as managing director for Softbank, Inc. and as managing director and CEO for Tech Pacific venture capital. A graduate of Stanford University, with a degree in Economics and Communications with Honors, Mr. Kim is also a classical vocalist with extensive musical and theatrical interest and experience.
Tim has experience in games, apps, digital media/services and tech/telecoms from both investment banking and industry, with education in software engineering, law and business from Yale and Sydney University. Tim is a global super-connector, with C-level relationships across start-ups, high growth independents, corporates and VC/private equity. Tim leverages his knowledge, relationships and ideas within and across regions in America, Asia and Europe for M&A, investment and strategy, using his experience from 60 engagements globally. Tim is recognised as a global games investment expert, equally comfortable at discussing deal structures, strategy, operations or technology. Prior to investment banking, Tim worked for News Corporation and Ernst & Young in America, Asia and Europe.
Todd Arnold is a veteran of the games industry and brings more than 20 years of experience developing and growing chart-topping and award-winning games. Prior to Tango, Arnold was senior vice president of games at Zynga where he was responsible for overseeing all of the company’s “Invest and Express” game studios and businesses including FarmVille, CastleVille, ChefVille and others. Under his leadership, the FarmVille franchise generated $1B in total player payments and grew to represent 31 percent of Zynga’s total online game revenue. Before Zynga, Arnold spent 11 years at Electronic Arts making games for key franchisees such as The Lord of the Rings, Dead Space and Tiger Woods.
Christine Tao is Senior Vice President of Developer Relations at Tapjoy. In her role, she leads the teams tasked with fostering and growing relationships with developers, and guiding the development of new Tapjoy features that improve developers’ experience with the network.
Leveraging more than 10 years of experience working in business development and sales & marketing, including a position leading the partnership and strategy program at YouTube, Christine oversees business development, publisher sales, account management and operations with thousands of partners worldwide. Christine has an undergraduate degree in business administration from UC Berkeley and an MBA from UPenn’s Wharton School of Business.
As a technology editor and reporter at Bloomberg, Ari Levy has covered networking, Internet and mobility while following deals and dealmakers in private equity and venture capital. He joined Bloomberg in 2003 as a stock market reporter in New York and moved to San Francisco in 2006 to write about Silicon Valley. He is also a regular contributor to Bloomberg Businessweek magazine. Ari has a master’s degree in business journalism from Baruch College in New York.
Cliff Edwards is a reporter for Bloomberg News and Bloomberg Businessweek in San Francisco. Previously, he was a correspondent in BusinessWeek’s San Francisco bureau, where he covered Intel, the semiconductor industry, handheld- and consumer-electronics companies. Prior to BusinessWeek, Edwards worked for the Associated Press. During his 12 years at the AP, Edwards held several positions, including business editor overseeing six Illinois-based correspondents. Edwards received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northwestern University, where he was also an adjunct professor of journalism for seven years.
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 D.I.C.E. Awards (formerly Interactive Achievement Awards), D.I.C.E. Europe, 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 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 Records.
Rae earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Washington.
Michal leads the mobile Product Management team at NativeX. Prior to joining, Michal worked for Nokia, where he built Entertainment and Location products. He also worked on several M&A and partnership deals. While earning his BS in Management and MA in Finance at the University of Szczecin in Poland, Michal co-founded an Internet media start-up. Michal also holds an MSc in Industrial Engineering from the Helsinki University of Technology and an from MBA Wharton, University of Pennsylvania.
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.
Dr. Lars Buttler is the Managing Director of Madison Sandhill Global, a leader in international disruptive innovation and development strategy & financing. Dr. Buttler is also Co-founder of Trion Worlds, an innovator in Connected Entertainment & Trans-media (with TimeWarner, Comcast, NBC-Universal, Bertelsmann; RIFT, Defiance TV-show/game-world); Co-founder of Wingcast Europe, a Mobile Virtual Network & Value-added-services Operator (with QUALCOMM, Ford Motor Company); Co-founder of Signant, a pan-European Mobile In-vehicle Services joint-venture (PSA Peugeot Citroën, Renault–Nissan, Premier Automotive Group, Ford of Europe). Lars also served as Vice President for Electronic Arts and The Carlyle Group, global leaders in entertainment software and Finance. Dr. Buttler is an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2012 Northern California finalist, and holds a Doctorate in Engineering from Dortmund University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and earned an M.B.A from Harvard Business School.
Eric is a 30-year veteran of the game industry, serving in capacities ranging from game designer to executive. Since 2002, Eric has been a board member of, advisor or consultant to >40 consumer-facing technology companies and venture capital firms. His affiliations that have enjoyed recent exits include Playdom (acquired by Disney), PlaySpan (acquired by VISA), and Amplify (nee Wireless Generation, acquired by News Corp); more traditional game-publisher affiliations include Namco Bandai, SEGA, and EA. He was previously the co-founder and President of three start-ups, including Unplugged (mobile), Crossover Technologies (consumer online), and West End Games (adventure game publisher). His award-winning games includeParanoia, Tales of the Arabian Nights, The Tom Peters Business School in a Box, and MadMaze, the first online game to draw one million players. Eric is a frequent speaker at — and programs advisor for — game, Internet, and mobile conferences.
In his role as General Manager of Papaya Mobile’s North American business, Fernando is charged with growing both the company’s flagship SNS as well as it’s newly launched app cross-promotion exchange, AppFlood. As a two time entrepreneur in mobile gaming and collaborative video, Fernando brings to bear his experience in traditional media at Disney and the Discovery Networks as well as large scale internet at Yahoo. Fernando has an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago and a BA in East Asian Studies from Harvard.
Gabriel Leydon co-founded Machine Zone (formerly known as Addmired) and has served as Chief Executive Officer since January 2008. Gabe is responsible for company vision, product design, monetization, recruiting, operations, and anything else that keeps him up late at night. Machine Zone is a software company based in Palo Alto, CA, and is focused on creating the most engaging free-to-play mobile social games. As creators of numerous hardcore massively multiplayer online games for mobile devices, Machine Zone currently has three of their games – Original Gangstaz, iMob 2 and Global War – among the 50 top-grossing iPhone apps.
Ken Murphy is vice president of studios for GameHouse, RealNetworks’ games division, and leads a global team responsible for some of the company’s most distinguished social and mobile game launches, most recently including “GameHouse Casino Plus”, the first free-to-play mobile / social casino game that gives players the chance to win life-changing, real-cash prizes through the “Golden Dreams Sweepstakes.” His work has also resulted in some of the industry’s most recognized and acclaimed casual games franchises, including: “Collapse!,” “Delicious!,” and “UNO™,” which have been distributed across multiple platforms and devices.
Mr. Murphy joined RealNetworks in 2006 to manage business planning and operations for the games division. He has helped lead the company’s development into social and mobile gaming while significantly improving profitability. Prior to joining RealNetworks, he held a variety of roles with The Walt Disney Company’s world-renowned theme park division, and was a founding executive team member of Disney Creative Entertainment. In 2003, he co-founded Mousetrappe, Inc., an award-winning media production company. Originally a professional musician, Mr. Murphy holds a bachelor’s degree from the prestigious Eastman School of Music and an MBA from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business.
Kenny Rosenblatt is the CEO and Co-Founder of Arkadium. He leads the company in its mission to be the #1 game studio in the world by driving the vision behind hit cross platform game development, making Arkadium a top place to work, building recognizable brands, and ensuring the company is consistently profitable. Since Arkadium’s inception in 2001, Kenny has helped to develop game solutions for clients and brands such as Microsoft, CBS, Caesars, Mattel, Hearst, and AARP. Kenny is responsible for driving the long term strategy of Arkadium and guiding the vision behind the technology platform that Arkadium’s games are built on. His extensive experience in the games industry, along with his entrepreneurial spirit has helped him always stay at the cutting edge of technology. Prior to founding Arkadium, Kenny was Vice President of Emerging Technologies at On2, a broadband media company, where he developed innovative Video on Demand systems for iTV and Set Top Boxes.
Mark is the President of Xfire, the ultimate social application and network for gamers. Xfire has over 19 million users from across the globe and provides social services such as in-game voice and text chat, in-game video capture and live game play broadcasting. Over $40 million has been invested in Xfire’s technology platform.
He was also co-founder of Titan Gaming, the makers of Games and Prizes on Facebook. During his tenure at Titan he served as the company’s founding CEO and successfully raised the organizations first two financing rounds totalling over $500,000, developed key partnerships with large industry players and was integral in the design and development of a robust software platform spanning over three years and 100,000 development hours. Mark is also a co-founder of Startup Edmonton, and events-driven organization dedicated to serving and growing the Edmonton Startup ecosystem.
Mark holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree with great distinction from McGill University.
Fascinated by the potential of big data and games, Mark co-founded GamesAnalytics in 2010 and has made it his personal mission to evangelise how analytics can change the games industry learning CRM techniques and business thinking from other market sectors.
Mark Robinson has over 15 years’ data mining experience industry, across companies such as Heineken, Office Depot, Aviva and Unibet. He led data mining consultancy Marketing Databasics that builds and hosts analytical environments to increase customer value through data-driven insight.
In 2009, Marketing Databasics (MDB) was designated a “Leader” organisation in the Forrester review of marketing services providers for its completeness of offering and its strategic vision. MDB was acquired by the Indicia Group where Mark was Client Services Director before leaving to start GamesAnalytics as COO.
GamesAnalytics to enable big data to drive player understanding, introducing the concept of Player Relationship Management to build better games. With the advent of the Free-2-Play games, responding to player behaviours has never been so important and GamesAnalytics helps publishers & developers with player segmentation, predictive analytics and targeted in-game messaging in order to increase player engagement and game revenues.
Matt is VP of Marketing and Communications at Twitch (www.twitch.tv), the world’s leading video platform and community for gamers where more than 45 million gamers gather every month to broadcast live video, watch and chat about gaming. Twitch launched in June 2011, won a Webby Award in 2012 and 2013, and has become ubiquitous in the video game industry. Game developers, publishers, media outlets, pro players and casual gamers all use Twitch as a platform to stream live content.
Top media have also praised Twitch. Business Insider called Twitch “one of Silicon Valley’s hottest startups.” Slate described the company as “the YouTube of video gaming.” Bloomberg said, “it’s enormous, it’s bigger than a lot of cable audiences.” And Associated Press touted that “Twitch has become one of the most popular ways for gamers to share footage online.”
Prior to Twitch, Matt launched and managed marketing for Socialcam, a stand-out social mobile video application that was acquired for $60 Million in July 2012. Often called “Instagram for video,” The New York Times called Socialcam “the most talked about video app,” and CNET called it “mobile video sharing done right.”
From 2007 to 2010, Matt was Director of Marketing and Communications at Federated Media. During that time, FM became one of the leading voices in new media, and is now a top media property per comScore. At FM, we pioneered the idea of Conversational Marketing, ran some of Twitter’s first forays into the advertising business, and helped grow TechCrunch, Mashable, and hundreds of other independent media sites into digital stalwarts.
Michael is a Principal at Covert & Co. and has over 15 years of technology investment banking and operations management experience.
Previously, Michael was a Vice President at New Century Capital Partners and advised Yahoo’s Mobile Marketing and Advertising group. Michael has also held senior management and engineering positions at AT&T, IBM and Mindspeed.
He holds 5 patents in the field of Communications and also serves as Vice-Chair and Board Director of the German American Business Association (GABA) in Southern California.
Michael received an MSEE from the University of Ulm, Germany and his MBA from the Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Michael is CEO and Co-Founder at Apsalar, a leading mobile demand side platform (DSP) powered by 1st party behavioral data on almost 1 billion mobile users, providing an advertising and analytics platform for direct marketers and agencies looking to acquire and optimize high-ROI mobile audiences at scale. Prior to founding Apsalar, Michael was the former co-founder and COO of Kefta, Inc., a provider of online behavioral targeting solutions.
Mike D. Gallagher is president and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the trade association representing U.S. computer and video game publishers.
Mr. Gallagher joined ESA in 2007. Under his leadership, ESA engages in activities that demonstrate the influence of entertainment software on areas of daily life such as education, health and the workplace. He frequently appears as the public face of the industry and regularly serves as an expert resource for major media outlets, including CNN, Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, NBC News and CBS News.
Mr. Gallagher’s interest in the broader uses of games helped ESA adopt a focus on highlighting the value of video games as next-generation learning tools, and their increasing incorporation into classrooms. His accomplishments include ESA’s sponsorship of the National STEM Video Game Challenge, part of the White House-led Educate to Innovate campaign. In addition, Mr. Gallagher served on the judging panel for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Apps for Healthy Kids” competition.
Mr. Gallagher also manages ESA’s work with state officials, helping to foster a welcoming operating environment for the high-paying jobs in the video game industry. Additionally, he leads ESA’s collaboration with the Congressional Caucus for Competitiveness in Entertainment Technology (E-TECH Caucus), which educates federal policymakers about the economic, educational and social benefits of interactive entertainment technology.
Mr. Gallagher has spoken at numerous venues across the country. He addressed graduating students at educational institutions such as Southern Methodist University and the DigiPen Institute of Technology.
Previously, Mr. Gallagher was the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Assistant Secretary for Communications & Information, serving as chief telecommunications and Internet policy advisor. During his tenure at the Department of Commerce, he led successful efforts to pave the way for a number of ground-breaking spectrum-based technologies and services, and developed and successfully advocated the U.S. government’s policies on international Internet governance. Mr. Gallagher also served as Communications Practice chair at leading international law firm Perkins Coie, during which time he co-authored, “21st Century Communications Systems for First Responders: The Right Call,” which offered groundbreaking spectrum policy recommendations and championed the private sector’s role in enhancing our nation’s public safety communications infrastructure.
Several organizations recognized Mr. Gallagher’s leadership in telecommunications and technology issues. He received the Telecommunications Industry Association’s “Spirit of Innovation” award in 2005 and the Wireless Communications Association’s “Leadership in Government” award in 2006. He was also recognized by former Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez in 2006 for his distinguished leadership in government service.
Mr. Gallagher holds degrees in Economics and Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley and a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Los Angeles. He serves on the Advisory Board for the Guildhall at Southern Methodist University and Spectrum Bridge, Inc. Mr. Gallagher also serves on the Boards of Directors for the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences and One Economy Corporation, as well as the Publishing Advisory Board of Sesame Street.
Mahoney has more than 15 years of experience in finance and was most recently CEO the online game publisher, Outspark. From 2000 to 2009 he served as Senior Vice-President of corporate and business development at Electronic Arts (EA).
In addition to his game experience, Mahoney has also held numerous executive positions at IT companies in the United States and Japan, including PointCast, Claris Japan, and Radius. Mahoney earned a B.A. in Asian Studies from the University of California at Berkeley.
Mahoney is being called upon to lead Nexon’s efforts to create a strong financial foundation and a global platform in order to improve profits and maximize the corporation’s performance.
“Nexon is clearly on the cutting edge of the online gaming business and is changing the way games are being played,” Mahoney said. “Players around the world are responding positively to the company’s business model, resulting in huge numbers of customers and expanding revenues. It’s an exciting place to be.”
Mahoney is currently on the job and will be working out of Nexon’s offices in Tokyo and Los Angeles.
In 2002, Paul Thelen founded Big Fish as a bootstrapped one person start-up game studio. His vision for Big Fish quickly pivoted from a focus on building out the Big Fish game studio to establishing and scaling a customer-centric, developer-friendly casual games marketplace. Big Fish is now the leading global casual games brand, with five world-wide offices, more than 600 employees, 500 developer partners and several million paying customers. Paul focuses on driving the company’s strategic vision, reinforcing the company’s culture and enhancing the Big Fish brand with their worldwide customer base and developer network.
Prior to founding Big Fish Games, Paul spent six years at RealNetworks where he launched RealAudio, RealVideo, RealProducer and the RealArcade games service. Earlier in his career, Paul was a business consultant for Mercer Management Consulting, founded a systems integration start-up and worked as an engineer for IBM in their mainframe and UNIX workstation divisions.
Paul holds a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Washington and an M.B.A. from Stanford University.
Raymond is Co-Founder and Managing Director of WestSummit Capital, a leading China-based global growth equity firm focused on helping high growth technology companies access the Asia-Pacific market.
Raymond has more than 25 years of investment and entrepreneurial experience in the US and China technology sector. Prior, Raymond was Founding Partner of Taishan Invest, the leading institutional angel fund in China. Earlier, he was also Managing Partner at Navi Capital Partners and a Venture Partner at Northern Light Venture Capital.
Prior, Raymond was the CEO of Linktone (NASDAQ: LTON), the leading wireless value-added services provider in China, where he led the company through a turnaround situation and took the company public on NASDAQ in 2004. Before Linktone, Raymond was a senior executive and entrepreneur at several high-technology companies in Silicon Valley and China, including Founder and CEO of RivalWatch and Founder and CEO of Saratoga Technology, Inc.
Raymond led WSC’s investments in Unity Technologies, Twitch.TV, Maginatics and YuMe (NYSE: YUME).
Raymond is a Delegate Member of the World Economic Forum Davos Global Agenda Council and is a former Chairman of the prestigious Tsinghua Entrepreneur and Executive Club (TEEC).
Raymond holds a Bachelors from Tsinghua University and a Masters from the Graduate School of China EPRI.
Robert C. Melendres has served as Executive Vice President Interactive Group (formerly Executive Vice President Emerging Businesses) of IGT since January 2012. He is responsible for setting the direction and accelerating the adoption of IGT Interactive gaming across online, mobile, and social platforms. Additionally, he is responsible for the P&L of the Interactive business as well as for setting the direction and accelerating the adoption of IGT interactive gaming across online, mobile and social platforms. As part of this charter, Mr. Melendres is also responsible for integrating and driving synergies across IGT’s Interactive businesses including DoubleDown Casino, the world’s largest online casino on Facebook and mobile devices.
Mr. Melendres previously served as IGT Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary from December 2009 until May 2012 and was responsible for the direction of the legal, intellectual property, compliance, and government relations and other corporate functions.Prior to joining IGT, Mr. Melendres held various management positions at Spansion Inc., a flash memory semiconductor company, including Executive Vice President of Corporate Development, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary. Prior to that, Mr. Melendres also served in various management positions at AMD including Corporate Vice President, Corporate Development. Prior to joining AMD, he served as CEO, President and General Counsel of WebGain, Inc., an enterprise JAVA Software Company. He also served as Director of Worldwide Contracts and Business Practices for IBM and IBM Legal Counsel.
Mr. Melendres is a member of the Gaming Law Advisory Council for the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and he previously served as General Counsel of the International Association of Gaming Advisors (IAGA) from 2011-2012 and as Treasurer of IAGA from 2012-2013. Mr. Melendres earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of California Los Angeles and a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.
Sean Hollister is one of the founding editors of The Verge, a website at the intersection of technology, culture, art, and science. He primarily covers gadgets, games, chips, computers, and cutting-edge technology. Previously, he served as a senior editor at Engadget, tested video games, enjoyed brief periods of unemployment, and interned at Wired Magazine. His love for all things tech dates back to his earliest memories of growing up in the Silicon Valley.
Simon has over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience bringing successful consumer and enterprise products to market. Prior to Flurry, Simon was President and CEO of Vernier Networks, a network security company; President and CEO of Volera, the leading content and video distribution company; VP and GM at Novell; Founder, President and CEO of JustOn, the leading Internet file-sharing service; and Founder, VP of Marketing at Worldtalk, an e-mail and content security company. Simon holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the American University of Beirut and a Master of Engineering from Syracuse University.
Sunny joined the Signia team in 2012 after launching his own location-based mobile startup named Barstool and investing in early stage digital media start-ups for New World Ventures. He was previously an M&A analyst in technology investment banking at Rothschild in London, a business development and principal investing associate at a digital media spin-off of New Line Cinema, and a corporate strategy MBA intern for Warner Bros.
Sunny grew up between the United States and England and was a competitive tennis player while in school/college. He is a mentor for various incubators and is on the board of Cents of Relief, a charity based in Connecticut that focuses on reducing human trafficking in Indian urban slums. Sunny graduated with his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where he was a Lee Hague Scholar. He has an undergraduate honors degree in Economics & Management from Oxford University and a master’s in International Relations & History from theLondon School of Economics (LSE), where he graduated with distinction.
Sunny serves as a Board Observer with Super Evil Megacorp and as a Director with Dogtime Media.
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.
Vatsal Bhardwaj is General Manager of Storm8, where he drives strategy, product development and live operations. Storm8 has more than 10 million daily active users and 600 million downloads across 200 million devices worldwide. Prior to Storm8, Vatsal worked in corporate strategy at Zynga, leading several new initiatives in mobile and international growth. Prior to that, he held product roles at Microsoft (SkyDrive, Wireless devices) and Cooliris (Mobile Photo Sharing). Vatsal has a MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management and a MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Duke University. He is an author of three patents in operating systems.
Vijay Chattha is recognized as one of the top technology PR executives in the U.S. for his aggressive and creative approach. His PR tactics have led to multi-billion dollar client exits over the past decade. Vijay plays a role in all client strategy, pitch angles and high-level media relations. As an investor, advisor, board member and author, Vijay does more than promote his clients. He creates conversations and educates key influencers on the real story between the lines of press releases and corporate jargon.
Vijay’s insights are featured in The Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, TechCrunch, The Washington Post, VentureBeat, PRWeek, E-consultancy, OMMA Magazine, the Wharton Journal, and the Los Angeles Times. Vijay ranked at number 48 on The PR 50: The Best Communication Pros in Technology by Business Insider in 2012.
Vijay earned his BA from the University of Pennsylvania with a double major in International Relations and South Asian Studies. He co-developed his first startup while at the Wharton School of Business. While studying International Economics at the London School of Economics, he created Playboy’s College Marketing Program.
Vijay also co-created the Walk of Game, a first-ever video game landmark destination that inducted the likes of Sonic, Mario and Lara Croft into video game history. Vijay co-founded and serves on board of directors of Project Ahimsa, a global effort to empower youth through music. Vijay was also honored as one of PRWeek’s top two Young Professionals of the Year. When he’s not talking, he’s rocking; as front man for the Punjabi Hip-Hop Funk band BlackMahal.
Alex Wilhelm is a writer for TechCrunch. In the past, he helped grow The Next Web into a leading publication. Alex also worked for midVentures in Chicago, where he attended school, and co-founded Contenture, a startup focused on micropayments and the monetization of digital content.
Alex lives in San Francisco.
Jan Goetgeluk is the founder and CEO of Virtuix and the developer of the Virtuix Omni, the first virtual reality interface for moving freely and naturally in video games and virtual worlds.
Jan is originally from Belgium and came to Houston in 2007 as a Project Engineer for Katoen Natie, a Belgian logistics conglomerate. Jan decided to stay in the US and left Katoen Natie to obtain his MBA degree at Rice University in Houston. Upon graduation in 2010, Jan joined JP Morgan as an Investment Banker in Houston and New York. While working as an investment banking associate, Jan started developing the Omni after hours, often working until late in the morning. In February 2013, after two years of researching, experimenting, and prototyping, Jan decided to leave his full-time job and founded Virtuix to bring the Omni to market. Jan launched the Omni Kickstarter campaign in June 2013, raising $1.1 million through the sale of more than 2,500 Omnis. To date, more than 3,000 Omnis have been sold.
Jan currently lives in Houston with his wife Erica. Jan holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Ghent in Belgium, and an MBA degree from Rice University in Houston.
John Graham is Co-Founder and COO at Humble Bundle, a pay-what-you-want plus charity platform for digital content.
John and Humble Bundle Co-Founder Jeffrey Rosen concocted the first Humble Bundle promotion as a way to bring attention to their independent game development studio Wolfire Games and other indie studios. When the promotion was an order of magnitude larger than expected, bringing in $1.27M in sales, John and Jeff decided that if the model could be repeated, they should turn Humble Bundle into its own business. Since the company’s launch in 2010, Humble Bundle has now worked with hundreds of independent developers and major publishers and raised $25 million for charity.
Prior to Humble Bundle and Wolfire Games, John graduated from Yale University with a bachelor’s degree in Economics.
Keela Robison is Vice President at GameHouse, in charge of worldwide cross-platform games distribution, and development of GameHouse’s premium mobile and PC game franchises including Emily’s Delicious and Mortimer Beckett. GameHouse is a leading distributor and publisher of casual games on all major mobile platforms, reaching tens of millions of customers each month. GameHouse recently launched the GameHouse Promotion Network, a free cross-promotion service for iOS and Android, enabling game developers to promote their own games, or exchange installs with other quality game developers.
Prior to working at GameHouse, Ms. Robison worked in leadership positions at Amazon in the Kindle group, T–Mobile USA, and RealNetworks. She holds her B.A. and M.A. from Stanford University. You can follow her twitter.com/keelarobison.
Sandy Duncan is the founder and chief executive officer of YoYo Games. Under Sandy’s leadership, YoYo Games has built an active GameMaker community 250,000-members strong while building partnerships with Amazon, Intel, Microsoft and Valve that have helped YoYo Games achieve 200 percent year-over-year growth in 2012 with stronger growth projected for 2013.
Prior to YoYo Games, Sandy was the vice president and managing director for Europe at Lexar Media for which he established a distribution network and branch offices in six countries in a year’s time.
Prior to Lexar, Sandy spent seventeen years at Microsoft, most recently spending four years spearheading Microsoft’s European Home and Retail business, building the business to $1 billion and successfully launching the Xbox across Europe.
Martine Paris produces editorial coverage and events for the mobile game community that focuses on developing, funding, marketing and monetizing monster breakout hits. She’s been a game publicist and marketer for AAA console, social, mobile, F2P MMO, and eSports and has worked with the world’s leading game brands including EA, IGN, ArenaNet, Outspark, WeMade, Gamigo and Game Insight. Prior to that, Martine launched VISA Playspan’s Video Monetization Platform and was a Senior Manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers. A frequent speaker on acquiring, engaging and monetizing communities at PAX, SXSW, LOGIN, GLAZED, and the Commonwealth Club, Martine has produced hundreds of live, online and broadcast programs. She began her blogging career at AOL Music and has nearly 1400 Twitter followers @contentnow. Martine has a BS in Finance from SUNY Buffalo.
Mike co-founded Major League Gaming (MLG), the global leader in eSports, in 2002 as the company’s CEO and currently serves as President. The company operates MLG.tv, the #1 online broadcast network for professional level competitive gaming; the MLG Pro Circuit, the longest-running eSports league in North America; and MLG: Play, the largest cross platform online gaming tournament system with 8 million registered users across the globe. MLG is one of the fastest growing digital networks worldwide with over 600% growth in audience over the last three years. As president, Mike focuses on strategy, key partnerships, corporate development and more.
Prior to founding MLG, Mike was co-founder and co-CEO of Gotham Broadband, an early innovator in the broadband content and delivery industry. In 2010 he founded and was managing director of Legion Capital, an early stage venture fund and incubator for digital media startups in New York City. Mike has been a member of the Advisory Board of the NFTE New York Metro region since 2011. He holds a B.S. in management from Babson College.
Kyu Lee is President 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.
Maria Alegre is co-founder and CEO of Chartboost, a technology platform for mobile developers to find new users and monetize their games. Prior to Chartboost, Alegre was one of the early employees at Tapulous, the company behind Tap Tap Revenge, the #1 music game on the iPhone that was acquired by The Walt Disney Company in 2010 to become Disney Mobile. Alegre holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in Business Administration from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and the ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain. In 2012, Maria was named in the Forbes Magazine “30 under 30” list as one of the top disruptors and innovators in marketing under 30 years old.
Ian Sherr writes about consumer technology from The Wall Street Journal’s San Francisco bureau. His coverage areas include companies such as Apple, Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard; and industry topics such as videogames, tablets and smartphones.
Previously, Mr. Sherr has written about the retail sector as well as microchip companies for Reuters News in its Chicago and San Francisco bureaus.
A Silicon Valley native, Ian has long been a technology buff, following the ups and downs of the industry while learning some computer coding languages as well. He also spent some time working as an I.T. worker for a Pentagon contractor in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Sherr graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz and earned a master’s degree from U.C. Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.
John Goodale is Vice President of Asia for Unity Technologies, and is responsible for all of Unity’s business throughout China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, India and Oceania. John has been in the games industry for nearly 20 years and has held several leadership positions at Sega and Activision. He has held roles as Executive Producer, Product Marketing Manager, and Licensing Director. He has consulted for the likes of TimeWarner, Fujitsu, NEC and others. He has lived and worked in Japan and is bilingual English-Japanese. A native of California, today John has a home and a family in Boise, Idaho, but spends 300+ days a year traveling throughout Asia. Unity’s largest user community in Asia is China, where some of the most successful mobile games are made using its award-winning engine.
Mark wants to create products that truly surprise and excite people. Before co-founding Anki, Mark was the founding-CEO and principal engineer at Copera, an embedded systems and mobile software company. Prior to that, Mark held engineering and research positions at Google and Intel. He earned a B.S.E. from the University of Pennsylvania and both a M.S. and Ph.D. from the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Mark finds that flying airplanes gives him a thrilling excuse not to check his email.
Todd (@ToddAlanHarris) began his career as a software engineer at NCR before taking on product development leadership roles at Radiant Systems and BlueCube Software. In 2005, he entered the games industry when he co-founded Hi-Rez Studios, a creator of PC online action games. Hi-Rez released the first ever F2P game on Steam in 2010, followed by the critically acclaimed Tribes: Ascend in 2012. Todd and Hi-Rez are currently working on the 3D action MOBA title, SMITE, which has been a top viewed PC game since integrating Twitch, averaging over 1 million views a week. Todd has spoken at numerous game industry events including gamescom, PAX Prime, PAX East, Dragon*Con, and SIEGE.
Hugh is a computer scientist turned CEO – with over 15 years experience helping game developers deliver outstanding user experiences. With Swrve CTO Steve Collins he founded Havok in 1998, and with Swrve is now enabling many of the world’s leading game studios to manage relationships with their mobile players and maximize in-game revenue as a result
Mark DeLoura currently serves in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) as Senior Advisor for Digital Media. Prior to joining OSTP, he worked nearly twenty years in the game industry, holding strategic, business, and technology leadership positions at Sony, Nintendo, Google, Ubisoft, and THQ.
As a passionate proponent for making game development more accessible and a valuable tool for education and expression, Mark has cultivated a broad perspective on the game industry, having worked at publishers, developers, platform holders, and as a journalist. His Game Programming Gems series of technical books, former role as editor-in-chief of Game Developer magazine, and presentations around the globe have introduced many aspiring developers to the joy of creating games.
Zach Phillips manages the team responsible for publisher relations, account management, and sales at PlayHaven. Zach works primarily with game publishers to help them maximize in-game monetization and user engagement.
Zach has extensive experience across all facets of the mobile content space within Fortune 500 companies and early stage startups. Prior to joining PlayHaven, Zach managed business development for Atari’s mobile and web initiatives as it related to the development, launch, and continued life-cycle management of iOS, Android, and Facebook games. In addition, Zach held business development roles at Sprint, Virgin Mobile and Helio.
Andrew Pascal is the Founder and CEO of PLAYSTUDIOS, a social gaming start-up focused on virtualizing the Las Vegas experience on Facebook. He brings to the company his deep expertise in starting and scaling new enterprises. With a focus on hospitality and leisure entertainment, Andrew’s previous ventures have delivered a range of innovative solutions to the land-based and online casino industries. As President and CEO of WagerWorks, and its parent Silicon Gaming, Andrew crafted and executed the business plans that translated to nearly $200 million of realized liquidity. In 2003, Steve Wynn tapped him to help launch his new venture, Wynn Resorts. Shortly thereafter, Andrew was named President and COO of the company’s flagship properties, Wynn Las Vegas and Encore Las Vegas – an integrated complex with 188 discrete business units, 13,000 employees, and nearly $1.5 billion in annual revenues.
Named in Forbes as one of twelve women in games to watch, Margaret Wallace is an entrepreneur focusing on the gaming, tech and digital media sectors. She is CEO of Playmatics (www.playmatics.com), a company dedicated to bringing rich gaming & digital media experiences to a variety of connected audiences worldwide. Playmatics focuses both on branded and original IP — with an emphasis on creating refreshing and disruptive interactive experiences, many with connections to the real world and strong narrative tones. For more information, visitwww.playmatics.com.
Jason is the founder & CEO of P4RC, a player engagement platform for mobile games. Prior to founding P4RC, Jason was the founder & CEO of Eye Interactive, a publisher of mobile games for iOS and Android, including top charting titles such as Tap Rocket, Zombie Sam and Stop Those Fish. Prior to Eye Interactive, Jason held operational leadership roles with companies such as MGM, Disney and Electronic Arts.
KLab Inc., founded in 2000, has been a wildly successful publisher of smartphone games in Japan. Employing over 1,000 people globally, the company is proud to be a publicly traded enterprise on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Based on this success, KLab decided to venture out and bring our expertise to the global marketplace. The San Francisco studio, opened in April 2012, is looking to expand our portfolio and make a splash in the iOS and Google Play markets. Consider our SF office like a startup, but with the backing of a major public company.
Noby Ota is CEO of KLab America, as well as Executive Officer of the parent company. Noby is responsible for the establishment, management, and strategic planning of KLab’s US operation, which is all about developing fun and engaging social games based on successful game models from Japan, creating unique new games that incorporate proven monetization know-how, and insuring that KLab games reach top chart positions among various platforms.
Prior to joining KLab, Noby worked at ngmoco/DeNA as Director and SVP of Business Development, where he was responsible for cross border BD for Mobage and instrumental to the sourcing and execution of DeNA’s acquisition of ngmoco. Noby is an investment banker by training and has had a highly successful career in principal investments, consulting, and M&A advisory. He earned his BA in Law from Keio University (Tokyo) and started his career at Mitsubishi Bank (Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ).
Terry is a Co-Founder and President of TrialPay, where he is responsible for developing advertising and monetization solutions for TrialPay’s e-commerce merchants, game publishers and social app developers. Terry was previously a director of product management for Living.com, a Benchmark Capital and Amazon.com-funded online retailer and a product manager at Trilogy Software, where he was responsible for e-commerce solutions for the Fortune 50. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from WITS University, an SM in Engineering Science from Harvard University and an MBA from MIT Sloan.
Playnomics’ Suite of engagement, retention, and monetization tools enable, marketers and developers to quickly predict player value and immediately act on those insights with customized user experiences and messaging. The company is backed by FirstMark Capital, Metamorphic Ventures, X/Seed Capital, Accelerator Ventures, and TriplePoint Capital. Prior to starting Playnomics, Chethan was partner at a boutique investment fund, a founding team member of a venture-backed information security start-up, and worked in technology investment banking and strategy consulting.
Matthew J. Hannus is co-founder and CEO of Sleepy Giant Entertainment, Inc., a leading live game operations provider and end-to-end production management services. As CEO, Hannus oversees the day-to-day operations and client support aspects of Sleepy Giant, giving him perspective on trends in digital entertainment, from both sides of the coin – content and platform. A forward-thinking, genuine interest in this industry makes Hannus uniquely suited to identify opportunities that support the continually changing needs of his company and partners.
Prior to co-founding Sleepy Giant in 2007, Hannus was Vice President of Strategic Growth at one of the first free-to-play publishers in the West, K2 Network, where he oversaw business development, strategy and corporate development activities. Hannus began his career with KPMG’s consulting practice in Chicago, before becoming a principal with Fultonbridge Partners LLC. He has managed growth opportunities for corporate clients in technology and media, and professionally advised the likes of CBS, Fidelity, McDonald’s, Tribune Corporation, Waste Connections and Wolters Kluwer. Matthew holds a BS in Finance from the University of Illinois.
Sleepy Giant is a premier super studio that provides live game operations and end-to-end production management services. The company partners with leading brands and entertainment companies to launch, operate, and grow high quality games across all digital platforms. Founded in 2007 by free-to-play pioneers, Sleepy Giant is a privately owned company, based in Newport Beach, CA, with offices in Chicago and Los Angeles. For more information, visit http://www.sleepygiant.com.
Susan Choe has deep experience in the US and Asia as an executive, entrepreneur and investor. Susan is Managing Director of Visionnaire Ventures, a new San Francisco-based venture fund focused on seed, early-stage and growth investments in consumer interactive entertainment.
Prior to Visionnaire, Susan was the Founder and CEO of Outspark, Inc., a leading free-to-play MMO game publisher based in the US with operations in Korea and China. Susan grew the company from concept to over 2 million unique users per month and over $7M annual revenue within the first two years of operation. Susan raised several rounds of venture capital and partnered with leading game developers and marketing partners in the US, Asia and Europe, including EA, Shanda, Yahoo and MiniClip. The company was sold to a German media company in 2012.
Susan served as Chief Operating Officer of NHN (LINE, Naver & Hangames operator) where she spearheaded NHN’s entrance into the US market. Prior to NHN, Susan served as Director, Corporate Development, then International Operations at Yahoo where she led strategic investments and managed operations in international group, including Games, Auctions, Search, Shopping and Personals/Dating. Susan also led several investments and acquisitions by Yahoo in Asia and the US, including targets in Games, Music and Jobs Listings.
Prior to Yahoo, Susan worked on Wall Street. At DLJ (now CSFB) as part of Corporate Development, Susan led strategic planning and contributed to partnership formations for DLJ’s global online brokerage business expansion into Asia & Europe. Susan also led DLJ’s joint venture with Hutchison Whampoa, Hong Kong, for the greater China online brokering business.
From 1996 to 1998, Susan worked in New York City in Private Equity Research at Merrill Lynch.
Susan earned her Masters in International Finance & Business from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts, Political Science & Economics from UC Irvine