GamesBeat 2012We’d like to formally introduce our judges for the Who’s Got Game contest for the industry’s best game startup. They include:

Ann Burkett is the chief executive of the Game Dojos Accelerator and chair of the Silicon Valley Independent Game Developers Association (IDGA). Burkett is a game developer who joined the game industry with Macromedia and has worked on a number of titles, including the CrowdStar hit game It Girl. She founded the HTML5 Developers Conference, the Bay Area Game and App Developers Groups, and Games.js.

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.

Eric Goldberg is the managing director at Crossover Technologies. 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 U.S. venture capital firms. Previously, he was cofounder and president of Unplugged Games and of Crossover Technologies, the consumer online firm; and president of West End Games, which used to make role-playing and board games 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 in the past.

Michael Chang is the senior director of corporate development for Electronic Arts. Chang joined the corporate development team of EA in July 2010 and is responsible for executing on acquisitions and investments for EA. Prior to that, he worked at various venture capital and private equity firms including Bertram Capital, Apax Partners, Technology Crossover Ventures, and Lightspeed Venture Partners. He started his career as a technology M&A banker at Jefferies Broadview. Chang was one of our judges last year.

These judges have already screened dozens of applications for the round of finalists who will appear on stage at our fourth annual GamesBeat 2012 conference on July 10-11 in San Francisco at the Palace Hotel. The half-dozen or so finalists will speak for a few minutes each and answer questions from the judges as they vie to win the honor for the best game industry startup. We’ll be announcing the finalists shortly. They will all appear on stage to pitch their companies to our audience of media, entrepreneurs, investors, and industry executives.

Our judges will select the most promising startup, based on the following criteria:

  • Freshness
  • Innovation
  • Potential for business success

Last year’s winner was Kaiju Empire, which was making a social game based on crazy Godzilla-style monsters.

This year’s winner will be announced on stage at GamesBeat 2012 and receive introductions to game investors in our network and be featured in a blog post. The Game Dojos Accelerator is offering the winner a complimentary acceptance into their next class session round. Acceptance will be completely free and incur no equity stake in the company or any other charges. Thanks to Nokia Developer, all finalists will also get a Nokia Lumia 800 phone.

We want to thank the industry leaders that are supporting GamesBeat 2012: W3i as Platinum Sponsor; as Corporate Sponsor; Flurry & Tapjoy as Gold Sponsors; Greystripe, LifeStreet Media, Ludei & Nokia Developer as Silver Sponsors; and Betable, Game Insight, Gree, Kontagent, Nexage, PayPal, Pontiflex, Swrve & Xyologic as Event Sponsors.

GamesBeat 2012 is VentureBeat’s fourth annual conference on disruption in the video game market. This year we’re calling on speakers from the hottest mobile, social, PC, and console companies to debate new ways to stay on pace with changing consumer tastes and platforms. Join 500+ execs, investors, analysts, entrepreneurs, and press as we explore the gaming industry’s latest trends and newest monetization opportunities. The event takes place July 10-11 in San Francisco, and you can get your tickets here.