We’re delighted to announce that video game pioneer and former Atari chief executive Nolan Bushnell will be speaking at the GamesBeat Summit on May 5 and 6. Taking place at the scenic Cavallo Point Resort just north of San Francisco, this is an intimate, invite-only event designed to promote open dialogue and debate among senior-level peers. See if you qualify here.
Bushnell is the newest star speaker among our all-star lineup at the GamesBeat Summit. He’s a world-famous inventor and entrepreneur and the cofounder of Atari, the iconic video game company that created titles like Pong and Breakout. He’ll kick off the event based on our themes of “bold ideas in gaming” and transparency.
When Bushnell founded Atari in 1972, he created an industry that would grow to become an estimated $91 billion in 2015, according to Newzoo’s estimates of the reach of games on all platforms. His design credo was to create games that were “easy to learn and difficult to master.”
Bushnell has started more than 20 companies, including his Silicon Valley incubator Catalyst Technologies; Etak, the first in-car navigation system; and Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theater. He also previously spoke at our GamesBeat event in 2011.
Bushnell was the first and only person ever to hire Apple founder Steve Jobs, which Bushnell detailed in his 2013 book, Finding the Next Steve Jobs. Not everything he did was perfect. In fact, he turned down a chance to invest $50,000 to get a third of Apple. With his latest startup, BrainRush, he is intent on fixing education with software that uses gamification principles to “addict” students to learning. A biopic, tentatively titled Atari and slated to star Leonardo DiCaprio as Bushnell, is currently in preproduction.
More GamesBeat Summit speakers
Kent Wakeford, the chief operating officer of Kabam. Wakeford’s been strongly outspoken about the urgency for North American mobile-game developers and publishers to take their apps to Asia, which ties into one of the key themes of the summit — the need to create top gaming experiences that can cross geographic boundaries and develop loyal audiences in multiple markets.
Peter Phillips, the executive vice president and general manager of interactive and digital distribution for Marvel Entertainment. Phillips will be shedding some light on where Marvel is headed and the best way publishers can work together with the franchise.
Adam Boyes, the head of third-party publishing at Sony Computer Entertainment America. Last year, Sony released more than 100 games from indie game developers for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita consoles and now has more than 1,000 developers licensed for self-publishing on its platforms.
Super Evil Megacorp COO Kristian Segerstrale, whose pedigree includes executive stints at Electronic Arts, Playfish, and Glu Mobile, joins us for a fireside chat session. Super Evil Megacorp has focused solely on the development of core gaming for touch devices, as evidenced with the company’s multiplayer online battle arena game Vainglory, released last November.
Kate Edwards, the executive director of the International Game Developers Association, addresses essential issues around sexism and diversity for the industry to thrive going forward.
Yoichi Wada, the founder and CEO of Shinra Technologies, and Jacob Navok, the senior vice president of business development for Shinra, join for a fireside session. Shinra recently demoed its cloud supercomputer that breaks the one-processor, one-user model and will enable developers to create huge worlds that can measure as much as 20 miles-by-20 miles of virtual space.
David Haddad, the executive vice president and general manager of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and Peter Levin, the president of interactive media and games at Lionsgate, will be on hand for a couple of those main stage discussions.
Unity Technologies CEO John Riccitiello is also part of the GamesBeat Summit. Unity is one of the most important companies in game development thanks to its Unity game engine, a cross-platform technology that enables developers to make games for just about any device that plays them. The company recently announced its Unity 5 tools at the Game Developers Conference 2015 in San Francisco.
Few people have had as much influence on the game industry over the last 20 years as Riccitiello. He served as the chief operating officer for gaming giant EA in his first stint at the company and returned to be its CEO, helping the publisher as it became a major player in the mobile and online gaming sectors.
Also speaking at the Summit is Thomas Hartwig, the cofounder and chief technical officer of King, one of the biggest publishers of mobile games. King was the No. 2 mobile-game publisher in the world for 2014, thanks in part to its major hit Candy Crush Saga. If you play games on your phone or tablet, chances are good that you’ve crushed some candy on it since the title’s 2012 release. And Hartwig’s role at King has helped change how we play games — and pay for them — on our mobile devices.
The focus of GamesBeat Summit is on bold ideas, the kind that will propel the industry forward, particularly in a global context. Limited to only 180 senior execs, we’re looking forward to the kind of open sharing that happens when like-minded visionaries come together.
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