Our GamesBeat 2015 conference is just 11 days away. It’s going to be an epic and efficient show with some of the industry’s best minds.

We’ve lined up the royalty of the game industry for our event, which carries the theme of “A Game of Thrones.” These are the conquerors who will dominate territories such as mobile, console, PC online, virtual reality, augmented reality, and beyond. I’ve spent the past six months recruiting the lords and ladies of the great houses of gaming. We hope you’ll agree it’s a stellar lineup. We’ve got about 43 CEOs, a bunch of top game journalists and analysts, and even two mystery speakers.

The event will be at the Grand Hyatt Union Square on October 12 and October 13 in San Francisco. You can sign up for it now. (Prices go up $200 on Friday at 5 pm Pacific time).

There is one last open speaking slot? I’m still trying to land a “whale,” or consumer who spends a lot of money in free-to-play games. You’re welcome to recommend someone to me.

Attendees check out the Omni treadmill controller and Oculus Rift 3D headset at GamesBeat 2013.

Above: Attendees check out the Omni treadmill controller and Oculus Rift 3D headset at GamesBeat 2013.

Image Credit: Michael O'Donnell/VentureBeat

Monday, Oct 12 2015


Registration & Continental Breakfast


Grand Ballroom

General Opening Remarks

Dean Takahashi/Stewart Rogers (emcee)


Opening analyst talk:

Speaker: Michael Pachter, Wedbush Securities

Title of talk: Opening Analyst Talk: The state of the game business

Description of talk: Analyst Michael Pachter has followed the game industry closely since 2000, from small startups to big public companies. He’ll give us a download on how he views the state of gaming.

9:40 am to 10:10 am

VC panel

Speakers:  Phil Sanderson, managing director at IDG Ventures; Sunny Dhillon, partner at Signia Venture Partners; Jason Kay, venture partner at AID Partners

Moderator: Martin Rae, president of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences

Title: Esports: The rise of the giant

Description: Evolving in a very short time from a niche driven, event focused experience to the rapidly expanding successful business ecosystem of today, this panel of VC experts explore the challenges and opportunities they see in the world of esports.   How can entrepreneurs capitalize on leverage points within the industry?  What can we predict about the future, and where might the best undiscovered opportunities lie?  And in their look at the space, where might the train already have left the station?

10:10 am to 10:30 am

Martin Rae of AIAS

Above: Martin Rae of AIAS

Image Credit: AIAS

Speaker: Niccolo De Masi, CEO of Glu Mobile

Moderator: Dean Takahashi

Title: The celebrity strategy

Description: In the summer of 2014, Glu disrupted the mobile gaming industry with the breakout success of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. Amidst a year of success for the pop culture phenomenon that is KKH, several studios emerged hoping to duplicate that success with their own celebrity titles. Glu itself has announced partnerships with Katy Perry, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Nicki Minaj, Britney Spears, and Jason Statham – amassing the support of nearly 650 million social followers in the process. The mastermind behind it all, Glu Chairman and CEO, Niccolo de Masi joins Dean Takahashi for a candid on-stage discussion about the power of celebrity IP and his predictions for the future.

10:30 am – 10:50 am

Fireside chat

Speaker: Mystery speaker

Moderator: Dean Takahashi

10:50 am to 11:10 am

Fireside Chat

Speaker: Matt Wolf, head of games at Coca-Cola and Jonathan Simpson-Bint, chief revenue officer at Twitch

Moderator: Jeff Grubb, GamesBeat writer

Title: Reach gamers wherever they are

Description: Twitch and Coca-Cola teamed up last year in an esports partnership. What does this say about how to reach the right audiences in the modern era?

11:10 am-11:30 am

Morning Coffee Break

11:30 am – 12:20 pm

Breakout Sessions

Second Floor

#1 Session:

Title: How to cater to gaming’s whales

Description: Social and mobile gamers who spend money in free-to-play games are a rare breed. Less than 5 percent of players spend money in free-to-play titles. Those who do are “whales,” and every company jealously guards them.  We’ll talk with whales and other experts about how to hunt whales without killing them.

Panelists: Dmitri Williams, CEO of Ninja Metrics; Jeferson Valadares, Bandai Namco; Patrick Walker, vice president of insights and analytics at EEDAR

Moderator: Maarten Noyons, head of the International Mobile Gaming Awards

#2 Session

Title: How to use data to improve user acquisition, engagement, monetization

Description: Mobile gaming is a competitive field, and developers must use all available resources to create great game play, acquire new users and increase monetization. Gathering the right data, understanding it and reacting to it is critical for engaging players and increased monetization. On this panel we will cover how to use data to drive acquisition, engagement, and monetization, and specifically how to use it to acquire players, optimize IAP and increase ad revenue.

Panelists:  Mark Rosner, CRO, Applovin; Gil Shoham, CEO of Supersonic; Bill Grosso, CEO of Scientific Revenue; Kai Bolik, CEO of GameDuell

Moderator: John Koetsier, vice president of research at VB Insight

Richard Marks, head of Sony's Magic Labs research division.

Above: Richard Marks, head of Sony’s Magic Labs research division.

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

#3 Session

Title: Virtual reality: How soon will it get big, and when will that happen?

Description: The multibillion dollar question for the game industry is whether players will embrace the hottest trend in game technology. Startups and big companies are starting to invest in VR projects. But when should those projects move from experimental to full-blown commercial products?

Speakers: Richard Marks of Sony PlayStation Magic Lab; Tommy Palm of Resolution Games; James Iliff, cofounder of Survios; Justin Moravetz, CEO of Zero Transform

Moderator: Tim Merel, managing director at Digi-Capital

#4 Session
Title: How far will esports reach?

Description: Games like League of Legends have taught us that esports have arrived. The idea of people watching pros play games is no longer silly. It’s a big business. What have some of the most successful esports companies learned about how to do it right? And what are their predictions for how the business will grow in the future? We’ll talk about the companies as well as the opportunities that shoutcasters and broadcasters are creating.

Panelists: Ian Sharpe, CEO of Azubu; Kristian Segerstrale of Super Evil Megacorp; Dennis Fong, CEO of Raptr; Matt Zitzmann, CEO of Kamcord

Moderator: Jeff Grubb, writer for GamesBeat

12:20 pm – 1:40 pm

Hosted Lunch

1:40 pm to 2 pm

Fireside Chat

Speaker: Jason Rubin, head of worldwide studios at Oculus VR

Moderator: Geoff Keighley

Title: Creating the best virtual reality experiences

Description: Consumers are excited about VR, but they don’t know what it will be like yet. Chances are it will be hit if and only if there are experiences you can get in VR that can only be done in the new medium. What kind of experience do you want to have in VR? We’ll explore the possibilities in this fireside chat between Geoff Keighley and veteran game maker and Oculus stduio head Jason Rubin.

2 pm – 2:20 pm
Fireside Chat

Speaker:  Owen Mahoney, CEO of Nexon

Moderator: Mike Vorhaus, Magid Advisors

Title: Nexon’s evolution as an early pioneer in free-to-play gaming

Description: We will discuss Nexon’s history in F2P gaming and what it and other Asian companies can teach us in the West. What is Nexon’s long-range planning for continued success? What is Nexon’s strategy and achievements in the West to date?

2:20 pm to 2:30 pm

Fireside Chat

Speaker: Mystery speaker

Moderator: Dean Takahashi

2:30 pm to 2:50 pm

Fireside Chat

Speaker: Graeme Devine, creative director at Magic Leap

Moderator: Dean Takahashi

Title:  Designing for Mixed Reality

Description: Designing interactive/narrative experiences is unlike any other medium, and understanding what works and what doesn’t work has been an interesting path. Classic console and video games do not necessarily translate well, and the exciting opportunity for an entirely new form of entertainment seems to be at our fingertips. Graeme Devine will discuss the thought process at Magic Leap and what the road travelled thus far has taught him.

2:50 pm to 310 pm

Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, after a talk on the future of games at ChinaJoy 2015.

Above: Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, after a talk on the future of games at ChinaJoy 2015.

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

Fireside Chat

Speaker: Tim Sweeney of Epic Games

Moderator: Dean Takahashi

Title: The way ahead in mobile games, VR/AR, and game engines

Description: At the helm of Epic Games for two decades, technology guru Tim Sweeney has seen it all, and that makes him an excellent seer of the future. We’ll discuss topics such as the race to reality with VR and AR, and how they could display other devices for billions of people. We’ll also discuss the “indiepocalypse” in mobile games and the flight to quality. And we’ll talk about the state of the game engine wars.

310 pm to 3:30 pm

Fireside Chat

Speaker: Mark Skaggs, Zynga 

Moderator: Steve Peterson

Title: The evolution of action strategy on mobile

Description: Mark Skaggs, former senior vice president of games at Zynga and veteran RTS developer, will share insights into the explosive growth of the Action Strategy category on mobile, including the challenges and opportunities in bringing the RTS genre from PC and console to mobile platforms.

3:30 pm to 4 pm

Afternoon Break

4 pm – 4:20 pm

Fireside Chat

Speaker: Emily Greer, head of Kongregate

Moderator: Keith Boesky

Title: How to choose a multiplatform strategy

Description: Each year making games seems to become a little more challenging for developers big and small alike. Emily Greer will draw on nearly 10 years of experience in the fast changing world of free to play games to talk about using multi-platform strategies to maximize a studio’s chance at success.

4:20pm – 4:40 pm

Fireside Chat

Rajesh Rao of Dhruva Interactive

Above: Rajesh Rao of Dhruva Interactive

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

Speaker: Rajesh Rao, CEO of GameTantra/Dhruva Interactive

Moderator: Ophir Lupu, head of games at United Talent Agency

Title: Is India the next China?

Description: India could very well be the next China, in terms of growth for its internal gaming market. How ready is the Indian game industry to make the promise into a reality? What can global game companies do to prepare for the growth? United Talent Agency’s head of games Ophir Lupu will talk with India’s gaming veteran, Rajesh Rao, about the current landscape, the cultural climate for games, and the potential challenges for entrants in this emerging market.

4:40pm – 5 pm

Fireside chat/panel:

Speakers: Brianna Wu, head of development at Giant Spacekat

Moderator: Dean Takahashi

Title: Making waves and making games

Description: Brianna Wu has been an outspoken advocate for women and diversity in gaming, particularly in the past year. On top of that, she has created a female-run game studio that published a mobile game, Revolution 60. And now she’s taken an interest in designing for virtual reality. We’ll talk to her about the state of the game industry and how to make it better.

5 pm-5:20 pm

Speaker: Chris Heatherly, Disney

Moderator: AJ Glasser, Facebook

Title: How Disney Interactive is balancing brands and platforms to tell new stories for fans

Description: Disney Interactive, with access to one of the most extensive IP portfolios in entertainment, also has one of the enviable dilemmas in games publishing:  Choosing the right opportunities from across an unprecedented collection of brands to serve the most vocal fan bases in the world. Chris Heatherly joins GameBeat 2015 to discuss how the company is making development and publishing decisions for a slate of games that spans the casual, kids and mid-core categories and includes the Disney, Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars brands. Heatherly will offer insight into Disney’s approach to balancing in-house and licensed development, and share his thoughts on platforms beyond mobile.

5:20 pm – 5:25 pm


Speaker: Dean Takahashi, Lead Writer, GamesBeat

5:25 pm – 6:30 pm

Day #1 Opening Reception

9 pm onward: GamesBeat 2015 official party sponsored by Microsoft