We’re pleased to introduce our first two speakers for the second annual GamesBeat Summit 2016, an event that’s set for May 3 and May 4 at the scenic Cavallo Point Lodge in Sausalito, California. This event is about the global business of gaming, which is growing in so many ways and becoming a bigger part of the entertainment and technology industries. We’ve designed this year’s summit to be a more intimate experience for the leaders of the gaming world.
Our goal is to make GamesBeat Summit the best event of its kind. It brings together 180 gaming executives from all segments of the gaming platform ecosystem to develop a blueprint for the industry’s expansion in 2016 and beyond. New markets, new game genres, and new platforms are opening up for game companies. Virtual reality, augmented reality, and esports are re-energizing developers. Our speakers will shed light on the landscape and help you make the right decisions so your company can grow. We’re vetting the speaker candidates for good narratives, such as David and Goliath stories, that hold lessons for us all.
If you want to apply for an invitation, click here.
Our first speakers include:
Riccardo Zacconi, CEO of King. Zacconi has been the CEO of King Digital Entertainment and its predecessor, Midasplayer.com, since 2003. He helped fuel the growth of King on the Web and on Facebook. His company’s fortunes took off in 2012 with the launch of Candy Crush Saga on mobile devices. For the past couple of years, Candy Crush Saga has been among the top-three grossing mobile games in the world. In November, Zacconi sold King to Activision Blizzard for $5.9 billion as part of an effort to create a global gaming powerhouse across all major platforms. The deal was one of the biggest in the history of the game industry, and it showed how much value King had created with its mobile-based casual gaming business. After the acquisition, Zacconi told us that he is looking forward to taking advantage of Activision Blizzard’s massive network of users and franchises for new mobile game properties.
Robbie Bach, former chief Xbox officer. Microsoft lost $5 billion to $7 billion on the original Xbox, launched in 2001. And it made billions of dollars on the Xbox 360. Depending on the time frame in which you look at it, it was either an insane waste of money or the finest strategic decision that Microsoft ever made. Robbie Bach had to make the call to do it or not. He was the chief Xbox officer from 2000 to 2010. After two console cycles, Bach decided to do work as a “civic engineer” to help fix both charities and governments. We look forward to a discussion of what Bach learned from his efforts and how they are relevant today to companies that are trying to establish new platforms. Bach recently wrote a memoir book, Xbox Revisited, about his time at Microsoft and his own efforts to fix our country’s civic problems.
Rami Ismail, cofounder of Vlambeer. Ismail is one of the most visible independent game developers in the world. The cofounder of the Netherlands-based Vlambeer is trying to use that fame to give back to the indie community and do good. The studio’s has a signature style, and fans have supported it all the way. Five years ago, Ismail and Jan Willem Nijman started the company. Their hits include Super Crate Box (2010), Serious Sam: The Random Encounter (2011), Gun Godz (2012), Ridiculous Fishing (2013), Luftrausers (2014), and Nuclear Throne (2014). Ismail has also been active supporting indies with the Indie Press Kit,DoDistribute, DoToolKit, and GameDev.world. Ismail is outspoken on social issues, and he has taken gamers to task for online harassment. And he remains a big advocate for the global gaming business.
Noah Falstein, chief game designer at Google. Falstein has had a long history of making video games. But at Google, which doesn’t make traditional video games, you would think that he doesn’t have much to do. But he does. Falstein noted in a panel that I moderated last year that Google supports games across the whole spectrum, perhaps more so than any other company. Much of its focus is in getting the next billion people to play games, on such platforms as Android devices and virtual reality.
At last year’s Game Developers Conference, Falstein talked about doing games using Google’s Project Tango, the augmented reality technology that can map the 3D space around you and, using a tablet screen or future augmented reality glasses, project an interactive experience into that space. You can conceivably play a 3D horror game inside your own house where you hide behind your own furniture to escape a beast. Falstein has also talked about creating games such as the massively multiplayer online mobile game, Ingress, which was recently spun out of Google as Niantic. Falstein has served in game design roles at the Inspiracy, Suddenly Social, NF Interactive, LucasArts, Dreamworks, and 3DO.
Neil Young, CEO of N3twork. Young and Bob Stevenson launched N3twork as a social network based on interests groups in 2013. It didn’t take off as expected, so they pivoted last fall into mobile gaming. That was an unusual move, but it showed how flexible Young was in adapting to the fast-changing market. And, if anything, gaming has been changing fast in the past few years. It won’t be an easy path, as big companies are starting to dominate the top-grossing games in mobile. But Young has done pulled off some interesting feats in the past. In 2008, he started Ngmoco with Stevenson at the dawn of the iPhone era. Japan’s DeNA, a mobile and social gaming company, acquired Ngmoco for $400 million in 2010. Before that, Young spent years working on triple-A games such as The Lord of the Rings, The Sims, and the experimental Majestic game at Electronic Arts. He built his first game when he was 14.
Our topics include:
- Platforms: Where to place your bets? VR, AR, and more.
- Monetization: How to acquire and retain your user base.
- Deals: Follow the money.
- Brands & Franchises
- Esports and community
- Embracing diversity and creativity
Our event advisory board includes:
- Sinjin Bain, CEO of MaxPlay
- Gordon Bellamy, visiting scholar at USC
- Seamus Blackley, Xbox cofounder and consultant
- Michael Chang, senior vice president of corporate development at NCSoft
- Daniel Cho, chairman at Innospark
- Kate Edwards, executive director at the International Game Developers Association
- Jay Eum, managing director of TransLink Capital
- Chris Fralic, partner at First Round Capital
- Bill Grosso, CEO of Scientific Revenue
- Perrin Kaplan, principal at Zebra Partners
- Tim Merel, founder and CEO of Eyetouch Reality and managing director at Digi-Capital
- Phil Sanderson, managing director at IDG Ventures
- Mike Vorhaus, president of Magic Advisors
Call for speakers
If you’d like speak or recommend a speaker, you can apply here by11:59 p.m. Pacific on Friday, February 5.
Call for sponsors
If you’d like to sponsor, please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.