Here’s the agenda for the GamesBeat Summit 2016, to be held May 3-4 at the Cavallo Point resort in Sausalito, Calif.

Our GamesBeat 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 theme is focused on underdogs and the strategies they use to win. We want to make GamesBeat Summit the best event of its kind. It will bring together 180 gaming executives from all segments of the gaming ecosystem to develop a blueprint for the industry’s expansion in 2016 and beyond. New markets, new 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.

If you want to apply for an invitation, please click here. Our full list of speakers is here.

Tuesday, May 3

Robbie Bach

Above: Robbie Bach

Image Credit: Robbie Bach

2 pm to 3:55 pm General Registration and reception with cocktails, snacks, and networking

3:30 pm to 3:35 pm  Welcome by emcee Bryan Pray (Calippe Ballroom)

GamesBeat Summit - It's a time of change in the game industry. Hosted online April 28-29.

3:35 pm to 3:55 pm Opening remarks

Speaker: Dean Takahashi, lead writer for GamesBeat

3:55 pm to 4:15 pm Fireside chat: Revisting Xbox Lessons

Description: The former chief Xbox officer gives his insights on launching new game platforms of the past and how that could be enlightening for future platforms.

Speaker: Robbie Bach, former chief Xbox officer at Microsoft

Moderator: Dean Takahashi

4:15 pm to 4:35 pm Fireside chat: What openness means: A conversation with Tim Sweeney

Description: Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has stirred the pot on defining an open platform, and he’s doing
it for the benefit of the entire games industry. We’ll talk about his views on openness, as well as his predictions for game technology, game engine competition, and virtual reality.

Speaker: Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games

Moderator: Dean Takahashi

4:35 pm to 4:55 pm Fireside chat: A late-stage strategy for mobile

Description: A handful of leaders dominate mobile games. Is it too late to catch up or take the industry in a new direction?

Speaker: Neil Young, CEO of N3twork

Moderator: Mike Vorhaus, president of Magid Advisors

4:55 pm to 5:15 pm Fireside chat: Perspective from an indie underdog

Description: The odds against Vlambeer’s success have been huge. But the indie game studio has come up with hit after hit. We’ll hear some wisdom from one of the industry’s most outspoken indies.

Speaker: Rami Ismail, cofounder of Vlambeer

Moderator: Dean Takahashi

5:15 pm to 5:35 pm Solo talk: When story and gameplay clash: Lessons for VR

Description: Storytelling and electronic games have gone together since the earliest text adventures. But in fact, in some critical ways games and stories are 180 degrees opposed, and the reasons why are important to understand to avoid mis-steps in the new territories of virtual reality (lest we be eaten by a Grue!). This talk will touch on what we can learn from evolution, filmmaking, neuroscience, theater, and games to help guide us in these new adventures.

Speaker: Noal Falstein, chief game designer, Google

5:35 pm to 8 pm Streets of San Francisco Party (Verbena A/B)
8 pm to 10 pm Scotch & S’mores (Calippe Ballroom)

Wednesday May 4

cavallo point

8:15 am to 9:15 am Best of San Francisco Breakfast (Calippe foyer)

9:15 am to 9:35 am Fireside chat: Breaking ground: Transforming blockbuster franchises into games (Calippe Ballroom)

Description: Known for diverse, relatable characters and rich storytelling, Marvel is home to some of the hottest franchises on the planet, spanning film, TV and comics. As its brands have grown, so has its game division, which has transformed into a pivotal storytelling platform for Marvel, reaching millions of fans each day across a variety of platforms. With a portfolio boasting a wide range from core mobile gaming to hit console titles, Marvel’s games are helping expand the legacy of the Marvel Universe by giving fans authentic Super Hero experiences and the opportunity to re-engage more frequently than any other medium. Peter Phillips, EVP/GM, Interactive & Digital Distribution, Marvel Entertainment, will discuss how Marvel games are bringing its biggest characters and stories to life, leveraging Marvel’s blockbuster entertainment events, and even contributing original narratives that are driving content across other mediums.

Speaker: Peter Phillips, head of games at Marvel

Moderator: Ian Sherr, executive editor at CNet 

9:35 am to 9:55 am Fireside chat: Gaming is art and commerce

Description: Owen Mahoney, CEO of online gaming giant Nexon, has cut a lot of deals with top game developers on the premise that gaming is art and veterans can craft it the best.

Speaker: Owen Mahoney, CEO of Nexon

Moderator: Dean Takahashi, lead writer for GamesBeat

9:55 am to 10:10 am Movement break

10:10 am to 10:40 am Lightning round talks (Mission Blue Lawn)

Tim Merel, CEO of Eyetouch Reality and managing director of Digi-Capital, on The reality of AR/VR business models

Sam Barlow, executive creative director at Interlude, on Imagination is still the most powerful game engine

Don Daglow, CEO of 4thRing, on Games industry mentoring: A cup in the bucket

Kathy Astromoff, vice president of game developer success at Twitch

Amy Jo Kim, mentor at Maven Ventures, on Getting to alpha

10:40 am to 10:50 am Movement break

10:50 am to 12 pm Team building event

Lunch breakouts

Gil Shoham, CEO of Supersonic, at the Mobile Summit.

Above: Gil Shoham, CEO of Supersonic (Now IronSource), at the Mobile Summit.

Image Credit: Michael O'Donnell/VentureBeat

12:15 pm to 1:15 pm (all sessions are simultaneous)

Balancing Monetization and retention (Surfbird A)

Description: You cannot monetize efficiently without first having an engaged audience. This discussion will host an open round table of mobile experts to dive into crafting the perfect balance between monetization, retention and marketing, creating a game funnel that generates revenue.

Speakers: Gil Shoham, chief revenue officer of IronSource; Alejandro Manchado, US Gaming Partnerships Lead, Google; Jeff Gurian of Kongregate, senior director of marketing at Kongregate

Moderator: Matt Marshall, founder of VentureBeat

Uncovering the secrets of mobile engagement (Surfbird B)

Description: Mobile games create tremendous opportunities to find the right customers and offer frictionless paths-to-engagment and purchase – by leveraging seamless, data-driven personalization. But with over 3 million apps and over 1 million games competing for your player’s attention, global game developers face increasing challenges in the areas of reach, adoption, and engagement among a highly fragmented audience. The focus will be on: Driving customer acquisition: from adoption and in-app engagement; finding the right mobile channels to propel engagement for your game/brand; and what data strategies matter most in 2016. 

Speaker: Samantha Turner at Glispa

Moderator: Blaise Zerega, editor-in-chief at VentureBeat

Is the gaming world flat? (Tidewater A)

Description: Games can be made anywhere now, from Siberia to Malaysia. But where can you build the strongest game companies?

Speaker: Kent Wakeford, chief operating officer at Kabam

Moderator: Dean Takahashi, lead writer for GamesBeat at VentureBeat

The state of game deals (Tidewater B)

Description: Veteran game investors talk about the frontiers of gaming’s future and how to invest in them

Speakers: Phil Sanderson (IDG Ventures), Sunny Dhillon (Signia Venture Partners), Jay Eum (Translink Capital)

Moderator: Dan Fiden, chief strategy officer at FunPlus

Dealing with ad fraud (Verbena A)

Description: There’s an epidemic of fraud in mobile ads. We’ll talk about how to deal with it

Speaker: Paul Muller, chief technology officer at Adjust

Moderator: Steve Peterson, game journalist

Disclosure and Choice – How We Can Manage Crunch (Verbena B)

Description: Since its emergence, the game industry has always had a certain character to it that eventually became accepted as “normal”. One aspect of this normality includes extreme work hours and/or extended periods of “crunch time”, wherein developers are expected to go work far beyond standard hours to make up for the company’s inability to effective manage a project and/or manage creative expectations for a given time frame. While crunch is a reality of almost every creative medium, there is a better way to manage its infliction on employees, primarily by instituting a policy of upfront disclosure and enabling employees to choose the kind of conditions in which they will create.

Speaker: Kate Edwards, executive director of the International Game Developers Association

Afternoon sessions (Calippe Ballroom)

Jeri Ellsworth shows off the latest CastAR prototype.

Above: Jeri Ellsworth shows off the latest CastAR prototype.

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

1:30 pm to 1:50 pm Fireside chat: How CastAR is bringing dynamic mixed reality to the mass market. Hint, it’s about fun!

Description: Since its emergence, the game industry has always had a certain character to it that eventually became accepted as “normal”. One aspect of this normality includes extreme work hours and/or extended periods of “crunch time”, wherein developers are expected to go work far beyond standard hours to make up for the company’s inability to effective manage a project and/or manage creative expectations for a given time frame. While crunch is a reality of almost every creative medium, there is a better way to manage its infliction on employees, primarily by instituting a policy of upfront disclosure and enabling employees to choose the kind of conditions in which they will create.

Speaker: Jeri Ellsworth, founder of CastAR

Moderator: Will Mason, editor-in-chief of UploadVR

1:50 pm to 2:10 pm Fireside chat: Democratizing game development: The next steps

Description: John Riccitiello will talk about his views of gaming, the VR boom, the game engine battle, and what comes next

Speaker: John Riccitiello, CEO of Unity Technologies

Moderator: Mike Gallagher, CEO of the Entertainment Software Association

2:10 pm to 2:30 pm Fireside chat: Samsung’s developer ecosystem strategy

Description: Samsung is placing new focus on shoring up its software ecosystem strategy, with particular focus on gaming, as evidence by the adoption of Vulkan tech, the creation of the Games Launcher of their S7 flagship mobile device and increased marketing spend. We will review several case studies of successful partnering, review newly-formed developer support programs and delve deeper into emerging tech, VR, AR, IoT and beyond.

Speaker: Mihai Pohontu, vice president of emerging platforms at Samsung

Moderator: Dean Takahashi

2:30 pm to 2:50 pm Fireside chat: The rocky yet rewarding path of trailblazing with new technology

Description: How creating content for emerging technologies is worth the risk

Speaker: Paul Bettner, CEO of Playful

Moderator: Jeff Grubb, news writer for GamesBeat

2:50 pm to 5 pm Ice Cream Social (Calippe Terrace)

Our sponsors include:

Gold:
YeahMobi
IronSource
Adjust
Samsung

Silver:
AdColony
TapJoy
Glispa
Invest in Canada
Upsight

John Riccitiello, CEO of Unity Technologies, at GamesBeat Summit 2015.

Above: John Riccitiello, CEO of Unity Technologies, at GamesBeat Summit 2015.

Image Credit: Michael O'Donnell / VentureBeat