Our latest speaker for GamesBeat Summit 2018 event is John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, the creator of augmented reality games such as Pokémon Go and Ingress. The event will take place at the beautiful Claremont Resort in Berkeley, California, on April 9 and April 10. Our conference is all about making games better and improving the business, and our latest speakers should give us a window into the future of game technologies.

You can get your tickets here at 30 percent off our rate using the code DEAN. Hurry before the March 1 midnight deadline. We’ve also got a new $500 code for indie game developers, IndieVIP, on this link. (We’ll be checking to make sure only indie devs use this code.)

Last year, Hanke spoke with technology experts Ralph Osterhout and John Underkoffler on the subject of the future of AR. He’ll delve into similar subjects this year in a fireside chat with Eliot Peper, science fiction writer and author of the upcoming Bandwidth novel. They’ll talk about the crossover between real life and science fiction, and they’ll predict what kind of future technology will create for gamers.

Above: Eliot Peper (right), author of novels such as Cumulus, speaks with Tim Chang, managing director of Mayfield Fund, at GamesBeat Summit 2017.

Image Credit: Michael O'Donnell/VentureBeat

Hanke was the creator of the technology that became Google Earth. He started Niantic within Google in 2010 to pioneer a new kind of location-based game. He wanted to promote exercise and an appreciation of public art. The company launched Ingress in 2012 as an invite-only Android app. It grew to millions of players, and it attracted the attention of Nintendo and The Pokémon Company Group.

Niantic spun out from Google and raised $30 million in the process, with both Nintendo and The Pokémon Company joining as investors. The San Francisco company launched Pokémon Go on July 6, 2016. Pokemon Go, released in July 2016, had about 100 million monthly users at its peak. In its first year, the mobile AR game generated more than $1.2 billion in revenue, and the company is now working on a Harry Potter game.

Peper has a new book, Bandwidth, coming out on May 1. It’s a near-future thriller that explores the geopolitics of climate change and how algorithms shape our lives. The book addresses themes such as gamifying diplomacy, how social media impacts decision making, hacking broken systems, and the collision of tech and politics. Peper said that his friend Tim Chang, managing director at Mayfield Fund, had a lot of influence on the story of Bandwidth, as the two of them had numerous discussions about the future of technology. Peper and Hanke will talk about the intersection between the real world and fiction on various technologies such as augmented reality.

Peper is also the author of Cumulus, Neon Fever Dream, and the Uncommon Series. He’s an editor at Scout and has helped build various technology businesses, survived dengue fever, translated Virgil’s Aeneid from the original Latin, worked as an entrepreneur-in-residence at a venture capital firm, and explored the ancient Himalayan kingdom of Mustang. His books have been praised by the Verge, Popular Science, Businessweek, TechCrunch, io9, and Ars Technica, and he has been a speaker at places like Google, Qualcomm, and Future in Review.

Above: Dean Takahashi with a Snorlax in Pokemon Go’s new AR feature.

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

Our speakers fit within our theme of The Future of Games: Better games, better business, the Time Machine. If you could see the future of games before it happens, that would give your business a competitive advantage. Our event will let the hottest game developers, publishers, and investors talk with their peers and business executives about their insights into the future of games.

GamesBeat Summit 2018 is the destination conference for networking, inspiration, and intelligent interaction. With the right people in the room to make great deals happen, our flagship industry event attracts the best game and tech developers and publishers, executives, marketers and venture capitalists. This event is intended for VP-level executives and the hottest game developers and publishers.

We’ll touch delve into the strategies of the future for gaming, and how to drive excitement, growth, and new startups. Our talks will feature augmented reality, virtual reality, esports, influencers, mobile games, core games, indies, new game technologies, and the connection between games, tech, and science fiction. We want to expose you to ideas like The Leisure Economy, where everyone in the future will be able to make a living playing games.

Games have changed as they’ve reached a billion people and $116 billion in yearly revenues, reaching the mainstream like they never have before. Can we still apply the lessons from the past to the current and future marketplace? And what type of innovations and companies will draw the blueprint of what’s to come? So much of the industry’s internal narrative has been about it being cutting-edge. How can we imagine a broader set of drivers other than technology that will shape the industry?

Our previously announced speakers include Andrea Rene, game host; Aaron Loeb, president of FoxNext Games Studios; Philip Rosedale, CEO of High Fidelity; Janina Gavankar, lead actress of Star Wars: Battlefront II; congressional candidate Brianna Wu; Tencent’s Dan Brody, vice president of business development at Tencent; Rand Miller, co-creator of Myst and Riven; John Underkoffler, CEO of Oblong Industries and science adviser for the influential sci-fi film Minority Report; Amit Kumar of Accel, a venture investor; Jon “Neverdie” Jacobs, CEO of Neverdie Studios. Josh Yguado, president and chief operating officer of Jam City; Matt McCloskey, vice president of commerce at Twitch; Joost van Dreunen, CEO of SuperData Research; Nick Earl, CEO of Glu; Mike Vorhaus, president of Magid Advisors; Michael Metzger, investment banker at Houlihan Lokey; Chris Heatherly, head of NBCUniversal’s new game business; Debbie Bestwick, CEO of Team17; Perrin Kaplan, principal at Zebra Partners; Stephanie Chan, writer at GamesBeat; Bill Roper, chief creative officer at Improbable; and Paul Bettner, CEO of Playful, the creator of the VR titles Lucky’s Tale.

Advisory board

  • Nicole Lazzaro, CEO of XEO Design
  • Noah Falstein, chief game designer at Google
  • James Zhang, CEO of Concept Art House
  • Joost van Dreunen, CEO of SuperData Research
  • Peter Levin, president of Lionsgate Interactive
  • Jamil Moledina, Google Play
  • Michael Metzger, senior vice president at Houlihan Lokey
  • Mihir Shah, CEO of Immersv
  • Gordon Bellamy, visiting scholar at USC
  • Kate Edwards, former executive director at IGDA
  • Tom Sanocki, CEO of Limitless
  • Phil Sanderson, managing director at Ridge Ventures
  • Perrin Kaplan, principal at Zebra Partners
  • Sibel Sunar, CEO of Fortyseven Communications
  • David Edery, CEO of Spry Fox
  • Mike Vorhaus, president of Magid Advisors

Topics will include:

  • Intersection of sci-fi, games and tech
  • Platforms: Where to place your bets? AR, VR, & more
  • Creating a culture of inspiration and creativity
  • Emerging markets for games
  • Monetization: How to acquire and retain users
  • Esports and building the community
  • Deals: Follow the money
  • Diversity and the expanding ecosystem
  • Early Access as a business model
  • How mods can launch new game genres
  • What game engine should you use?

Sponsors include: Intel, Appodeal, Accel, Streamlabs, Yomob, Wargaming, Worldpay, Altered Ventures, and Gfycat.