Just before you head off on vacation, you might want to check out our three new speakers for GamesBeat Summit 2019: Owen Mahoney, Ryan Wyatt, and Scott Rupp.

It will take place in Los Angeles at the Two Bit Circus, a “micro-amusement park” that’s like an arcade meets Ready Player One in the Arts District. And now, we’re ready to name our next three speakers for the event taking place April 23 and April 24.

Register now and get early bird pricing for GamesBeat 2019. Early bird tickets are just $595 for both days for a limited time only. For those looking for deal making, consider a VIP access pass for an additional $395 that includes access to a luxury VIP lounge, private meeting rooms, VIP lunch with yours truly, and more. And, as always, we have special pricing for a limited number of indie developers at $299.

The next batch of our many speakers are:

Our previously announced speakers include:

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

  • Chris DeWolfe, the CEO of Jam City
  • Mike Sepso, an executive at esports organization New York Excelsior and chairman of Electronic Sports Group (ESG)
  • Tommy Tallarico, head of Intellivision Entertainment, a legendary video game musician, and founder of Video Games Live
  • Jen MacLean, executive director of the International Game Developers Association
  • Kevin Chou, chairman of Gen.G esports organization
  • Brock Pierce, blockchain entrepreneur and investor
Two Bit Circus is a micro-amusement park in downtown LA.

Above: Two Bit Circus is a micro-amusement park in downtown LA.

Image Credit: Two Bit Circus

These new speakers will broaden out our content reach to include workplace issues in games, blockchain and cryptocurrency impacts on games, and the perspective of an Overwatch esports team owner.

Our theme this year is Building Gaming Communities. Our speakers and guests will talk about the best practices for building sustainable and positive communities in games.

Strong communities can help boost the staying power and hit status of games, as loyal fans keep coming back over and over and spread word-of-mouth goodness about games in an authentic way. But it’s no secret that communities can be a double-edged sword, especially when it comes to topics like hazing, harassment, and rebellions against monetization tactics.

Game companies have to walk tightropes, and our hope is that GamesBeat Summit will point the way to the best strategies for building thriving communities.

GamesBeat Summit is the destination summit for networking, inspiration, and industry insight. With the right people in the room to make great deals happen, our flagship industry event attracts the hottest game developers and publishers, as well as industry CEOs, executives, marketers, and venture capitalists.

Owen Mahoney, president and CEO of Nexon

Above: Owen Mahoney, CEO of Nexon, with Dean Takahashi at GamesBeat Summit

Image Credit: Michael O'Donnell/VentureBeat

Mahoney’s Tokyo-based company is the pioneer of free-to-play online games. He has been head of the company since March 2014. Before that, he was general manager of the administration division at Nexon, and also served as chief financial officer and chief administrative officer. At Nexon, the company’s big hits include Dungeon Fighter Online and Maple Story.

He served as the head of global financial operations and CEO at OutSpark and was an executive at Electronic Arts for nine years.

Recently, Mahoney has been leading Nexon into a Western expansion. The company acquired DomiNations developer Big Huge Games, a Western studio founded by game pioneers Brian Reynolds and Tim Train, and it also bought High School Story developer Pixelberry Studios. Nexon also invested in a new studio run by former EA game studio chief Patrick Söderlund.

Mahoney has been signing up a lot of famous game developers, mostly by pitching gaming as an art form. Mahoney has spoken at GamesBeat events before on how gaming should lose its Hollywood envy, how to craft a culture of inspiration, and how artistry is key to solving mobile gaming’s malaise. We are delighted to have him back.

Ryatt Wyatt, head of YouTube Gaming

Above: Ryan Wyat is head of gaming and VR at YouTube.

Image Credit: YouTube

Ryan Wyatt oversees two businesses at YouTube, both the gaming business and the growing virtual reality business. As the global head of gaming content and partnerships, Ryan leads a team from around the world to manage global gaming publisher partnerships, top gaming creators, live streamers and esports leagues. Wyatt leads the global VR business overseeing global strategy, VR first companies, content and operations work, budget development, and cross-functional work.

Wyatt joined YouTube in 2014 to create the gaming vertical, and has since led gaming at YouTube to be the biggest gaming content platform in the world, and has also done the same for the VR video business on YouTube. I interviewed Wyatt just before The Game Awards, and he noted YouTube game videos were viewed for 50 billion hours in 2018.

Previously, Wyatt worked in senior roles with major gaming industry companies, including vice president of programming with Major League Gaming and Head of Live and eSports at Machinima. As a prominent Esports personality, Ryan is known for his strategic contributions in growing the esports scene while in his former roles.

Wyatt was honored to be named in Forbes “30 Under 30” List in the Games category for Top Young Designers, Executives and Players. Ryan is also a New York Times Best Selling Author with his work on “OpTic Gaming: The Making of esports Champions”.

Scott Rupp, partner at Bitkraft Esports Ventures and managing director at MTGx USA

Above: Scott Rupp, managing director at MTGx USA and partner at Bitkraft Esports Ventures.

Image Credit: MTGx

Scott Rupp is a partner at Bitkraft Esports Ventures based in San Francisco. He has over 20 years experience in interactive entertainment as an entrepreneur, investor and operating executive, most recently as U.S. managing director for Modern Times Group, a global leader and active investor in games and esports. He recently announced MTGx’s investments in 11 game companies over 15 months.

Rupp held co-founder and CEO roles at influencer marketing and digital content companies Digital Artists Entertainment and Icebox. He put together catalytic transactions in the online games industry when at Gazillion. He advised the world’s largest leading media and entertainment company executives on the games industry while at McKinsey, and previously worked at Deutsche Banc and Carlyle Group. He has an MBA from Kellogg and an MPA from Harvard.

What to expect

We’re honored to have these speakers. They’ll be speaking in fireside chats on our business stage, and we’ll also figure out if they can contribute to our consumer-focused talks in a second hall.

We’ll ask them the straight questions that will prompt good debates, lessons learned, and news for the elite gaming audience.

At a lot of company-run events, we only hear happy talk. But we think that bringing the leaders of the industry together from different sectors helps refine the best thinking, and you often get wisdom from lessons that are hard learned. These kinds of talks and the chance for networking across sectors and industries is what will make our event unique in the crowded conference space.

Our event is going to be an intimate affair. And our location this year fits right with our theme. Two Bit Circus is a 40,000-square-foot playground for all ages, with entertainment that includes escape rooms, virtual reality experiences, a VIP loft, live interactive games, a robot bartender show, and modern versions of carnival games. Our attendees will be able to hear business talks in the Club 101 auditorium and consumer-focused talks in a second hall.

We’ll be taking full advantage of the environment by integrating contests and team play for all to participate in.

We’re still forming our topics around growing communities. The discussions will likely focus on the rise of virtual reality and augmented reality communities; exclusive and high-end game communities; esports communities; divided communities; massively multiplayer online worlds; the convergence of sci-fi, tech, and games; game jams; the future of game technology; monetization; the rise of influencers; and the oncoming changes from blockchain and cryptocurrency.

This is our 10th year of GamesBeat events, and this year promises to be the best one yet. Stay tuned as we announce more great speakers to our first-rate lineup.