If you haven’t signed up for GamesBeat Summit 2019, now is a good time to do it in the holiday lull, when prices are low. Our newest speakers are Lisa Cosmas Hanson, Amy Jo Kim, and Raph Koster.

Our 10th annual GamesBeat event 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:

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.

Amy Jo Kim, founder of Game Thinking

Above: Amy Jo Kim, game designer and startup coach, at GamesBeat Summit 2016.

Image Credit: Michael O'Donnell/VentureBeat

Named by Fortune as one of the top 10 influential women in games, Amy Jo Kim is a world-renowned social game designer, community architect, and startup coach. Her design credits include Rock Band, The Sims, eBay, Ultima Online, Netflix, Covet Fashion, nytimes.com, Happify, Pley, and numerous startups.

Through her coaching practice, Amy Jo helps entrepreneurs & innovators 10X their product/market fit and drive long-term engagement. She holds a doctorate in Behavioral Neuroscience (along with a BA in Experimental Psychology) and teaches Game Thinking at Stanford University. Her highly-anticipated new book, Game Thinking, was published in May 2018. I had a great time on stage with her at the Samsung Developers Conference in 2017, where we talked about how game designers should listen to super fans, not super haters.

Raph Koster

Raph Koster at GDC in 2012.

Above: Raph Koster at GDC Online in 2012.

Image Credit: 2.0 Max Photography for GDC Online

Raph Koster is a veteran game designer who has been professionally credited in almost every area of the game industry. He’s been the lead designer and director of massive titles such as Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies; a venture-backed entrepreneur heading his own studio; and he’s contributed design work, writing, art, soundtrack music, and programming to many more titles ranging from Facebook games to single-player games for handheld consoles. I’ve heard Koster give lots of talks over the years and he’s always insightful and full of observations about game communities, and so he is a great choice for our theme.

Koster is widely recognized as one of the world’s top thinkers about game design, and is an in-demand speaker at conferences all over the world. His book A Theory of Fun for Game Design is one of the undisputed classics in the games field and was recently revised for a 10th anniversary edition. In 2012, he was named an Online Game Legend at the Game Developers Conference Online. And in 2018, he published the book Postmortems. Visit his blog at www.raphkoster.com.

Lisa Cosmas Hanson, managing partner of Niko Partners

Lisa Cosmas Hanson is managing director at Niko Partners.

Above: Lisa Cosmas Hanson is managing partner at Niko Partners.

Image Credit: Niko Partners

Lisa Cosmas Hanson is the managing partner and founder of Niko Partners, a provider of market intelligence on the Asian games market. She founded Niko Partners in 2002 and has spent the subsequent years analyzing the Asian PC, console, and mobile games markets to benefit Niko’s clients: global leaders in game publishing, game services, hardware, investments, trade associations and government agencies.

She has been a Forbes Contributor, and has built her 25-year career in the roles of Asian and specifically Chinese market research analyst, Asian and Chinese market entry consultant, Japanese equities analyst, and US-Japan economic policy analyst.

Cosmas Hanson has made numerous presentations to audiences large and small in North America, Asia and Europe regarding the games industry in China and Southeast Asia. She has appeared on stage at GamesBeat events multiple times.

She is also frequently interviewed by major news organizations, in print, online, and on live TV news, including The Economist, The Washington Post, CNBC Asia, Bloomberg TV, CCTV, Forbes, The New York Times, Reuters, Bloomberg/Business Week, VentureBeat and many more.  Cosmas Hanson earned an master’s degree in international economic policy from The American University and a bachelor’s degree in political science and international affairs from UCLA.

In her volunteer hours, Lisa spends time with youth programs to help empower students to be stewards of the environment through education, activism, and building Green Team programs in local schools in Silicon Valley. She believes in “peace through intercultural understanding,” and strives to do her part to exchange cross cultural information with global citizens.

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.