After careful thought about the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, we decided not to use centralized studios or physical locations. But we think we can serve our GamesBeat community well with a fully distributed, digital event.
The health and safety of our GamesBeat community, attendees, employees, and sponsors remains our top priority. In this digital event, attendees can watch livestreamed and recorded talks, take part in online networking sessions and digital roundtables, access our gaming partners virtually, and more.
GamesBeat Summit Digital will provide the same great content and create digital networking experiences, all available remotely. We’ve very grateful that the overwhelming number of our speakers (which we originally recruited for our physical event) and our sponsors have stayed with us. We hope to live up to their belief in us with our talks around the theme of Dawn of the Next Generation.
We will continue to be proactive in our communication and will follow up with more information about technology platforms and logistics in the coming days. It looks like we’re heading toward an even larger even with about 120 speakers in 59 sessions on two simultaneous stages over two days. Here’s the final agenda.
For attendees, you’ll be getting invitations to join using the email you used to register.
Tuesday, April 28, 2020 (all times Pacific time)
8:55 a.m. – 9:10 a.m.
Tutorial for watching and participating in the event
9:10 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.
Thanks to sponsors and other announcements by Alex Olshonsky, vice president of sales at VentureBeat
9:15 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Introductory remarks by Dean Takahashi, lead writer for VentureBeat’s GamesBeat (on both the Boss Stage and Hero Stage)
9:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
Boss Stage/Hero Stage: “Serious money going into esports and gaming: Mergers, acquisitions, and fundraising trends” with Alina Soltys, founder of Quantum Tech Partners
9:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Boss Stage: “The rise of new independent publishers” with Michael Worosz, executive vice president for corporate development and independent publishing at Take-Two Interactive, moderated by Michael Metzger, partner at Drake Star Partners
Hero Stage: “The future of gaming is user-generated content” with Matt Curtis, VP of Developer Relations at Roblox
10:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Boss stage: “The world has changed,” with Owen Mahoney, CEO of Nexon, moderated by Michael Pachter of Wedbush
Hero Stage: “Esports beyond the hype — challenges and realities of running an esports business in 2020” with Neo Liu, head of publishing for Tencent North America; Karim Farghaly of Bandai Namco; and Jacob Navok, CEO of Genvid Technologies; moderated by David Hoppe of Gamma Law
10:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Boss Stage: Fireside chat with Mike Morhaime, cofounder and former president of Blizzard Entertainment, moderated by Seth Schiesel
Hero Stage: “The Leisure Economy” with John Linden, CEO, Mythical Games, moderated by journalist/author Harold Goldberg
11:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Boss Stage: “Championing the video game industry and culture” with Stanley Pierre-Louis, CEO of the Entertainment Software Association, moderated by Keisha Howard of Sugar Gamers
Hero Stage: “Choose your own adventure: The evolution of storytelling through the next generation” with Gary Whitta of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, moderated by Tina Amini of IGN
11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Boss Stage: “Gaming’s future as the best form of entertainment,” Jon Goldman of Greycroft, Skybound, and GC Tracker Fund; moderated by Andreea Enache of Blind Squirrel Entertainment
Hero Stage: “We are who we pretend to be” with Edward Saatchi of Fable Studio, moderated by Dean Takahashi, lead writer for GamesBeat
12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Networking roundtables, Slack Q&A, community Discussion
1. “Dealing with Disruptive Behaviour in Games” moderated by Carlos Figueiredo of Two Hat Security
2. “Hyper-casual Games – Beyond Short-term Success” moderated by Chris Lefebvre of Lion Studios Canada
3. “Frontiers in Game AI” moderated by Christoffer Holmgård and Julian Togelius of Modi.ai
12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Boss Stage/Hero Stage
“The Power of Games for Climate Change” with Alan Gershenfeld of E-Line Media; Mathias Norvig of Sybo; Pietari Päivänen of Supercell; moderated by Sam Barratt of UN Environment
1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Boss Stage: “How to succeed in free-to-play? Compete with yourself” with Scopely co-CEO Javier Ferreira, moderated by Michael Metzger of Drake Star Partners
Hero Stage: “Game investments in the age of the coronavirus” with Ryan McDermott of Resolute Partners Group
1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Boss Stage: “Facebook creative testing: Why the control video ad is so hard to beat” with Brian Bowman, CEO of Consumer Acquisition )
Hero Stage: “Using AI for game testing,” with PinkLion CEO Jennifer Bonine
2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Boss Stage: “Console cycles: The old, the new, and the future” with Rob Dyer, chief operating officer at Capcom, moderated by Mike Vorhaus of Vorhaus Advisors
Hero Stage: “Bulletproofing your brand strategy in the age of influencers” with Doron Nir, CEO of StreamElements
2:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Boss Stage: “What to expect in early-stage fundraising” with David Gardner of London Venture Partners; Gregory Milken of March Capital Partners; and Shanti Bergel of Transcend Fund; moderated by David Chang of Juno Capital
2:30 p.m. – -3:00 p.m.
Hero Stage: “Productivity without crunch in game academia and industry” with Richard Lemarchand, associate professor at USC Games Program, moderated by Brandon Sheffield of Necrosoft Games
3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Hero Stage: Series A/B Panel with Phil Sanderson of Griffin Gaming Partners; Michael Cheung of Makers Fund; Rick Yang of NEA; moderated by Eric Goldberg of Crossover Technologies
3:45 pm – 4 p.m. Hero Stage break
3:15 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Boss Stage: “How Thatgamecompany enabled a wholesome community in Journey and Sky” with Jenova Chen, cofounder of Thatgamecompany
4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Boss Stage: “Building out charity in the games space” with Stephen Machuga of Stack Up
Hero Stage: “What games can tell you about people” with Chethan Ramachandran, CEO of Skillprint; moderated by Keisha Howard of Sugar Gamers
4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Boss Stage: “The next generation of multi-dimensional games and large-scale VR development,” with Peter Akemann, CEO at Skydance Interactive, moderated by Mike Minotti of GamesBeat (Start of Oculus Venues recording)
Hero Stage: “The realities of crossplay and managing live services” with Jesse Houston, CEO of Phoenix Labs; moderated by Dean Takahashi
5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Boss Stage: “The art of inspiration: ideas on a deadline” with Glen Schofield, founder of Striking Distance Studios
Hero Stage: “External development stories” with Mihai Pohontu, CEO of Amber Studios
5:30 p.m. – 5:50 p.m.
Boss Stage: Reception begins. GamesBeat Summit Visionary Awards with Don Daglow and Pete Hines
5:50 p.m. Josh Tsui, director of Insert Coin, introduces his film excerpt from documentary on Midway Games. Shows excerpt of the film on Oculus Venues and Hearo.Live.
Reception continues until 7 p.m.
Connect with the community online. Join online Q&A, breakout sessions, and try fun and new digital event technology.
Wednesday, April 29, 2020 (all times Pacific)
Women in Gaming Virtual Breakfast, Presented by Niantic. Speakers include Kellee Santiago of Niantic, Nonny de la Peña of Emblematic Group, and Elizabeth Howard of Aspyr (invitation only)
9:30 a.m.-9:45 a.m. Tutorial video rerun
9:45 a.m. – 9:50 a.m.
Boss Stage/Hero Stage: Sponsor thanks and announcements by Gina Joseph, vice president of strategic partnerships at VentureBeat
9:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Boss Stage/Hero Stage: Opening remarks — Mike Minotti, reviews editor at GamesBeat
10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Boss Stage: “How to run a great writers room” with Adam Foshko of HBO; Derek Kolstad, screenwriter, moderated by Mark Long of Neon Media
Hero Stage: “The future of gaming influencers” with Mari Takahashi of Smosh Games; Joshua Ovenshire of Arcade Cloud; MissesMae; moderated by Andrea Rene of What’s Good Games
10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Boss Stage: “Recapturing the history of games,” Josh Tsui of Ten Point Oh and Blake Harris, author of Console Wars and A History of the Future; moderated by Dean Takahashi
Hero Stage: Lightning Round Talks:
1. “Play with My Emotions: A Case for (more) Romance & Sex in Games’ with Zsuzsa James, Team Finland coordinator for video games and esports
2. “The Blue Ocean of Interactive Storytelling” Andrew Maximov, CEO of Promethean AI
3. “GPEG: A new type of stream for games, a new type of Instant Interactive content for cable and OTT audiences” with Barry Jenkins, CEO and cofounder of Primal Space Systems and Instant Interactive
4. “The Potential of Voice for Games” with Jeferson Valadares, Co-founder & CEO of Doppio Games
11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Boss Stage: “Why gaming will be at the center of the future entertainment universe” with Josh Yguado, cofounder and president of Jam City, moderated by Amy Allison of Skydance
Hero Stage: “Games to play in quarantine” with Elan Lee, cofounder of Exploding Kittens; moderated by Theresa Duringer of Temple Gates Games
11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Boss Stage: Fireside chat with Mitch Lasky of Benchmark Capital; moderated by Eric Goldberg of Crossover Technologies
11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Hero Stage: “How game developers can adapt to the world after COVID-19,” with Renee Gittins, executive director of IGDA, moderated by Justin Berenbaum of Xsolla
12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Boss Stage: “Dawn of a new era: COVID-19, the games industry, and #PlayApartTogether” with Bernard Kim of Zynga; moderated by Patrick Shanley of The Hollywood Reporter
12:15 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Boss Stage “Spatial audio: Why you should care” with Andy Vaughan, developer relations manager at Dolby, moderated by Jamil Moledina of XP Consulting
12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Boss Stage: “Esports and GaaS in the Asia Pacific region” with Tim Guhl of Singtel, moderated by Lisa Cosmas Hanson of Niko Partners
Hero Stage: “The future of world-building and narrative in games” with Danny Bilson, head of USC Games; chair of interactive media, games division at USC, moderated by Peter Levin of Griffin Gaming Partners
12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Offscreen: Networking Roundtables, Slack Q&A, Community Discussion
1. “Lightning Round Speakers Q&A” moderated by Zsuzsa James, Andrew Maximov, Jeferson Valadares, and Barry Jenkins
2. “Facebook Creative Testing & Creative Research” moderated by Brian Bowman, CEO of Consumer Acquisition
3. “Spatial Audio: Why You Should Care – Session Q&A” moderated by Andrew Vaughan of Dolby and Jamil Moledina of XP Consulting
1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Boss Stage: “Gaming has always paved the way in mobile and user acquisition” with Paul Muller, CTO of Adjust; moderated by Dean Takahashi
Hero Stage: “The EVE Effect” with Hilmar Pétursson, CEO of CCP
1:30 p.m – 2:00 p.m.
Boss Stage: “The Metaverse is Coming” with Philip Rosedale of High Fidelity; Matthew Ball of Epyllion Industries; Raph Koster of Playable Worlds; Frederic Descamps of Manticore Games; moderated by Sam Englebardt of Galaxy Interactive
Hero Stage: “The mainstreaming of esports,” panel including Mark Chang, head of gaming and esports at Intel; Ari Segal, CEO of Immortals Gaming Club; Joe Barnes, director of Bud Light Sports Marketing; Grace Dolan, vice president of integrated marketing at Samsung Electronics America; moderated by Dean Takahashi
2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Boss Stage: “Location-based entertainment in a post-COVID-19 world” with Brent Bushnell, CEO of Two Bit Circus, moderated by Blair Herter, senior vice president of partnerships of Advncr
Hero Stage: “Strategies for mental wellness in gaming,” speakers John Smedley of Amazon Game Studios; Mark Chandler, founder of The International Game Summit for Mental Health; and Eve Crevoshay, executive director of Take This.
2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Boss Stage: “The real world games of the future: Designing AR/Geospatial/Purposeful games,” with Greg Borrud of Niantic, moderated by Amanda Farough of F-Squared
Hero Stage: “Diversity and inclusion: How to create virtual and accessible resources for marginalized communities during a pandemic” with Nika Nour, executive director of IGDA Foundation, moderated by Jessica Chobot
3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Boss Stage: “Can mobile games be a $1 trillion business this decade?” with Neil Young, CEO of N3twork; moderated by Bing Gordon of Kleiner Perkins
Hero Stage: Blockchain panel with Sebastian Borget of The Sandbox; Peter Kieltyka of Horizon Blockchain Games; and Eric Schiermeyer of Blockchain Game Partners; Taehoon Kim, CEO of nWay; moderated by James Zhang of Concept Art House
3:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
3:45 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Boss Stage: “Games M&A: Open for business?” with Michael Chang of NCSoft; Nick Tuosto of LionTree; and Affan Butt of Aream & Co.; moderated by Mark Stevens of Fenwick & West
Hero Stage: “Games in China – demand doesn’t cease” with Bill Wang of Skystone Games; Amy Huang of Mattel163; Cynthia Du of Cocos; Jeff Lyndon of iDreamSky; moderated by Lisa Cosmas Hanson of Niko Partners
4:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Boss Stage: “Working backward from the players: Amazon’s approach to games,” with Mike Frazzini, vice president of Amazon, moderated by Dean Takahashi
Hero Stage: “Player behavior: Your secret growth tool,” with Carlos Figueiredo of Two Hat Security, Clara Siegel of Facebook, and Kim Voll of Stray Bombay; moderated by Kate Edwards of The Global Game Jam
4:45 p.m. Closing remarks by Dean Takahashi
4:50 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Networking reception. Join online Q&A, breakout sessions, and try fun and new digital event technology.