We’ve been writing a lot of posts about our speakers at GamesBeat 2012. But here’s a summary of why we think this is the must-attend game conference for you.

We’re gathering the industry’s top CEOs, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, investors, journalists, marketers, developers and other key execs for a two-day gathering at the elegant Palace Hotel in San Francisco, beginning Tuesday and ending Wednesday. GamesBeat is happening right next to our MobileBeat 2012 conference at the Palace, and this year, it focuses on “The Crossover Era,” as game companies face disruption and transition as they expand from one market to another.

This is why you need to be there:

1. We’ve got some great speakers delivering major talks at our conference this year. Most of the talks are 1-on-1 conversations, not lectures or panels.


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  • Mark Pincus, the founder, chief executive, and chief product officer at Zynga
  • Will Wright, the founder of Stupid Fun Club
  • Bing Gordon, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
  • Kristian Segerstrale, the executive vice president of digital at Electronic Arts
  • Seamus Blackley, the president and cofounder of Innovative Leisure
  • Peter Relan, a founder and chairman of YouWeb and CEO of CrowdStar
  • Neil Young, the chief executive and founder of Ngmoco
  • Peter Vesterbacka, Mighty Eagle and the chief marketing officer at Rovio
  • Riccardo Zacconi, the CEO and cofounder of King.com
  • Naoki Aoyagi, the CEO of Gree International
  • Tim Schafer, the CEO and president of Double Fine Productions
  • David Ko, the chief mobile officer at Zynga
  • Mitch Lasky, the general partner, Benchmark Capital

2. A real theme: The Crossover Era isn’t just fluff. Its impact is visible every week in the game industry, as we noted in our conference preview story. Since just about every company is adopting some kind of crossover strategy, we’re winding up with a battle royal among game companies big and small. The result is a huge amount of innovation happening in the games industry, all at once.

3. We’ve also got some of most interesting newcomers and startup leaders on the gaming scene:

  • Ben Vu, a cofounder and the CEO of SkyVu Entertainment
  • Brian Wong, the founder and CEO of Kiip
  • Gabriel Leydon, a cofounder and the CEO of Machine Zone
  • Torstein Reil, the CEO of NaturalMotion
  • Tyrone Rodriguez, the founder of Nicalis
  • Jonathan Blow, the creator of Braid
  • Tommy Refenes, a cofounder and a cocreator of Team Meat and Super Meat Boy

4. And the kingmakers of the gaming platforms:

  • Neil Young, the CEO of Ngmoco
  • Naoki Aoyagi, the CEO of Gree International
  • Manuel Bronstein, the general manager of Zynga
  • Mike Yuen, the senior director of business development of Qualcomm
  • Phil Eisler, the general manager of cloud gaming & 3D Vision for Nvidia

5. Some of the industry’s seasoned veterans and innovators:

  • Brian Fargo, the CEO of InXile and Interplay Entertainment
  • Chris Hecker, a game developer for Definition Six
  • Jon Kimmich, the CEO of Software Illuminati
  • Dennis Fong, the founder and CEO of Raptr
  • Will Harbin, the CEO of Kixeye
  • Paul Trowe, the founder of Replay Games

6. Leaders from the industry heavyweights:

  • Bart Decrem, the senior vice president and general manager of Disney Mobile Games
  • John Spinale, the senior vice president of social games for Disney Interactive
  • Jack Buser, the senior director of Sony PlayStation digital platforms
  • Greg Canessa, the vice president of Activision Mobile
  • Chris Petrovic, the general manager of GameStop Digital Ventures
  • David Wallerstein, the senior executive vice president and head of international at Tencent
  • Chris Early, the vice president of digital publishing, Ubisoft

7. Leaders in social casino games:

  • Jesse Janosov, the vice president and general manager of Zynga Casino
  • Christopher Griffin, the founder and CEO of Betable
  • Nicholas Talarico, the CEO of 12 Gigs
  • David Bezahler, the CEO of Blitzoo games

8. Global gaming leaders and experts:

  • Benjamin Joffe, the founding partner of Cmune
  • Kyu Lee, the vice president of Gamevil
  • Phyllis Guo, the chief strategist of The9

9. Investors and analysts worth meeting:

  • Bertrand Schmitt, the CEO of App Annie
  • Tim Merel, the managing director of Digi-Capital
  • Peter Relan, the chairman of Youweb
  • Atul Bagga, the senior equity research analyst at Lazard Capital Markets
  • Brock Pierce, the managing director of Clearstone Global Gaming Fund
  • David Cole, the founder and CEO of DFC Intelligence
  • Nabeel Hyatt, a venture partner at Spark Capital
  • Jesse Divnich, an analyst and the vice president of EEDAR
  • Colin Sebastian, a senior equity research analyst at RW Baird
  • Jeremy Liew, the managing director, Internet and mobile investor of Lightspeed Ventures

10. The tools, services and analytics experts:

  • Mihir Shah, the CEO of Tapjoy
  • Andy Yang, the CEO of PlayHaven
  • Patrick Minotti, the general manager of game publishing at Flurry
  • A.J. Yeakel, a mobile strategy consultant
  • Josh Williams, the president at Kontagent
  • Joe Bayen, the founder and CEO ICS Mobile (FreeAppADay)
  • Joe Monastiero, the president of Ludei
  • Rob Weber, the cofounder of W3i

11. Wide range of topics and speakers: We have 81 speakers and 29 sessions that cover just about every sector of mobile, social, and online gaming. These include a platform showdown and the rising cost of user acquisition on the iPhone.

12. Six fresh and cool startups in our “Who’s Got Game?” Best Game Startup Contest: We went through 35 applications and pulled the best ones to present for four minutes each onstage. Gus Tai, the general partner of Trinity Ventures, moderates the session with four all-star judges. The finalists include social gaming firm Akamon, browser and mobile game maker Izelis, mobile game studio Loki Studios, boutique mobile game publisher Playmous, retro game maker Replay Games, and Use It Better.

13. Excellent startup competition judges: Ann Burkett, the chief executive of the Game Dojos Accelerator and chair of the Silicon Valley Independent Game Developers Association; Gordon Bellamy, executive director of the IGDA; Eric Goldberg, managing director of Crossover Technologies; Michael Chang, senior director of corporate development for Electronic Arts.

14. Great moderators: Martin Rae, the president of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences; Chris Kohler, Game Life editor at Wired; Brock Pierce, the managing director at Clearstone Global Gaming Fund; Matthaus Krzykowski, a cofounder of Xyologic; Mark Friedler, Worlds & Games consultant; Anthony Ha, a writer at TechCrunch; Eric Eldon, the coeditor of TechCrunch; A.J. Glasser, the managing editor of Inside Social Games; Chris Baker, the senior editor at Wired Magazine; Steve Fowler, the general manager of the Ayzenberg Group; Justin Davis, IGN’s mobile editor; Jane Pinckard, the associate director of the Center for Games & Playable Media at UC Santa Cruz; Steve Peterson, a writer for GamesIndustry International; Hal Halpin, the president and founder of the Entertainment Consumers Association; Dan “Shoe” Hsu, the editor-in-chief of GamesBeat; Sebastian Haley, the culture editor at GamesBeat; and yours truly, Dean Takahashi, lead writer for GamesBeat at VentureBeat.

15. The press will be there. It’s a good place to get noticed with journalists from dozens of media outlets.

16. Don’t forget MobileBeat 2012 is next door. You can get a combination ticket that grants entry to two world-class conferences, each happening over the same two days in the same location.

17. Awesome sponsors: We want to thank the industry leaders that are supporting GamesBeat 2012: W3i as Platinum Sponsor; King.com as Corporate Sponsor; Flurry & Tapjoy as Gold Sponsors; Greystripe, LifeStreet Media, Ludei & Nokia Developer as Silver Sponsors; and Betable, Game Insight, Gree, Kontagent, Nexage, PayPal, Pontiflex, Swrve & Xyologic as Event Sponsors.

GamesBeat 2012 is VentureBeat’s fourth annual conference on disruption in the video game market. This year we’re calling on speakers from the hottest mobile, social, PC, and console companies to debate new ways to stay on pace with changing consumer tastes and platforms. Join 500+ execs, investors, analysts, entrepreneurs, and press as we explore the gaming industry’s latest trends and newest monetization opportunities. The event takes place July 10-11 in San Francisco, and you can get your tickets here.

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