Interested in learning what's next for the gaming industry? Join gaming executives to discuss emerging parts of the industry this October at GamesBeat Summit Next. Register today.


I’m very excited about our upcoming GamesBeat Summit 2022 event taking place April 26 to April 28. We’ve booked more than 120 speakers across 51 sessions.

Our first day includes a Women in Gaming Breakfast on April 26 at our in-person venue in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton, and we will continue the fun with dozens of online talks on April 27 and April 28. About 51% of our speakers come from diverse backgrounds.

We’ll also have our annual Visionary Awards on the 27th to celebrate leaders in the gaming business.

We previously announced that Reggie Fils-Aime, former president of Nintendo of America and current managing partner at Brentwood Growth Partners, will be a keynote speaker at the beginning of the event. Reggie will do a fireside chat entitled “Entertainment Disrupted” in a session moderated by Danny Peña, founder and host of Gamertag Radio as well as games editorial lead at G4.

Event

GamesBeat Summit Next 2022

Join gaming leaders live this October 25-26 in San Francisco to examine the next big opportunities within the gaming industry.

Register Here
GamesBeat Summit 2022 will take place at the Beverly Hilton. But not at the pool.

Fils-Aime had a colorful history at Nintendo and he is leading a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) aimed at acquiring a game company and taking it public. He also has a book coming out this spring dubbed Disrupting the Game. He also crushed me a couple of times playing Wii Sports.

Here’s our agenda. Our VIPs will be able to attend in person and participate in roundtables, networking, and live Q&As. We have a few TBDs where we are filling in speakers. You can register for 50% off using the code Dean.

GamesBeat Summit 2022 

Andrea Rene is cofounder of What's Good Games.
Andrea Rene is cofounder of What’s Good Games.

Day 1 (April 26): In-person day in Los Angeles at Beverly Hilton

8:00 – 9:30 

Women in Gaming Breakfast

Engineering Inclusivity
Summary: Inclusion is what separates good companies from great ones, and it can be your competitive advantage. Fostering inclusivity must be a team effort, but the many ways to propagate an inclusive workplace can sometimes feel overwhelming. From exclusionary language in meetings and marketing materials, to recruitment efforts and mentorship programs, the path to a more inclusive games industry sometimes feels like it is being paved one brick at a time. But real change is happening all around us! The panel will discuss what strategies their companies have found to be successful in engineering inclusivity both virtually and IRL, and what still needs to be done to lift more voices in our industry.

Andrea Rene, What’s Good Games

Tanya Watson, COO of Bad Robot 

Christina Heller, CEO of Metastage

Francisca F. Phillips, Global Head of Belonging and Growth at Jam City

9:00 – 09:30  

Coffee

9:30 – 9:35

Emcee Welcoming Remarks

Andrea Rene, What’s Good Games

9:35 – 9:45

Danny Peña is founder of Gamertag Radio and games editorial lead at G4TV.
Danny Peña is founder of Gamertag Radio and games editorial lead at G4TV.

Opening Remarks

Dean Takahashi, GamesBeat

9:45 – 10:30

Entertainment Disrupted!

Reggie Fils-Aime spent his early years in a poor neighborhood in the Bronx. Through capability and opportunity, he rose to become president of Nintendo of America. Now he has written a book, Disrupted! about his life and business experiences. He is also actively investing gaming’s future. Reggie will talk in a fireside chat with Danny Peña of G4/Gamertag Radio about the lessons he has learned and his observations about the current industry consolidation, the high-level strategies for gaming companies, the roles of content, community, creators, and pop culture. We’ll also learn what he thinks of the dreaded words “metaverse,” “crypto,” “blockchain,” “NFTs,” and “play to own.”

Reggie Fils-Aime, former president of Nintendo of America, fireside chat with Danny Peña of G4/Gamertag Radio

10:30 – 11:00

VR Gaming: This time it’s for real

Back in 2015, the hype around virtual reality reached epic proportions. The actual market fell short of expectations and many companies were washed out. But Facebook/Meta stayed the course and now there are around 10 million headsets in the market. How do we look at this opportunity now that the market is back to a state of positive growth?

Moderator: Jon Goldman, Tower 26

Chris Busse at Skydance Interactive 

Anthony Batt at WeVR

Troy Jones at Status Pro

11:00 – 11:30

Paper, dice, and digital: How Wizards of The Coast is embracing new platforms

The storied company that grew Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering into a billion-dollar business has been expanding its expertise and base with big moves in digital gaming. Wizards of the Coast President, Cynthia Williams, will discuss the strategy and significant efforts Wizards has been making to enable it to be as successful in video games as it’s been in tabletop dominance.

Cynthia Williams, CEO of Wizards of the Coast

Moderator: Rachel Kaser

Food at the Beverly Hilton.

11:30 – 12:00  

Global opportunities for mobile games

In the mobile games industry, the number of global opportunities are endless, but navigating the process of international expansion can be daunting. In this keynote, Greg Hartrell (Director of Product Management at Google Play / Android) will sit down with Dean Takahashi to discuss how to successfully scale your games globally as well as current and future multi-screen opportunities in the Android ecosystem.

Greg Hartrell, Product Director, Games on Play/Android, Google

In conversation with Dean Takahashi

12:00 – 1:00

Lunch Break 

Roundtable discussion

Shame! Shame! Personal reflections on DEI, #MeToo, and the Future of Games

Women leaders share their perspective on four years after the #MeToo movement started in games. What has changed? What has been effective in bring about more diversity, equity, and inclusion? What changed on a personal level? How do we increase investment in women and minorities in gaming? And how does shame play a role in making us vulnerable and bringing about change?

Jane Chung Hoffacker, CEO of Incredible Dream

Kamini Tiwari, Humble Bundle

Moderator: Rachel Kaser, GamesBeat

Shail Mehta, CEO of The Last Gameboard

Namrata Gandhi, Amazon

Open for VIPs

1:00 – 2:00

Roundtable discussion
Growth marketing & Web 3: A different world from free-to-play games

With web 3, we are currently at the cusp of a paradigm shift for the gaming industry.  

Join AppsFlyer’s Mitchell Gray, head of web 3, and Brian Murphy, head of gaming to discuss how publishers are enabling technology that brings games away from the centralised publishing platforms, or centralised publishers that own those great brands, closer to the players themselves. They will cover  the emerging topics of personalisation, relevance, ownership, and equity and how web 3 is changing everything for gaming.

Brian Murphy, Head of Gaming, AppsFlyer 

Open for VIPs

1:00 – 1:30

Why brand experiences in Roblox are the next frontier in media

Global brands have begun to recognize the marketing potential of the metaverse, but simply having a presence on a platform like Roblox does not guarantee success. During this panel, digital creators native to Roblox and brand and cultural experts will share their first-hand insight and expertise into what it takes to successfully and authentically integrate a brand onto the Roblox platform. We’ll also address some traps brands step into when entering this ever changing landscape.

Ricardo Briceno, chief business development officer at Gamefam

Austin Tindal, creator

Matthew Cohen, CAA 

Moderator: Dean Takahashi, GamesBeat 

1:30 – 1:50

Building the mindful metaverse

Nanea Reeves is no stranger to both the practice of mindfulness and meditation, as well as the technological advancements that have brought forth the metaverse. In this talk, she will discuss the future of how metaverse technology can be applied to meditation practices with the goal of building an environment of thoughtful well being by not just embracing technology to get oneself there but by also being at the forefront of it, leveraging advancements to play a major part in personal growth. 

Nanea Reeves, CEO of Tripp

Nanea Reeves, CEO of Tripp.
Nanea Reeves, CEO of Tripp.

1:50 – 2:20

Brands and the metaverse: redefining how to engage consumers in this exciting new channel

As brands look to move into the metaverse, where are the biggest opportunities and challenges. How should their brand be represented and how do they come across as authentic to the community and their brand? This panel will take a deep dive into what pitfalls to avoid and how brands should approach this new channel to be successful.

Admix CEO Samuel Huber

Angelic Vendette VP and Head of Marketing at Alo Yoga

Gabrielle Heyman, Zynga

Moderator: Dean Takahashi

TBD

2:20 – 2:50

The changing face of live ops in 2022

Live games have become harder to build, launch and operate. Players are more difficult to attract and harder to keep, because they have more options than ever. In this session we’ll cover how the bar has raised for the success of mobile and other online games, and how publishers and studios can optimize live operations to engage and delight their communities.

Moderator: Jon Radoff, CEO of Beamable

Jason Bailey, CRO at East Side Games

Josh Yguado, cofounder and COO of Jam City

2:50 – 3:20 pm 

A perspective on the metaverse and web 3

Snail Games has been a leader in the MMOs for some time with titles like Age of Wushu and Ark: Survival Evolved. But now the company sees a more interesting future ahead with the opportunities around the metaverse and web 3. Hai will talk in a fireside chat with Dean Takahashi about the opportunity to bring different worlds together in a metaverse with a lot of user-generated content where plates get to own their share of the proceeds.

Snail Games, Shi Hai chairman

Moderator: Dean Takahashi

3:20 – 3:50

Coffee Break

3:50 – 4:20

The evolution of game franchises

For the longest time, making the best of an entertainment franchise meant taking a movie property into games or comics or books. But with the rise of gaming in the newest generations, it makes perfect sense to take game franchises and turn them into movies and more. How is this generation of game franchising better or different? And what are its goals?

David Stelzer of Epic Games

Carter Swan of Sony

dj2 Entertainment Dmitri Johnson 

Moderator: Alexandra Del Rosario, TV Reporter, Deadline Hollywood

4:20 – 4:50

The $300B elephant (avatar) in the room: The in-game economy opportunity

Virtual economies represent an enormous opportunity for game developers and publishers – estimated at $300B by 2024. Brad Oberwager, Executive Chairman of Tilia, the all-in-one in-game payments platform built to power virtual economies, will discuss the critical components of a robust, functioning virtual economy as well as the key factors and hurdles to consider when building and implementing your own in-world economy.

Linden Lab Brad Oberwager

Moderator: TBD

4:50 – 5:20

Building positive play in the metaverse

As games become increasingly immersive in the metaverse, they also become more toxic. However, the old and outdated means of curbing toxicity through human-moderated banning and account restrictions have not proven to scale. The start of brighter online communities is with the implementation of AI and better identity systems that will play a key role in online safety. In this session, we will discuss how we can build self-regulation and what we accomplish with clear communication and education.

Justin Davis, CEO of Spectrum Labs; 

Lauren Bigelow, chief product officer Together Labs

Moderator: Dean Takahashi, GamesBeat

5:20 – 5:50 pm 

The NFT debate

The blockchain and NFTs in gaming debate sees a lot of talking past each other online rather than direct engagement.  This panel brings representatives with perspectives from both sides to try and start developing a common understanding of what the real potential is for the future of games and the game industry.

David Kim (Wax)

Moderator: Jon Radoff of Beamable

Rami Ismail

5:50 – 7:00

Drinks Reception by Jam City

Day 2 (April 27) Virtual

The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.

8:00 – 8:05

Emcee welcoming remarks

Danny Peña, founder and host of Gamertag Radio as well as games editorial lead at G4.

8:05 – 8:10

Opening remarks
Mike Minotti, GamesBeat

8:10 – 8:45 

The game studio startup boom

The game industry is in the midst of a full-scale talent war. The pandemic boom led to more money pouring into games and more acquisitions than ever. That money has led to the creation of lots of small studios as well as big ones that are ambitious in their triple-A plans. Startups are stealing talent from big companies, and the big companies are making acquisitions to get talent. Where will this lead us?

Steve Chiang, CEO of Fortis
Moderator: Steve Goldstein, Turtle Rock Studios

8:45 – 9:15 

India – a key part of your Asia growth strategy

Leaders in India’s games market will discuss the domestic growth potential, trends to watch, and how India fits into a game industry company’s strategic plans for Asia. With more than 400 game companies in India, how will India play a bigger role on the global stage for gaming in the future? How will it be different from other emerging markets? Where will it go its own way on business models, crypto plans, esports, and other global game trends?

Moderator: Lisa Cosmas Hanson, president of Niko Partners

Manish Agarwal, Nazara

Sean Sohn, PUBG India/Krafton

Salone Sehgal, Lumikai

Salone Sehgal of Lumikai is the first general partner at a game venture fund.
Salone Sehgal of Lumikai is the first general partner at a game venture fund.

9:15 – 9:45

The European games investment landscape

We’ve gathered a group of seasoned game investors to talk about the European games market. How is Europe making the transition from triple-A to free-to-play? Is Europe missing out on the next big disruption with blockchain games, and how is the cheap access to capital and consolidation proceeding? Plus, what will happen as a result
of the new realities of the war in Ukraine?

Alexis Bonte, COO at Stillfront
Harri Manninen, Founding Partner, Playventures
Sofia Dolfe, Index Ventures
Moderator: Nikolaj Nyholm, Scattershot

9:45 – 10:15

The age of operators

What does it mean to be an operator rather than a developer or publisher? We’ll talk with Playtika CEO Robert Antokol, who has guided his company from the beginning toemphasize retention of existing players over paid user acquisition of new players.

Robert Antokol, CEO of Playtika
Moderator: Dean Takahashi

10:15 – 10:45
Evolving and adapting your creative team’s culture

Moderator: Rob Pardo, CEO of Bonfire 

Ilkka Paananen, CEO of Supercell

10:45 – 11:15

Learning to Love UGC: Harnessing player choice

User Generated Content (UGC) represents a rich vein within game development. From early pioneers like Counter-Strike to current success stories like Roblox, great games are built upon the idea of UGC and modding. But how can it be tapped to potential, how easily, and who benefits? Moderated by GamesBeat’s Jeff Grubb, this panel discussion will explore the opportunities, challenges, and solutions UGC offers development studios in 2022. Featuring mod.io CEO and Co-Founder Scott Reismanis, SEGA Studios Business Development SVP Damein Mauric, and Amplitude Studios Studio Head & Chief Creative Officer Romain de Waubert de Genlis.

Moderator: Jeff Grubb, GamesBeat

Scott Reismanis, mod.io 

Romain De Waubert, Amplitude Studios 

Damien Mauric, Sega

11:15 – 11:45

Lines in the Sand – The Geopolitics of Game Creation

As games are carriers and a reflection of our culture, it is inevitable that real-world geopolitics and cultural tension will intersect not only the market distribution of games but also the in-game representation of peoples and places. How we decide to respond to such issues is ultimately a reflection of our core values as companies who are striving to maximize the global reach of our creative vision. Moderated by Kate Edwards, a geographer who has performed geopolitical and culturalization consulting in games for 28+ years, this panel explores how games are both affected by and influenced by current events.

Alexey Menshikov, CEO, Beatshapers

Yaraslav Kot, Game Designer & Researcher, Farm 51

Moderator: Kate Edwards, CEO of Geogrify and cofounder of Set Jetters

11:45 – 12:15

This is the way the metaverse ends…up! 

As the metaverse prepares to enter the Trough of Disillusionment, Eric Goldberg and SuperJoost chart the path to the Slope of Enlightenment after last Fall’s overhype of a technology that will eventually change the world. How can you and your team make that change happen sooner? In a discussion that mines 30 years of metaverse prior art, our speakers cover the splintered metaverse (and why Snow Crash and RP1 aren’t happening for 10+ years); the mass-market metaverse that’s already here (and isn’t primarily games); and a few great metaverse opportunities that are there for the taking in the next few years.

Moderator: Eric Goldberg, Playable Worlds
Joost van Dreunen, SuperJoost

The ballroom at the Beverly Hilton.

12:15 pm – 12:45 pm
How Scopely aims to meet players where they are

Leading mobile-first video game company Scopely has one of the most diversified portfolios of award-winning, top-grossing franchises in the industry. The company’s portfolio spans both original and beloved IP with games such as “Star Trek Fleet Command,” “WWE Champions,” “Scrabble GO,” and more. The secret to their success? Meeting players wherever they are. In this fireside chat, Scopely Chief Business Officer Aaron Loeb and General Manager & Vice President of Product, David Eckelberry will discuss Scopely’s player-first approach and how the company has extended iconic game universes across multiple platforms to deliver highly engaging experiences for players everywhere. The pair will also discuss how Scopely’s method unifies players, deepens social engagement in-and-out of game, and enables seamless play across devices to create thriving, passionate communities.

Moderator: Mike Minotti

Aaron Loeb, Chief Business Officer at Scopely

David Ecklberry, General Manager & Vice President, Product at Scopely – Star Trek Fleet Command

12:45 pm – 1:15 pm 

Games for health

Games and game technology are making impressive inroads into health care, particularly in terms of directly treating health issues and in training caregivers. This panel will delve into the diversity of approaches with people involved in quite different health solutions, talking about the technologies involved and the promising future of this rapidly expanding field.

Moderator: Noah Falstein, owner of The Inspiracy

Carrie Shaw, CEO and founder of Embodied Labs

Kristina Academia – Senior Development Director, Akili Interactive, 

Marientina Gotsis of USC Games

12:15 – 1:15 Lunch break

Roundtable session

Metaverse Forum: Science fiction, tech, and games

What happens when you put science fiction fans, game developers, and a game journalist together? We’ll find out with our roundtable session on the intersections between these fields. We’ll discuss where the ideas for the metaverse came from and how tech and game makers can make science fiction into science reality. This is a session for our newly established Metaverse Forum.

Jon Neverdie Jacobs.

Moderator: Dean Takahashi 

Sean Keith, Mythical Games

Kimberly Unger, Meta

Jon Neverdie Jacobs, actor, filmmaker, and avatar

1:15-1:45

Women in video game voice acting

This panel of esteemed voice actors will discuss the evolution of acting for video games from the feminine perspective – discussing representation and inclusion of women in games and how the roles have changed and improved over the years.  We’ll look at ways to enable actors to shine such as addressing the hopes and dreams of actor inclusion earlier and in deeper ways in the game development process.  We’ll discuss the opportunities and obstacles of working as an actress in the game industry, the role of community in their careers, and what they would like to see moving forward. 

Moderator: Julia Bianco Schoeffling

Cissy Jones 

Jennifer Hale

Anjali Bhimani

1:45-2:15

Alternative stores for games

The Epic vs. Apple antitrust lawsuit opened the way for developers to advertise off-store deals to App Store users. That is ushering in a whole new way of thinking about stores and directly connecting with gamers. What are the opportunities that can result from this?

Moderator: Dean Takahashi

Neil Davidson, cofounder of Codashop

2:15-2:45

Handcrafting unforgettable scares with horror engineering

Description: Making a blockbuster game is all about sweating the small stuff – especially when you’re making a horror game.  In this session, Glen Schofield, CEO of Striking Distance Studios, discusses how he uses a process he calls “Horror Engineering” to create iconic scares – from his role as the creator of Dead Space, to his newest project The Callisto Protocol.

Glen Schofield, CEO of Striking Distance Studios

Moderator: Rachel Kaser, GamesBeat

2:45 – 3:15
Games for Impact – can games companies embrace both profit and social impact

We can’t deny the power that the videogames industry has – with access to the greatest share of entertainment time of children and young adults, the question becomes, how do we make sure we are using that power not just for profit, but also for the benefit of people and planet? 

We know many examples of games for good, games that have an impact – but is it possible to construct entire companies around it, can they scale, can they attract talent, can they deliver returns to shareholders? What challenges and limitations are these companies likely to find along the way? What opportunities? 

María Sayans, Ustwo 

Yoan Fanise, Digixart / Koch

Leo Olebe, head of game partnerships for Google Play 

Moderator: Susanna Pollack, Games for Change

Susan Cummings is CEO of Tiny Rebel Games.
Susan Cummings is CEO of Tiny Rebel Games.

3:15 – 3:35
The state of mobile gaming

In this session, Lexi can provide a deep-dive on the latest trends related to the state of mobile gaming globally. Some particular areas that can be explored with custom data from data.ai include: 

Top mobile games and areas of growth among subgenres, including astonishing growth in hypercasual games, the democratization of mobile games and demographic trends highlighting the genres and game preferences based on age and gender (e.g. Gen Z/Baby Boomers; male/female), and mobile game case studies featuring a deeper dive into games that have seen recent growth/reached notable milestones.
Lexi Sydow, head of market insights, data.ai

3:35 – 4:05

Encouraging creators to make their best games

Simon Zhu, investment/globalization/partnership/strategy chief@ NetEase Games

Michael Metzger, partner at Drake Star Partners

NetEase has grown from a maker of games in China to a global publisher with investments in companies around the world. Simon Zhu of NetEase and Michael Metzger of Drake Star Partners will discuss the company’s approach to finding great talent, scouting for acquisitions, and making investments in game studios. The big company doesn’t see itself as a financial investor racing against others in the fierce competition for financial deals in the game industry. It’s a product company looking for good quality, talent, and innovations in games. This session will explore the company’s strategy and views on the future of gaming.

Simon Zhu NetEase
Michael Metzger 

Q&A will happen

4:05 – 4:35 

Level Infinite and the Global Games Market

Michelle Liu, Tencent Games Global CEO, joins GamesBeat for the first time to discuss her role in managing Tencent’s games publishing business and its new brand, Level Infinite. She will touch on Tencent’s thoughts on games as a whole, the company’s approach to global publishing, how it works with its diverse group of studios and developer teams and much more.

Michelle Liu, head of publishing for Level Infinite

Andrea Rene, What’s Good games

4:35 – 4:55 pm
Visionary Awards

The GamesBeat Visionary Awards started in 2018 as a way to honor game industry leaders who showed real vision for the future. We added the Up and Comer award to honor someone whose accomplishments are ahead of them.

Last year’s awardee for the Visionary Award went to Laura Miele, the chief studios officer at Electronic Arts; and the Up & Comer Award went to Natasha “ZombaeKillz” Zinda, a content creator and streamer.

Host: Tammy McDonald, Axis Game Factory/Griffin Gaming Partners

4:55 PM 

Emcee closing remarks
Danny Peña, founder and host of Gamertag Radio as well as games editorial lead at G4.

5:00 – 7:00 Virtual reception

In collaboration with Meetaverse the games industry social VR hub, GamesBeat will offer a virtual reception that will let our attendees hang out with other games industry peers “face to face” in VR.

This immersive social event will take place in a brand new venue created just for the Gamesbeat Summit in AltspaceVR. Participants will enjoy a program of activities including a guided tour of the cultural exhibition “Architects drawing videogames”, created by Arquia Foundation in collaboration with Meetaverse; and a panel discussion on the potential of games as social networks, featuring the avatars of Dean Takahashi (Gamesbeat), Aleissia Laidaker, Philip Rosedale, Carolina Cruz Neira, and Max Cavazzani.

If you wish to participate, making sure you have a working AltspaceVR account before the event and that you have registered your professional information and AltspaceVR user name in this form before April 26th, 2022. And don’t forget to dress up your avatars.

Day 3 (April 28) Virtual

Dessert at the Beverly Hilton.

8:00 – 8:05

Emcee welcoming remarks

Danny Peña, founder and host of Gamertag Radio as well as games editorial lead at G4.

8:05 – 8:10
Opening remarks
Rachel Kaser, GamesBeat

8:10 am – 8:40 am

The new citizens of the Metaverse

The new citizens of the metaverse will include AI-driven characters who will replace the dumb non-player characters (NPCs) of current games. You could have a conversation for hours with these fellow avatars without realizing they’re not human. But if we cross that threshold, what are the ethics and code of citizenry we should follow? How do we treat our fellow AI characters who are just as human as humans? Or should we not create them at all?

Richard Bartle, University of Essex

Richard Garriott

8:40 am – 9:10 am 

M&A: Explaining how the gaming world will change

M&A frequently is the result of internal strategic discussions or reactions to what the broader market is doing. In 2021, we saw $85 billion in deals, more than double the previous year, thanks to all of the money coming into gaming as a result of the pandemic. In 2022, we saw $85 billion in deals in the first month of the year. How will these deals change the face of the gaming market? And what further consolidation can we expect across a variety of markets within games and entertainment? What will be the impact of different forces like the war in Ukraine, the changing public markets, and the hype around blockchain games and the metaverse? Our panel will tackle these topics.

Chris Petrovic of Funplus

Frankie Zhu of Liontree 

Moderator: Alina Soltys, cofounder, Quantum Tech Partners 

9:10 – 9:40

Video games and movies: A Tale of Two Sons

Rami Ismail is cofounder of Vlambeer.
Rami Ismail is cofounder of Vlambeer.

Josef Fares and Hazelight have taken a far different approach than other game studios when it comes to creative storytelling and how to execute it. Rami Ismail will talk with Fares about how Fares came to this approach in games after starting in film, and then refining it over the years. And where will Hazelight and gaming go next? 

Josef Fares, CEO of Hazelight

Moderator: Rami Ismail

9:40 – 10:00

How blockchain games will go mainstream

Gaming has a love-hate relationship with blockchain games and NFTs. But the deals that have happened in the past year are probably just the beginning of a larger wave. The market is still nascent, but it has seen big successes in places like Asia and among crypto fans. Will blockchain games expand from a small but enthusiastic crypto base and catch on across geographic boundaries? Will NFTs follow the same pattern of the evolution of free to play, which was first criticized, then hyped, and ultimately successful? We’ve seen a wave of talent move into blockchain game studios. Will long until we see triple-A blockchain games?

Animoca Brands Yat Siu 

Moderator: Dean Takahashi

10:00 – 10:20 

Connected TV: Gaming & marketing in one channel

With ad spend expected to reach $30 billion in the US alone by 2025, Connected TV (CTV) is rapidly becoming a key channel for any marketer. But it doesn’t stop there: more and more people use their CTV devices not only to watch Netflix, but also to play games. For you, that means CTV is not only a place where you find your users, it is also where your product will be used. Join CTV expert Gijsbert Pols for an in-depth look on how to best leverage this burgeoning channel, and learn how having the right tools in place can make CTV an integral part of both your UA Strategy and your product experience. 

Gijsbert Pols, Lead Product Strategist, Adjust

10:20 – 10:50 

Owen Mahoney, CEO of Nexon
Owen Mahoney, CEO of Nexon

What Do We Need To Know Today To Be Ready For Tomorrow?

Two friends and industry veterans – Nexon CEO Owen Mahoney and Benchmark Partner Mitch Lasky — discuss the turmoil and trends that are shaping the future of both games and our industry. Mitch and Owen will discuss/debate the signal and the noise: rapidly evolving business models; M&A and industry consolidation; Web3/Crypto and much more.

Owen Mahoney, CEO of Nexon

Mitch Lasky, Benchmark

10:50 – 11:20  

Games venture capital all grown up

In the space of four years, games have evolved from opportunistic investments to an established venture sector with a near-complete infrastructure. There’re now over 50 dedicated funds; half-billion dollar funds; and crypto funds that make those amounts look modest. Founding partners Shanti Bergel of Transcend, Phil Sanderson of Griffin, and Amy Wu of FTX Ventures (and recently Silicon Valley powerhouse Lightspeed) join moderator Eric Goldberg to discuss the volatility of tokenomics, the conveyor belt of talent from established game companies to entrepreneurs, the deceleration of term sheets (with later-stage already significantly depressed), and prescriptions for navigating a highly competitive landscape. And also how they’re planning to share boatloads of money.

Moderator: Eric Goldberg, Playable Worlds

Shanti Bergel, Transcend Fund

Amy Wu, FTX

Phil Sanderson, Griffin Gaming Partners

11:20 – 11:50

Games are good for us

Since a group of MIT students pioneered the first video game Spacewar! in the early sixties, games have been developed alongside computational technology, driving the social dynamics of technical platforms, shaping how our global networks connect with one another. They offer an opportunity to explore the social possibilities of technology, and in doing so offer designers the opportunity to develop with an eye toward a more equitable and inclusive future. With all the possibilities offered, it is essential that we highlight the lessons learned from decades of research on video games to anticipate potential pitfalls and opportunities in this space. This panel will examine the often-positive impacts on culture as well as physical and mental health that games have on our world and the ways in which games as technology offer a playground for experimentation and development that influences and predicts what the world may look like in the near future. Panelists Rabindra “Robby” Ratan, Associate Professor at Michigan State University’s Department of Media and Information, Aaron Tramell, Assistant Professor of Informatics, UC Irvine, and Danbi Lee, Senior Product Manager, Geodata Platform at Niantic, Inc., will discuss the social interactions that video games facilitate, given the potential to enhance equity and inclusion in applications such as the metaverse and thus across our society.

Rabindra “Robby” Ratan, Associate Professor at Michigan State University’s Department of Media and Information

Aaron Tramell, Assistant Professor of Informatics, UC Irvine, 

Danbi Lee, Senior Product Manager, Geodata Platform at Niantic

Moderator: Mike Minotti, review editor at GamesBeat 

11:50 – 12:20 pm
Building diversity and equity into the games industry through college

In the same way that filmmaking is much more than optics and lightning, game making is not limited to coding and animation. Slowly, game dev curriculums are expanding beyond traditional tech skills to incorporate diversity and inclusivity as essential creative tools. How are these values learned? How can learning institutions effectively contribute to a more diverse industry?

Gina Jackson OBE education panel online

Carolina Cruz-Neira, Professor in Computer Science University of Central Florida

Jim Huntley, USC Games 

Moderator: Gonzalo Frasca

Josef Fares, creator of A Way Out and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.
Josef Fares, creator of It Takes Two.

12:20 – 12:50 pm
Games designed for women

Games designed for women have been an underserved market for much of the history of games. But times have changed. Thanks to free-to-play games, 10 times more people have been introduced to gaming, while casual games have grown in importance as mobile games continue to flourish. More women than ever are playing games daily. There are more game studios targeting female audiences — or at least paying closer attention to the fact that women represent a huge part of the mainstream game audience. A number of these studios are founded by women. We’ll talk to some of them for this session.

Jill Wilson of Robin Games

Susan Cummings, tiny Rebel Games

Julia Palatovska of Dorian

Ariella Lehrer, CEO of Legacy Games

Wanda Meloni, M2 Research (moderator)

11:50 – 12:50
Roundtable Breakout Session 

How leaders can change systems to improve mental health

For a long time, the solution for mental health challenges amounted to the recommendation that employees administer “self care.” But that doesn’t always work and companies can be more proactive about providing care. Is it about time for a chief wellness officer at companies? And what else can we do to support our employees better? This roundtable will discuss ideas for game companies to do better.

Moderator: Swatee Surve, CEO of Litesprite

Mark Chandler, founder of TIGS

Raffael “Dr. B” Boccamazzo, clinical director of Take This

12:50 – 1:30

Fostering positive human connections through games

Thatgamecompany, creators of  flOw, Flower, Journey and Sky, envisions games as a medium that can make people feel less alone, with the power to bring out the best in each other. In this talk, Thatgamecompany co-founder and CEO Jenova Chen, joined by LA Times Game Critic Todd Martens, will explore the power that games have to deepen human connection and deliver meaningful emotional impact.

Jenova Chen, CEO of Thatgamecompany

In conversation with Todd Martens, Interactive Entertainment Writer, Los Angeles Times

Jenova Chen is cofounder of Thatgamecompany.
Jenova Chen is cofounder of Thatgamecompany.

1:30 – 2:00
Making mobile games in 2022

Making mobile games can be fun, challenging and rewarding. Fully maximizing your monetization opportunity is the hard part. What can you do about it? With the significant changes to policies and regulations in the app stores, in 2022 you can now take control of your own destiny and market directly to players, encourage purchases through third party payment options, and even process transactions in new regions with the security and confidence you really need.

You might still have questions about the do’s and don’ts of monetizing your mobile game. Hannah Zhang and Anthony Mendoza will share the truth and provide an honest assessment into the mobile space. They will share how you too can break through the walled garden to improve your customer experience just like Nexters, NetEase, NCSoft, Last Empire, Scopely, Tilting Point and others did this past year.

Anthony Mendoza, Director of Business Development, Global at Xsolla

Hannah Zhang, Business Development Manager, USA at Xsolla

2:00 – 2:30
The future of immersive games and gamified experiences

Jesse Schell, Schell Games

Tommy Palm, Resolution Games

John Bevis, Recroom

Moderator: Ivan Fernández Lobo, Meetaverse

2:30 – 3:00
Why some game (veterans) see big opportunities in blockchain

Join Neil Young, Forte, and David Gardner, Co-Founder and General Partner at LVP, in a conversation analyzing the real opportunity in blockchain games. As a veteran gamemaker on every platform, Neil will talk about why he made the transition to focus on the value Web3 presents for games. They’ll discuss how Web2 and mobile developers are exploring the space, the potential innovations that blockchain can bring to gaming experiences, the disruption it can bring to revenue and user acquisition models, and why it’s critical to capture this emerging market.

Moderator: David Gardner, London Venture Partners

Neil Young, Forte

3:00 – 3:30

Africa’s growing game industry

This panel will examine the state of gaming and game development in Africa as viewed by some of the region’s most visible game makers. About 60% of the continent’s population is under 25, and disposable incomes are rising. High-speed internet connections are proliferating and Africa will have more than 680 million mobile phone users by 2025.

Carry1st founders
Carry1st founders Lucy Hoffman, Cordel Robbin-Coker (right) and Tinotenda Mundangepfupfu.

Cordel Robbin-Coker, cofounder and CEO of Carry1st.

Jay Shapiro of Usika games

Lual Mayen, CEO of Junub Games/Lual Mayen Foundation

Moderator: Nvidia’s Kate Kallot

3:30 – 4:00

Building the future of dance, expression and movement in games for the metaverse

At the intersection of the metaverse’s new entertainment experiences – leveraging everything from virtual concerts to gaming – an opportunity is emerging to help shape people’s in-the-moment expressions to build connection in games. Simultaneously, with the advances in technology platforms and blockchain, players are clamoring for new ways to create and even own their digital creations. HiDef, a gaming startup co-founded by entertainment, technology, and culture crafters Anthony Castoro, Jace Hall, Rick Fox and Dr. David Washington, is taking on this challenge with their unique technology platform and notable partnerships. HiDef is setting out to build the biggest dance party at the center of the metaverse, and they welcome everyone to join.

Anthony Castoro, HiDef, Dancing in the metaverse

Moderator: Randy Eckhardt

4:00 – 4:30 

Krafton’s plan to grow through investments

Krafton grew rapidly in the past few years with the success of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which established the battle royale genre within the FPS market and enabled the company to go public. Now it is making investments and acquisitions that it hopes will enable it to continue to grow. How can it find new hits in the accelerated pace of the modern game industry? We’ll host a conversation between Drake Star’s Michael Metzger and Damian Lee, head of investments at Krafton.

Damian Lee, Krafton

Michael Metzger, Drake Star Partners

4:30- 4:50

GamesBeat team closing podcast

4:50 – 4:55
Closing remarks

Dean Takahashi

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