We’re excited to confirm the makeup of the upcoming GamesBeat 2015 panel on virtual reality. Richard Marks of Sony PlayStation Magic Lab, Survios’ James Iliff, Digi-Capital’s Tim Merel, and Tommy Palm of Resolution Games will discuss the potential and future of VR at our event, hosted at the Grand Hyatt Union Square on October 12 and October 13 in San Francisco. You can sign up for it now.
Above: Survios’ CCO James Iliff will bring his virtual reality expertise to GamesBeat 2015’s VR panel.
The four industry veterans will come together on stage to discuss the possibilities for the emerging format and what it has and could become within the larger business of video games. Marks directs the Magic Lab at Sony PlayStation, a technology-led effort to broaden interactive experiences, and has recently been involved with PlayStation VR, formerly Project Morpheus.
Iliff cofounded the virtual reality-focused startup Survios, where he serves as chief creative officer. Digi-Captial founder and managing director Merel is globally recognized as an expert in VR (among other subjects), and is renowned as a “super-connector” in high-level business relationships. And Palm, formerly of King Digital Entertainment and current CEO of Resolution Studios, brings his expertise on mobile development to the panel.
Gaming has many kingdoms: mobile, console, PC online, geographic, and more. In each of these powerful realms, companies are fighting to grow fast, come out on top, and cross boundaries to rule more than one empire. Playing the competitive game, making alliances, prepping for new platforms like augmented and virtual reality, and surviving the incredibly fast rate of change in gaming right now is more difficult than ever. It’s more complex than the fantasy world of Westeros in HBO’s Game of Thrones. And it’s happening right in front of us all. At GamesBeat 2015, we’ll dissect how these kings and queens are battling for gaming supremacy and growth. We’ll find out who’s leading and how they are winning.
We’re screening our speakers for bold ideas, transparency, global strategies, creativity, and diversity. Our speakers will show that gaming has become a global and diverse business with many intricacies and strategies. This year, we’ll have as many as 80 speakers and many well-known moderators over the course of two days.
Above: Tim Merel of Digi-Capital will speak on the virtual reality panel at the upcoming GamesBeat 2015.
Our previously announced speakers include:
Mark Skaggs, senior vice president and the co-creator of hit social games like FarmVille and Empires & Allies at Zynga. He will be interviewed by Steve Peterson, West Coast editor at Games Industry International and senior editor at the Gamer Network.
Graeme Devine, chief creative officer and vice president of games at Magic Leap. Devine has had a storied career in games spanning decades. At Magic Leap in Florida, he is helping launch new titles that work with the company’s augmented-reality glasses, which can overlay virtual animations on top of what you see in the real world. Devine describes Magic Leap’s technology, Cinematic Reality, as a “rocket ship for the mind.”
Owen Mahoney, CEO of Nexon. Mahoney became the head of Nexon in March 2014. He joined the company in 2010 and served as chief financial officer and chief administrative officer until 2014, responsible for managing finances, global operations, investments, and strategic alliances. Under his leadership, Nexon successfully completed its $ 1.2 billion initial public offering on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and formed strategic partnerships with high-profile developers and publishers around the world. At Nexon, Mahoney has overseen an expansion to the West and a move into mobile games. Mahoney has signed up famous Western developers such as Brian Reynolds, Tim Train, Cliff Bleszinski, John Schappert, and Mike Borras.
Mahoney will be interviewed on stage at GamesBeat 2015 in a fireside chat by Mike Vorhaus, president of Magid Advisors.
Michael Pachter, research analyst at Wedbush Securities. Pachter is a video game, social media, digital media, and electronics analyst with Wedbush Securities. He is also the head of research for the Private Shares Group, a Wedbush division, which focuses on companies that have not yet gone public, such as Facebook (pre-IPO) and Twitter. He is regularly cited by national publications in the United States, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal. Pachter was the emcee at our GamesBeat 2014 event last year, and he was able to step in as a substitute speaker to talk about the state of the video game business.
Phil Sanderson, managing director at IDG Ventures. Sanderson is a lifelong gamer, and he has been involved in game finance for 20 years. He focuses on investments in gaming, music technology, e-commerce, search, and advertising technology. Sanderson started his investment career at Goldman Sachs and Robertson Stephens. His team has invested in companies such as Funzio and Telltale Games.
Sunny Dhillon, partner at Signia Venture Partners. Dhillon is a game investor who joined the Signia team in 2012 after launching his own location-based mobile startup named Barstool and investing in early-stage technology companies for New World Ventures in Los Angeles and Chicago. He was previously a merger and acquisitions analyst in technology investment banking at Rothschild in London. He serves on the board of Kihon Games and as a board observer with Signia’s investments in Super Evil Megacorp, Phoenix Labs, and Artillery. His focus these days includes investments in virtual reality startups.
Above: Resolution Games CEO Tommy Palm will take the stage with three other industry vets as part of the GamesBeat 2015 VR panel.
Jason Rubin, head of Worldwide Studios at the Oculus VR division of Facebook. Rubin has made some legendary titles in his two decades in video games. His credits include the Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter series, and his games have sold more than 35 million copies and have generated more than $ 1 billion in revenue.
He cofounded the Naughty Dog game studio, and in 2001, he sold it to Sony Computer Entertainment America. He left in 2004, creating the startup Morgan Rose to pursue various entertainment ventures. He also started online mashup tool startup Flektor in 2006 and sold it to Fox Interactive Media. He joined THQ as president in May 2012.
Shintaro Asako, CEO of DeNA West. Asako runs the Western business of DeNA, a global developer and publisher of mobile games. He leads the company’s operations and corporate strategy in North America, Europe, and the rest of the West. Headquartered in Tokyo, DeNA has more than 2,000 employees, along with offices and studios in 12 cities across eight countries. Asako joined DeNA West in 2011, serving as chief financial officer before moving to the role of CEO in 2013. Previously, Asako was CFO at MediciNova, Inc., from 2005 to 2011. Prior to MediciNova, Asako worked at KPMG and Arthur Anderson. Michael Metzger of Mesa Global will interview him onstage.
Matt Wolf, head of global gaming at Coca-Cola. Wolf is responsible for the company’s gaming strategy, partnerships, and initiatives across all brands. In this role, Wolf identifies opportunities to authentically integrate the company’s brands into gaming culture, sharing value to the gaming community while driving brand loyalty and building company business.
Wolf has more than two decades of video game industry experience. As a video game industry veteran, entrepreneur, and primetime Emmy Award winner, he has helped shape the way consumers play by contributing through key roles in creative development, marketing, and business/content strategy.
Chris Fralic, partner at First Round Capital. Fralic is an investor in tech and game companies. He joined First Round Capital in 2006 and is based in its New York office. He has focused on a number of First Round’s investments in gaming, including Roblox and Mobcrush. Fralic has more than 25 years of technology industry experience, including significant Internet sales and business development roles since 1996. He’ll be speaking on a panel about investing in games.
Niccolo De Masi, CEO of Glu Mobile. De Masi has been in the spotlight ever since the meteoric success of the Kim Kardashian: Hollywood mobile game. His company is also working on games based on celebrities Britney Spears and Katy Perry. Is this the path to mobile dominance?
Brianna Wu, head of development at Giant Spacekat. Wu’s team created the mobile game Revolution 60 last year, but Wu gained more notoriety as a vocal opponent of Gamergate, the gamer-rage movement that targets women such as Wu with a lot of Internet hatred. (This includes attacking a number of game developers while claiming it was about “ethics in journalism.”) She has since become a major figure in the feminist movement to make gaming more accepting of women and female game characters.
Emily Greer, head of Kongregate. Greer cofounded Kongregate with her brother, Jim, as an online site for indie games. They sold the business to game retail giant GameStop, and Greer is now taking Kongregate into mobile.
Rajesh Rao, CEO of GameTantra and Dhruva Interactive. Rao founded Dhruva Interactive as India’s first major game company in 1997. He developed the business over the years with work-for-hire on titles such as Microsoft’s Forza Motorsport. More recently, he started the GameTantra incubator for Indian game companies.
Jessica Rovello, CEO of Arkadium. Rovello cofounded Arkadium as a casual-game company back in 2001. The business became a major online casual-game maker and expanded into Windows mobile. But the Russia-Ukraine crisis caught the studio in Crimea by surprise. Arkadium had to shut down the office and relocate it, and Rovello and her husband, Kenny Rosenblatt, swapped the top job earlier this year, making Rovello one of the few top executives in gaming who’s a woman. And she was responsible for salvaging the company’s fortunes in Eastern Europe.
Ian Sherr, executive editor of Cnet. Sherr has covered games and tech news at places such as Cnet and the Wall Street Journal. We’ll have him ask astute questions of our speakers as a moderator. He previously moderated sessions with Kabam’s Kent Wakeford and the Entertainment Software Association’s Mike Gallagher.
Mike Gallagher, president and CEO of the ESA. The game industry’s trade association is back at GamesBeat’s big event as well. Gallagher is the spokesman for the game industry, and he always has something to say about its direction and growth.
Kate Edwards, executive director at the International Game Developers Association. Edwards represents the game developers of the world, and she has emerged as a voice of for diversity, creativity, and fairness in what has been a wild and raucous business.
Thanks to the following industry leaders for supporting GamesBeat 2015: Game Insight as Featured Partner; Microsoft as Platinum Partner; RockYou, AppLovin, and Samsung as Gold Partners; TrialPay as Silver Partner, and PlayPhone, Fuel Powered, and Bluestacks as Event Partners.
Our GamesBeat 2015 advisory board includes:
- Ophir Lupu, head of video games at United Talent Agency
- Jay Eum, managing director at TransLink Capital
- Phil Sanderson, managing director at IDG Ventures
- Sunny Dhillon, partner at Signia Venture Partners
- Reinout te Brake, CEO of GetSocial
- Mike Vorhaus of Magid Advisors
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