fredag 5. februar 2010

Check out the latest new speakers and new site for GamesBeat@GDC

We’re excited to unveil our latest speakers for GamesBeat@GDC, our executive game conference that takes place at the Game Developers Conference on Wednesday, March 10, at the Moscone convention center in San Francisco. We’ve created a Facebook group for the conference where you can chat with fellow attendees and see who’s attending. We welcome your suggestions on that page. And we’ve created our own GamesBeat 2010 dedicated web site. Look for more details to be posted on these sites in the coming days.
Here’s a review of our theme for the conference:
Disruption 2.0. At GamesBeat@GDC we’ll focus on the next disruptions that will happen in the video game industry. In the past couple of years, social games with virtual goods business models have proved themselves and shaken up the status quo. The iPhone has become a hot platform and Apple hopes to extend further into games with the iPad. Digital distribution and online games are growing. Will these trends gather more momentum and prove to be sustainable, or will new platforms and business models disrupt the disruptors?
The big game companies and brands are maneuvering into the market, even as successful startups are consolidating their gains and acquiring companies. Are console game makers poised to make a comeback as the recession ends? As growth returns to the industry in 2010, who will be poised to take market share and define the next-generation of games? Our conference will have the speakers from game companies that are doing the disrupting, adapting and growing.
We’ll roll out our speaker list a little at a time. Our three newest speakers are:
John Vechey, co-founder of PopCap Games. Vechey will speak on a panel on Next Generation Social Games alongside Brian Reynolds, chief designer at Zynga. He helped start the maker of casual games such as Bejeweled in 2000 and has been instrumental in driving the company’s operations. Bejeweled has been a huge hit in the “match three” puzzle game genre, selling more than 25 million copies worldwide. He served as interim CEO until 2003 and then managed He worked in both business development and the game studio to establish PopCap’s social game business. In 2009, he helped launch and grow Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook. In an interview with VentureBeat, Vechey famously said, in jest, that “venture capitalists are stupid” for funding so many game startups. But last year, Vechey’s company raised $22.5 million as part of a plan to make a name for itself in social games. Vechey now manages strategy and acquisitions.

Neil Young, CEO and founder of ngmoco. He will appear on our panel on a Sea of Mobile Devices. Young’s venture-funded game publisher has created titles exclusively for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch. Ngmoco has come up with a number of big hits, from Rolando to TouchPets, and has pioneered the social game platform Plus+. Prior to founding ngmoco, Neil held various positions at Electronic Arts, most recently as the Group General Manager of the EA Blueprint Studio group that included Maxis (creators of Spore and The Sims) and EA’s collaborative partnership with Steven Spielberg. Neil joined EA in 1997 as the General Manager of EA’s Origina Systems subsidiary, where he supervised the launch of the world’s first massively multiplayer online game, UltimaOnline. He also supervised the creation of EA’s Lord of the Rings games and was the creator of Majestic, an alternate reality game. We expect to pepper Young with questions about whether game makers should develop games for Apple’s iPad or Google Android. Young is a veteran of both our DiscoveryBeat and GamesBeat 2009 conferences and we’re glad to have him back.
Keith Lee, founder and CEO of Booyah. Lee is going to appear on a panel on Disruptive Innovation, about new technologies and ideas that are shaking up games. Backed by Kleiner Perkins, Booyah has created a location-based iPhone game, MyTown, that is a lot like Monopoly. MyTown has more than 800,000 users who consume tons of virtual goods. Titles like this one are stretching the definition of games and they’re proving popular among new kinds of users. Booyah was founded in 2008 by Lee and two others who hailed from Blizzard Entertainment, where they made hardcore games such as Diablo III.
Our sponsors include the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

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