Tips

GB Summit Digital speakers: Evaluating the outlook for big game investments

This year GamesBeat Summit Digital is going to be digital online-only. And here’s the next great lineup of speakers for our Series A/B Panel: Phil Sanderson of Griffin Gaming Partners, Michael Cheung of Makers Fund, Rick Yang of New Enterprise Associates, and moderator Eric Goldberg of Crossover Technologies.

These are some of the more prolific investors who are putting a lot of money into game studios and game-related startups, after those companies have demonstrated some kind of traction and already received their seed funding. Game investments and acquisitions have been going strong, at least in the first quarter.

We’ve added these speakers to the updated agenda, posted below, for the event which will air on April 28 and April 29 as a virtual conference. If you are interested in attending GamesBeat Summit online, please sign up here.

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 - It's a time of change in the game industry. Hosted online April 28-29.

And now here’s a look at our next session based on our theme of the Dawn of a New Generation.

The outlook for series A/B funding for games

We’re lucky to have Phil Sanderson of Griffin Gaming Partners, Michael Cheung of Makers Fund, Rick Yang of New Enterprise Associate, and Eric Goldberg of Crossover Technologies for our session on A/B funding. These are some of the venture capitalists who can put a big chunk of money into companies that are raising their first major institutional investor rounds or subsequent fundings.

Based on our preparations, these investors see a lot of bright spots for games despite the pandemic. But they’re sharing their wisdom about how to proceed during a downturn that could be treacherous for all companies. Some things, like the inability to shake hands and meet entrepreneurs in person, may slow down the process. But game startups and investors are also seeing some historic opportunities.

Phil Sanderson

Above: Phil Sanders, Griffin Gaming Partners

Phil is a Managing Director at Griffin Gaming Partners and has been a venture capitalist for the past 22 years. He started his VC career as a General Partner at Walden from 1997 to 2006 and then co-founded IDG Ventures/Ridge in 2006 and was a Managing Director until 2018. Both Walden and IDG Ventures have deep roots in venture capital in China, and Sanderson worked closely with their respective Asian-based teams. Sanderson previously worked as an investment banker in Robertson Stephens’ New Media and Information Technology Groups. At Robertson Stephens, Phil managed initial public offerings and mergers and acquisitions assignments for various US entertainment software and information technology companies. Prior to Robertson Stephens, he worked in Goldman Sachs’ corporate finance group. Phil has also founded and operated three companies in the retail, non-profit, and manufacturing industries.

Phil spearheaded 35 venture investments in both early and late stage investments including VitalStream (INAP), Bamboo.com (IPIX), Niku (NIKU), Sina (SINA), Next Games (NXTGMS:FN) Kixeye, Funzio, Guidespark, Survata, and Discord, among others. His industry focus includes entertainment software (gaming) and information technology.

He is also co-chairman/founder of the VCNetwork, a non-profit organization consisting of over 1,200 venture capitalists in Silicon Valley. Since 1997 Sanderson has managed 20 social networking events per year which include the participation of over 50% of the Valley’s General Partners. In addition, Phil serves on the Board of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and is the Co-Chairman of the Western Association of Venture Capitalists (WAVC).

Michael Cheung

Above: Michael Cheung, Makers Fund

Cheung is a general partner at Makers Fund, a venture capital fund dedicated to backing founders globally in the Gaming industry. Makers has invested in 47 companies to date across North America, EMEA and Asia from seed stage through to Series B.

Prior to Makers Fund, Cheung was a senior director at Tencent and before that worked with Gaming and Internet companies on growth, global expansion and strategy at McKinsey. He also had a short stint in his younger years as a semi-professional Counter-Strike player.

Rick Yang

Above: Rick Yang, NEA

Rick Yang is a General Partner at NEA. Yang joined NEA in 2007 and is the head of the firm’s consumer investing practice. His main focus is on fintech and consumer investments. Growing up as a nerdy gamer, he also has a particular interest in gaming and esports.

Yang partners closely with founders, building a collaborative and trusted relationship at the earliest stages of a company. Some of his current investments include Drop, Gen.G, Genies, Lyric, MasterClass, Omio, Opendoor, Plaid, PlayVS, Robinhood, Stride Health, and Zero Financial. Historically, he was involved with Braintree (acquired by PayPal), Gaikai (acquired by Sony), and Pure Energies (acquired by NRG).

Yang also serves on the Board of Stanford Athletic Department’s DAPER investment fund and is an All Raise VC Champion.

Prior to joining NEA, Rick worked at Credit Suisse, where he advised on and executed a number of strategic financing initiatives for leading public and private tech companies as part of the Technology Group. Yang earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University, where he was also a varsity swimmer.

Eric Goldberg

Above: Eric Goldberg

Eric Goldberg is a 35-year veteran of the game, mobile, consumer internet, social media, monetisation, and edtech industries, serving in capacities ranging from game designer to executive. Since 2004, Eric’s advisory & board affiliations include Art+Craft, AT&T, Bandai Namco, FremantleMedia, EA, Goldman Sachs, Pixelberry, Playable Worlds, Playdom, PlaySpan, StoryToys, and three US venture capital firms. In our recorded session, Goldberg demonstrated his finesse with a good old-fashioned telephone.

Details

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. The schedule is still subject to change.

Agenda

Tuesday, April 28, 2020 (all times Pacific time)

9:15 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Boss Stage: Introductory remarks by Dean Takahashi, lead writer for VentureBeat’s GamesBeat

9:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

Boss 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: Owen Mahoney, CEO of Nexon

​Hero Stage: Esports 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: Mike Morhaime, cofounder and former president of Blizzard Entertainment, moderated by Seth Schiesel

​Hero Stage: “The Leisure Economy” with John Linden, CEO, Mythical Games

GamesBeat Summit Digital speakers[/caption]

​11:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Boss Stage: Fireside Chat 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 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

​12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Breakout sessions, Networking Roundtables, Slack Q&A, Community Discussion

1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Boss Stage: Scopely co-CEO Javier Ferreira

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 is so hard to beat” with Brian Bowman, CEO of Consumer Acquisition (solo talk)

Hero Stage: “Using AI for game testing,” with PinkLion CEO Jennifer Bonine (solo talk)

​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 Asmodee Digital

​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

Phil Sanderson of IDG Ventures[/caption]

​3:15 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Boss Stage: “How Thatgamecompany enabled a wholesome community in Sky” with Jenova Chen, Co-Founder 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

​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 Constant of Creativity” with Glen Schofield, Founder of Striking Distance Studios

​Hero Stage: “External Development Stories” with Mihai Pohontu, CEO of Amber Studios

​5:30 p.m. – 7:00 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

8:00 a.m.

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

​9:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Boss Stage: Opening remarks — Mike Minotti, reviews editor at GamesBeat

​10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Boss Stage: “The future of influencer marketing” with Mari Takahashi of Smosh Games; Joshua Ovenshire of Arcade Cloud; moderated by Andrea Rene of What’s Good Games

​Hero Stage: “How to run a great writers room” with Adam Foshko of HBO; moderated by Mark Long of HBO

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

“Play with My Emotions: A Case for (more) Romance & Sex in Games’ with Zsuzsa James, Team Finland Coordinator for Video Games & Esports; Andrew Maximov, CEO of Promethean AI; Barry Jenkins, CEO of Primal Space Systems and Instant Interactive

​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, Co-Founder & President of Jam City, moderated by Amy Allison of Skydance

​Hero Stage: Fireside Chat 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: “Experiencing technical difficulty” 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: Fireside Chat with Bernard Kim of Zynga; moderated by Patrick Shanley of The Hollywood Reporter

12:15 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. Dolby talk: Andy Vaughan, developer relations manager

​12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Breakout sessions, Networking Roundtables, Slack Q&A, Community Discussion

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

​2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Boss Stage: Fireside chat with Brent Bushnell of Two Bit Circus

Hero Stage: “Strategies for mental wellness in gaming,” speakers John Smedley of Amazon Studios; Mark Chandler of The International Game Summit for Mental Health; and Eve Crevoshay 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 (solo talk)

​Hero Stage: “Diversity and inclusion: How to create virtual and accessible resources for marginalized communities during a pandemic/in the face of uncertainty,” with Nika Nour, Executive Director of IGDA Foundation, moderated by gaming personality Jessica Chobot

​3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Eric Schiermeyer is CEO of Blockchain Game Partners.[/caption]

Boss Stage: Fireside Chat 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.

Breakout sessions, Networking Roundtables, Slack Q&A, Community Discussion

​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 LLP

​Hero Stage: Asia Gaming Panel with Bill Wang of Giant Network; 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. – 5:15 p.m.

Lisa Cosmas Hanson is managing director at Niko Partners.

Boss Stage: “eSports and GaaS in Asia Pacific” 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, Chair, Interactive Media, Games Division at USC​, moderated by Peter Levin of Griffin Gaming Partners.

5:15 pm – 5:45 pm

Boss Stage: To be announced

​Hero Stage: To be announced

​5:45 p.m.

Connect with the community online. Join online Q&A, breakout sessions, and try fun and new digital event technology.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Marketing – VentureBeat

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.