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The DeanBeat: What’s coming next for the games industry

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The core of the game industry is doing just fine. By various measures, it grew users and revenues by 23% last year when the pandemic made almost everything else fall apart. The center held. But our next game conference is about the edges of the industry and the opportunities to expand the game industry beyond its natural borders.

GamesBeat Summit Next is coming (you can sign up here) on November 9-10 as an online conference with dozens of top leaders in gaming as speakers. It will focus on what is coming next for games and feature themes that include dealmaking and investments, esports, nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and blockchain games, augmented reality and virtual reality, influencers and creators, user-generated content, emerging markets, and the metaverse. I’m very excited about the speakers that we’re lining up. (Sponsors can contact us here.)

These subthemes are critical because they could sweep through the industry like tidal waves or just get our feet wet. GamesBeat Summit Next will examine the next big opportunities in a disciplined way with the industry’s thought leaders. We will focus on the emerging parts of gaming that could turn into the next big markets. It feels like the industry needs this growth to get beyond the tepid predictions of revenues either shrinking in 2021 or maybe growing 4.4%.

Above: John Hanke is CEO and founder of Niantic.

Image Credit: Niantic

We’ll see familiar faces like Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, Niantic CEO John Hanke, metaverse expert Matthew Ball, Roblox CTO Dan Sturman, Vindex CEO Mike Sepso, Forte and Rally founder Kevin Chou, Genvid CEO Jacob Navok, Mythical Games CEO John Linden, Stanley Pierre-Louis of the Entertainment Software Association, Gabby Dizon of Yield Guild Games, Nick Tuosto of Griffin Gaming Partners and Liontree, influencer and new esports group owner Mari Takahashi, Mike Vorhaus of Vorhaus Advisors, James Zhang of Concept Art House and Fifth Era, and Eve Crevoshay, executive director of Take This.

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Above: Dan Sturman is CTO of Roblox.

Image Credit: Roblox

Ball is the perfect one to talk about the vision for the metaverse, while Sturman at Roblox can talk about its plumbing. Sweeney can argue why it needs to be open and built by many companies. Sepso can talk about our opportunity to create lots of local esports communities, while Chou will help game investment leaders discuss where to place bets in the future. Bond at Xbox can talk about how acquisitions are changing the landscape of the industry, while Crevoshay can explore how to create diverse studios and anti-harassment efforts from the ground up.

Mike

Above: Mike Sepso is CEO of Vindex.

Image Credit: Vindex

We also have fresh faces that we haven’t seen on our stages before like Jeffrey “Jiho” Zirlin of Axie Infinity maker Sky Mavis; Sarah Bond, corporate vice president at Microsoft’s Xbox; Amy Wu, partner at Lightspeed; Maria Kochmala, cofounder of The Games Fund; Anna Sweet, CEO of Bad Robot Games; Jack Attridge, CEO of Flavourworks; Animoca Brands CEO Yat Siu; Salone Sehgal, partner at Lumikai; Miko Matsumura, partner at Gumi Cryptos; Piers Kicks of Bitkraft and Delphi Digital; Imran Sarwar of Rockstar Games; David Washington of HiDef, Jessica Lindl of Unity; Anat Shperling of Toya; Witek Radamski, chief technology officer of Enjin; Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou; and Jay Chi, founder of Makers Fund.

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

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

Image Credit: Lumikai

Dizon, Wu, Matsumura, and Kicks will explore the fast-growing “play to earn” phenomenon where players make money playing games. Sweet, Navok, Ball, and Sarwar will talk about the Metaverse ETF, a basket of the top 50 metaverse stocks. And Radamski, Gharegozlou, Zirlin, and others will talk about whether NFTs will be the next big monetization model for the game industry, just as free-to-play was at the dawn of modern mobile games. And Shperling and Vorhaus will discuss the future of user-generated content.

Keisha Howard, Sugar Gamers

Above: Keisha Howard, Sugar Gamers

Image Credit: Sugar Gamers

Our old friend Peter Moore of Unity will talk about joining the board of Nifty Games, a new sports game maker, with Nifty CEO Jon Middleton.

Roham Gharegozlou is CEO of Dapper Labs.

Above: Roham Gharegozlou is CEO of Dapper Labs.

Image Credit: Dapper Labs

We’ve even got Xbox co-creator Seamus Blackley to wax poetic about the 20th anniversary of the launch of Microsoft’s Xbox game console. Our emcees include Chris Mellisinos, who curated the Smithsonian’s exhibit on games, and Keisha Howard, founder of Sugar Gamers. And MIT Game Lab leader Riz Virk will moderate a roundtable on whether we’re living in a simulated universe.

Above: Sarah Bond is corporate vice president at Microsoft Xbox.

Image Credit: Microsoft

Our format will be two days of online talks, prerecorded with Zoom Q&A for our VIP audience, and other intimate events such as roundtables and one-on-one sessions. Our attendees often include CEOs and high-level executives. We get a diverse lot of game developers, game publishers, marketers, investors, industry vendors, and other leaders with the best ideas and insights.

Above: Peter Moore is a board member at Nifty games and an executive at Unity.

Image Credit: Unity

We even expect to close out the event with a special podcast of the GamesBeat staff, which includes me, Mike Minotti, Jeff Grubb, and Rachel Kaser. Hope to see you there.

GamesBeat

GamesBeat’s creed when covering the game industry is “where passion meets business.” What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you — not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. How will you do that? Membership includes access to:

  • Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
  • The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
  • Networking opportunities
  • Special members-only interviews, chats, and “open office” events with GamesBeat staff
  • Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
  • And maybe even a fun prize or two
  • Introductions to like-minded parties

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