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Meet the respectable (and wacky) emcees for GamesBeat 2014

Meet the respectable (and wacky) emcees for GamesBeat 2014

We’re pleased to announce our emcees for GamesBeat 2014, our sixth annual game industry conference that takes place Sept. 15 and Sept. 16 at the Parc 55 Wyndham Hotel in San Francisco.

Michael Pachter, analyst at Wedbush Securities

Above: Michael Pachter, analyst at Wedbush Securities.

Dan “Shoe” Hsu, editor-in-chief of GamesBeat and I will once again be the hosts for the event, and we’ll tackle emcee duty for part of the time. But, we’ve also signed up the most-quoted and most-quotable video game analyst in history, Michael Pachter, managing director at Wedbush Securities.

Pachter will help us handle the rowdy crowd on Monday while Japheth Dillman, co-founder and president of YetiZen, will serve as our co-emcee for Tuesday on the main stage. Pachter has many years of experience as a research analyst covering video games. He was also host of Pach Attack! on GameTrailers TV and of the upcoming show Pachter Factor.

Japheth Dillman of YetiZen

Above: Japheth Dillman of YetiZen.

Image Credit: YetiZen

Dillman began making games more than 25 years ago, taking collegiate courses in programming at the tender age of 10 in order help create his own titles. You can blame the Atari 2600 he received for his sixth birthday for sparking and igniting the fire. He was hooked. Starting out on his Tandy 500 and Apple IIIe, he made adventure games (using ASCII art) and MUDs (text-based multi-user dungeon games). The grown-up version of Japheth is equal parts producer, game designer, and evangelist. He is a gaming veteran, having worked as an executive producer and lead designer at numerous studios, such as Digital Chocolate, Flying Wisdom Studios, Bigpoint, Chugulu, Aftershock Innovations, and many others.

Jeff Green of Hit Detection

Above: Jeff Green of Hit Detection.

Image Credit: Jeff Green

We’ve also got a trio of moderators for GamesBeat University, which is a new section at our conference that will run in parallel to our other sessions. At GamesBeat University, we’ll have speakers who will offer tips, tricks, and practical advice for game makers and others in the industry. While the main stage features well-known executives talking about their high-level vision, the GBU talks are about helping you run a game business.

Our emcees for GamesBeat University include Jeff Green, a consultant at Hit Detection, the video game industry consultancy started by former Newsweek game critic N’Gai Croal. Green is a 17-year veteran of the video game industry, including spending 12 years as a journalist covering the scene. And for the past five years, he has served on the other side of the fence as a producer, writer, and social media director for Electronic Arts and PopCap Games.

Green was in charge of all of PopCap’s social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.). As an executive member of the marketing team, Green was also actively involved in the marketing campaigns for all PopCap releases since 2010, including the upcoming Plants vs. Zombies 2. In 2011, within his capacity in this position, Jeff was named by CNN as one of the “Top 100 People on Twitter.”

Margaret Wallace of Playmatics

Above: Margaret Wallace of Playmatics.

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

In 2010, Green also co-conspired and helped start 4th & Battery, PopCap’s experimental imprint label and organizational development program that launched three games. Prior to PopCap, Green worked at Electronic Arts as Editor-in-Chief of EA.com, where he was in charge of the editorial direction of the company website, as well as founder of the EA Podcast, and was also an associate producer on the Sims, one of the top franchises in videogame history.

Another GamesBeat University emcee is Margaret Wallace, chief executive of Playmatics, a company dedicated to bringing rich gaming and digital media experiences for a variety of connected platforms. Located in Manhattan and San Francisco, Playmatics focuses both on branded and original intellectual property — with an emphasis on creating refreshing and disruptive gaming experiences, many with connections to the real world.

Our day two emcee is Joseph Olin, president of It’s A Secret. Joseph programmed his first game after teaching himself BASIC while working as a copywriter on the Coca-Cola account. Since then, Olin has been involved with more than one hundred titles and interactive products on nearly every consumer game platform launched.

Joseph Olin

Above: Joseph Olin of It’s a Secret.

Image Credit: It’s A Secret

Joseph has an active game business consulting practice – It’s A Secret – serves as Executive Director for the International Digital Media & Arts Association (iDMAa) – a professional educational association to foster interaction between the commercial and academic worlds and is Adjunct Faculty at the University of Southern California videogame program. Most recently, Joseph created and ran a series of Diplomados (3-month 130 hour series of classes) in Videogames and Animation for the Colombian government in Medellin. This program led to the creation of 20 new studios and 30 game projects in the city.

Olin was the longest-serving President of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences – the games industry’s largest association of accredited professionals – where he championed the role of talented creators within the $50 billion video game industry. Olin grew Academy membership more than six-fold from 3,000 to 20,000 and directed the annual D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit, the Interactive Achievements Awards and the Into the Pixel™ video game art exhibit.

As a precursor to the Academy, Olin spearheaded the introduction of gaming’s most famous heroine, Lara Croft, with the launch of the blockbuster Tomb Raider franchise as vice president of sales, marketing and business development for Eidos Interactive. Olin also served as senior partner and group account director at Ogilvy & Mather directing Mattel’s Barbie and licensed toys campaigns. Earlier in his career, Olin held senior level positions in game publishing, advertising, sales, and marketing. At Elliot Portwood Studios, Olin co-created Leonardo’s Multimedia Toolbox, an educational software platform, developed with Gene Portwood and Lauren Elliott (creators of Carmen Sandiego). His background also includes tenure at Philips Media, Della Femina McNamee, and Microprose/Hasbro Interactive.

You can check out the full agenda for GamesBeat 2014 here. It’s packed with more than 88 industry-leading speakers (with about 18 more in the approval process), high-value discussions, breakouts, exclusive announcements, and brand-new networking sessions. Make sure to register today.

Our previously announced speakers include:

  • Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts
  • Rick Sanchez, vice president of product and marketing at OnLive
  • Chris Akhavan, president of publishing at Glu Mobile
  • Owen Mahoney, CEO of Nexon
  • Matt Higby, creative director for Planetside 2 at Sony Online Entertainment
  • Dan Brody, vice president of business development at Tencent
  • Oliver Miao, CEO of Pixelberry Studios
  • Janis Zech, chief revenue officer and cofounder of Fyber
  • Kym Nelson, SVP at Twitch
  • Jeff Lyndon, president of iDreamSky
  • Kristian Segerstrale, COO at Super Evil Megacorp
  • Will Harbin, CEO of Kixeye
  • Rob Weber, CEO of NativeX
  • Monty Kerr, cofounder of Playstudios
  • Jeff Hilbert, co-CEO of DDM
  • Anatoly Ropotov, CEO of Game Insight
  • Roy Liu, CEO of Forgame US
  • AJ Redmer, head of Gumi North America
  • Mike Vorhaus, president of Magid Advisors
  • Jay Eum, managing director at TransLink Capital
  • Mikihiro Yasuda, a partner at strategic investment office at DeNA
  • James Zhang, CEO of Spellgun
  • Aditya Rathnam, co-founder of Kamcord
  • Taehoon Kim, CEO of nWay
  • Simon Khalaf, president and CEO of Flurry
  • James Iliff, chief creative officer at Survios
  • Andy Zhong, CEO of FunPlus
  • Mike Frazzini, vice president of games at Amazon
  • Dan Connors, CEO of Telltale Games
  • Chris Petrovic, head of corporate development and licensing at Kabam
  • David Helgason, CEO of Unity Technologies
  • Peter Molyneux, CEO of 22cans
  • Clive Downie, chief operating officer of Zynga
  • Jonathan Simpson-Bint, chief revenue officer at Twitch
  • Malathi Nayak, a reporter for Reuters
  • Bob Meese, global head of game business development at Google Play
  • Lucy Bradshaw, a senior vice president of the Maxis label at Electronic Arts
  • Rachel Franklin, general manager of The Sims Studio at EA
  • Rick Thompson, chairman of Signia Ventures
  • Chris DeWolfe, chief executive of SGN
  • Phil Sanderson, a game-savvy partner at IDG Ventures
  • Peter Levin, president of interactive ventures and games at Lionsgate, the film studio that made The Hunger Games and Divergent
  • Mike Gallagher, president and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association
  • Jens Begemann, chief executive of German social-mobile game publisher Wooga
  • Mitch Lasky, a general partner at Benchmark and an investor in Riot Games and Natural Motion
  • John Riccitiello, a gaming investor and the former CEO of Electronic Arts
  • Evan Hirsch, founder of Engine Co. No. 4 (talking about seeing signs of trouble in game studios)
  • Tim Chang, managing director at the Mayfield Fund

Our advisers include:

  • Eric Goldberg, managing director of Crossover Technologies
  • Michael Chang, managing director of Mavent Partners
  • Tim Chang, managing director at Mayfield Fund

We expect to have more than 100 speakers, and we’ll roll out more as we get closer to the event.

Each year, GamesBeat follows a big trend. In 2009, we focused on how “All the World’s a Game” with the medium’s explosion on the global stage. In 2010, GamesBeat@GDC focused on “Disruption 2.0.” In 2011, our theme was “Mobile Games Level Up,” focusing on the busy intersection of games and mobile technology. In 2012, we explored the “Crossover Era”, covering time when so many big game companies and startups were transforming themselves by expanding from one market to the next. Last year, we talked about the “Battle Royal” as barriers between the different industry segments came down. Now, in the bid for “Total World Domination,” the competition to become the biggest global gaming company is wide open.

As companies adapt, we’re witnessing disruption, change, consolidation, innovation, and the arrival of big money. Billions of dollars are at stake. Last year, more than 550 notables from throughout the industry — social, mobile, online, PC, and console — attended the event. Please join us.

This year, we’ll see the return of our contest for the best gaming startup. The attention that these companies get for speaking onstage and winning the event is invaluable. An all-star panel of judges will pick the most promising entry based on freshness, innovation, and potential for business success. The top nominees will appear onstage, and the judges will pick the winner at the event.

We are still exploring our subthemes for the event and welcome your suggestions. If you’d like to sponsor, please send an email to sales@venturebeat.com.

Here’s what a couple of game industry leaders said about last year’s event:

“Thanks for the contributions GamesBeat has made for this industry.” –Bing Gordon, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

“It’s really refreshing listening to the cutting-edge innovation that is happening in the industry. I’m learning so much by being here.” –– Mike Gallagher, the president of the Entertainment Software Association

Purchase a ticket now!


Thanks to the following industry leaders for supporting GamesBeat 2014: NativeX as Corporate Partner; Tapjoy, Criteo, and SupersonicAds as Gold Partners; TrialPay, InMobi, deltaDNA, and TapSense as Silver Partners; Fyber, LifeStreet Media, SGN, Funplus, AppLift, Upsight, HelpshiftPersonagraph, OnLive, Ampush, and Trumaker as Event Partners; PwnitNudge, and VisiSonics as Nest Partners.


Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 2.00.11 PMGamesBeat 2014 — VentureBeat’s sixth annual event on disruption in the video game market — is coming up on Sept 15-16 in San Francisco. Tickets are limited!


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