The DeanBeat: Our packed agenda for GamesBeat Summit 2022

GamesBeat Summit 2022 returns with its largest event for leaders in gaming on April 26-28th. Reserve your spot here!

I’m very excited about our upcoming GamesBeat Summit 2022 event taking place April 26 to April 28. We’ve booked more than 120 speakers across 51 sessions.

Our first day includes a Women in Gaming Breakfast on April 26 at our in-person venue in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton, and we will continue the fun with dozens of online talks on April 27 and April 28. About 51% of our speakers come from diverse backgrounds.

We’ll also have our annual Visionary Awards on the 27th to celebrate leaders in the gaming business.

We previously announced that Reggie Fils-Aime, former president of Nintendo of America and current managing partner at Brentwood Growth Partners, will be a keynote speaker at the beginning of the event. Reggie will do a fireside chat entitled “Entertainment Disrupted” in a session moderated by Danny Peña, founder and host of Gamertag Radio as well as games editorial lead at G4.

Fils-Aime had a colorful history at Nintendo and he is leading a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) aimed at acquiring a game company and taking it public. He also has a book coming out this spring dubbed Disrupting the Game. He also crushed me a couple of times playing Wii Sports.

Here’s our agenda. Our VIPs will be able to attend in person and participate in roundtables, networking, and live Q&As. We have a few TBDs where we are filling in speakers. You can register for 50% off using the code Dean.

GamesBeat Summit 2022 

GamesBeat Summit 2022 will take place at the Beverly Hilton. But not at the pool.

Day 1 (April 26): In-person day in Los Angeles at Beverly Hilton

8:00 – 9:30 

Women in Gaming Breakfast

Andrea Rene, What’s Good Games

Tanya Watson, COO of Bad Robot 

Christina Heller, CEO of Metastage


9:00 – 09:30  


9:30 – 9:35

Emcee Welcoming Remarks

Danny Peña, G4/Gamertag Radio

9:35 – 9:45

Danny Peña is founder of Gamertag Radio and games editorial lead at G4TV.Danny Peña is founder of Gamertag Radio and games editorial lead at G4TV.

Opening Remarks

Dean Takahashi, GamesBeat

9:45 – 10:30

Entertainment Disrupted!

Reggie Fils-Aime spent his early years in a poor neighborhood in the Bronx. Through capability and opportunity, he rose to become president of Nintendo of America. Now he has written a book, Disrupted! about his life and business experiences. He is also actively investing gaming’s future. Reggie will talk in a fireside chat with Danny Peña of G4/Gamertag Radio about the lessons he has learned and his observations about the current industry consolidation, the high-level strategies for gaming companies, the roles of content, community, creators, and pop culture. We’ll also learn what he thinks of the dreaded words “metaverse,” “crypto,” “blockchain,” “NFTs,” and “play to own.”

Reggie Fils-Aime, former president of Nintendo of America, fireside chat with Danny Peña of G4/Gamertag Radio

10:30 – 11:00

VR Gaming: This time it’s for real

Moderator: Jon Goldman, Greycroft

Chris Busse at Skydance Interactive 

Anthony Batt at WeVR

Troy Jones at Status Pro

11:00 – 11:30

Paper, dice, and digital: How Wizards of The Coast is embracing new platforms

The storied company that grew Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering into a billion-dollar business has been expanding its expertise and base with big moves in digital gaming. Wizards of the Coast President, Cynthia Williams, will discuss the strategy and significant efforts Wizards has been making to enable it to be as successful in video games as it’s been in tabletop dominance.

Cynthia Williams, CEO of Wizards of the Coast

Moderator: Rachel Kaser

Food at the Beverly Hilton.

11:30 – 12:00  

Global opportunities for mobile games

In the mobile games industry, the number of global opportunities are endless, but navigating the process of international expansion can be daunting. In this keynote, Greg Hartrell (Director of Product Management at Google Play / Android) and [Partner] will sit down with Dean Takahashi to discuss how to successfully scale your games globally as well as current and future multi-screen opportunities in the Android ecosystem. 

For scaling your games globally, you would have some discussion around export, launch, engaging a global audience, development tactics, and go-to-market/community building tactics. For multi-screen opportunities, you would discuss Android games on phones, tablets, Chromebooks, and now PCs.

Greg Hartrell, Product Director, Games on Play/Android, Google

In conversation with Dean Takahashi

12:00 – 1:00

Lunch Break 

Roundtable discussion

Shame! Shame! Personal reflections on DEI, #MeToo, and the Future of Games

Jane Hoffacker, CEO of Incredible Dream

Moderator: Rachel Kaser, GamesBeat

Shail Mehta, CEO of The Last Gameboard


Open for VIPs

1:00 – 2:00

Roundtable discussion
Growth marketing & Web 3: A different world from free-to-play games

Brian Murphy, Head of Gaming, AppsFlyer 

Open for VIPs

1:00 – 1:30

The future of user-generated content 

Brands have been trying to find authentic integrations into Roblox, but how does a brand measure success? In attempts to appeal to Gen-Z audiences, brands like Nike, Wendy’s, Adidas and even luxury brands like Gucci have all created specific activations within Roblox and metaverse platforms. However, checking a box and receiving successful results are two different things. This panel of digital creators, gaming executives and developers will discuss how brands can create lasting brand awareness through impactful integrations through an everchanging landscape.

Ricardo Briceno, chief business development officer at Gamefam

Austin Tindal, creator

Matthew Cohen, CAA 

Moderator: Dean Takahashi, GamesBeat 

1:30 – 1:50

Building the mindful metaverse

Nanea Reeves is no stranger to both the practice of mindfulness and meditation, as well as the technological advancements that have brought forth the metaverse. In this talk, she will discuss the future of how metaverse technology can be applied to meditation practices with the goal of building an environment of thoughtful well being by not just embracing technology to get oneself there but by also being at the forefront of it, leveraging advancements to play a major part in personal growth. 

Nanea Reeves, CEO of Tripp

Nanea Reeves, CEO of Tripp.Nanea Reeves, CEO of Tripp.

1:50 – 2:20

Brands and the metaverse: redefining how to engage consumers in this exciting new channel

As brands look to move into the metaverse, where are the biggest opportunities and challenges. How should their brand be represented and how do they come across as authentic to the community and their brand? This panel will take a deep dive into what pitfalls to avoid and how brands should approach this new channel to be successful.

Admix CEO Samuel Huber

Angelic Vendette VP and Head of Marketing at Alo Yoga

Gabrielle Heyman, Zynga

Moderator: Dean Takahashi


2:20 – 2:50

The changing face of live ops in 2022

Moderator: Jon Radoff, CEO of Beamable

Jason Bailey, CRO at East Side Games

Josh Yguado, cofounder and COO of Jam City

2:50 – 3:20 pm 

A perspective on the metaverse and web 3

Snail Games has been a leader in the MMOs for some time with titles like Age of Wushu and Ark: Survival Evolved. But now the company sees a more interesting future ahead with the opportunities around the metaverse and web 3. Hai will talk in a fireside chat with Dean Takahashi about the opportunity to bring different worlds together in a metaverse with a lot of user-generated content where plates get to own their share of the proceeds.

Snail Games, Shi Hai chairman

Moderator: Dean Takahashi

3:20 – 3:50

Coffee Break

3:50 – 4:20

Reverse Transmedia: Games to movies panel 

David Stelzer of Epic Games

Carter Swan of Sony

dj2 Entertainment Dmitri Johnson 

Moderator: Alexandra Del Rosario, TV Reporter, Deadline Hollywood

4:20 – 4:50

The $300B elephant (avatar) in the room: The in-game economy opportunity

Virtual economies represent an enormous opportunity for game developers and publishers – estimated at $300B by 2024. Brad Oberwager, Executive Chairman of Tilia, the all-in-one in-game payments platform built to power virtual economies, will discuss the critical components of a robust, functioning virtual economy as well as the key factors and hurdles to consider when building and implementing your own in-world economy.

Linden Lab Brad Oberwager

Moderator: TBD

4:50 – 5:20

Building positive play in the metaverse

Justin Davis, CEO of Spectrum Labs; 

Lauren Bigelow, chief product officer Together Labs

Moderator: Dean Takahashi, GamesBeat

5:20 – 5:50 pm 

The NFT debate

David Kim (Wax)

Moderator: Jon Radoff of Beamable

Rami Ismail

5:50 – 7:00

Drinks Reception by Jam City

Day 2 (April 27) Virtual

The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.

8:00 – 8:05

Emcee welcoming remarks

Andrea Rene, What’s Good Games

8:05 – 8:10

Opening remarks
Mike Minotti, GamesBeat

8:10 – 8:45 

The game studio startup boom

Steve Chiang, CEO of Fortis

Moderator: Steve Goldstein, Turtle Rock Studios

8:45 – 9:15 

India – a key part of your Asia growth strategy

Moderator: Lisa Cosmas Hanson, moderator, president of Niko Partners

Manish Agarwal, Nazara

Sean Sohn, PUBG India/Krafton

Salone Sehgal, Lumikai

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

9:15 – 9:45

The European games investment landscape

Alexis Bonte, COO at Stillfront 

Henric Suuronen, Playventures or Harri

Sofia Dolfe, Index Ventures

Moderator: Nicolaj Nyholm, Scattershot

9:45 – 10:15

Robert Antokol, CEO of Playtika
Moderator: Dean Takahashi

10:15 – 10:45
Evolving and adapting your creative team’s culture

Moderator: Rob Pardo, CEO of Bonfire 

Ilkka Paananen, CEO of Supercell

10:45 – 11:15
Learning to love UGC: Harnessing player choice 

A discussion on the opportunities and learnings which UGC presents to a studio and publisher, exploring official mod support in their games.

Moderator: Jeff Grubb, GamesBeat

Scott Reismanis, 

Romain De Waubert, Amplitude Studios 

Damien Mauric, Sega

11:15 – 11:45

Lines in the Sand – The Geopolitics of Game Creation

As games are carriers and a reflection of our culture, it is inevitable that real-world geopolitics and cultural tension will intersect not only the market distribution of games but also the in-game representation of peoples and places. How we decide to respond to such issues is ultimately a reflection of our core values as companies who are striving to maximize the global reach of our creative vision. Moderated by Kate Edwards, a geographer who has performed geopolitical and culturalization consulting in games for 28+ years, this panel explores how games are both affected by and influenced by current events.

Alexey Menshikov, CEO, Beatshapers

Yaraslav Kot, Game Designer & Researcher, Farm 51

Moderator: Kate Edwards, CEO of Geogrify and cofounder of Set Jetters

11:45 – 12:15

This is the way the metaverse ends…up! 

As the metaverse prepares to enter the Trough of Disillusionment, Eric Goldberg and SuperJoost chart the path to the Slope of Enlightenment after last Fall’s overhype of a technology that will eventually change the world. How can you and your team make that change happen sooner? In a discussion that mines 30 years of metaverse prior art, our speakers cover the splintered metaverse (and why Snow Crash and RP1 aren’t happening for 10+ years); the mass-market metaverse that’s already here (and isn’t primarily games); and a few great metaverse opportunities that are there for the taking in the next few years.

Moderator: Eric Goldberg, Playable Worlds
Joost van Dreunen, SuperJoost

The ballroom at the Beverly Hilton.

12:15 pm – 12:45 pm
How Scopely aims to meet players where they are

Leading mobile-first video game company Scopely has one of the most diversified portfolios of award-winning, top-grossing franchises in the industry. The company’s portfolio spans both original and beloved IP with games such as “Star Trek Fleet Command,” “WWE Champions,” “Scrabble GO,” and more. The secret to their success? Meeting players wherever they are. In this fireside chat, Scopely Chief Business Officer Aaron Loeb and General Manager & Vice President of Product, David Eckelberry will discuss Scopely’s player-first approach and how the company has extended iconic game universes across multiple platforms to deliver highly engaging experiences for players everywhere. The pair will also discuss how Scopely’s method unifies players, deepens social engagement in-and-out of game, and enables seamless play across devices to create thriving, passionate communities.

Moderator: Mike Minotti

Aaron Loeb, Chief Business Officer at Scopely

David Ecklberry, General Manager & Vice President, Product at Scopely – Star Trek Fleet Command

12:45 pm – 1:15 pm 

Games for Health
Moderator: Noah Falstein, owner of The Inspiracy

Carrie Shaw, CEO and founder of Embodied Labs

Kristina Academia – Senior Development Director, Akili Interactive, 

Marientina Gotsis of USC Games

12:15 – 1:15 Lunch break

Roundtable session

Metaverse Forum: Science fiction, tech, and games

Jon Neverdie Jacobs.

Moderator: Dean Takahashi 

Sean Keith, Mythical Games

Kimberly Unger, Meta

Jon Neverdie Jacobs, actor, filmmaker, and avatar


Women in video game voice acting

This panel of esteemed voice actors will discuss the evolution of acting for video games from the feminine perspective – discussing representation and inclusion of women in games and how the roles have changed and improved over the years.  We’ll look at ways to enable actors to shine such as addressing the hopes and dreams of actor inclusion earlier and in deeper ways in the game development process.  We’ll discuss the opportunities and obstacles of working as an actress in the game industry, the role of community in their careers, and what they would like to see moving forward. 

Moderator: Julia Bianco Schoeffling

Cissy Jones 

Jennifer Hale

Anjali Bhimani


Alternative stores for games

Moderator: Dean Takahashi

Neil Davidson, cofounder of Codashop


Handcrafting unforgettable scares with horror engineering

Description: Making a blockbuster game is all about sweating the small stuff – especially when you’re making a horror game.  In this session, Glen Schofield, CEO of Striking Distance Studios, discusses how he uses a process he calls “Horror Engineering” to create iconic scares – from his role as the creator of Dead Space, to his newest project The Callisto Protocol.

Moderator: Glen Schofield

Moderator: TBD

2:45 – 3:15
Games for Impact – can games companies embrace both profit and social impact

María Sayans, Ustwo 

Yoan Fanise, Digixart / Koch

Leo Olebe, head of game partnerships for Google Play 

Moderator: Susanna Pollack, Games for Change

We can’t deny the power that the videogames industry has – with access to the greatest share of entertainment time of children and young adults, the question becomes, how do we make sure we are using that power not just for profit, but also for the benefit of people and planet? 

We know many examples of games for good, games that have an impact – but is it possible to construct entire companies around it, can they scale, can they attract talent, can they deliver returns to shareholders? What challenges and limitations are these companies likely to find along the way? What opportunities? 

Susan Cummings is CEO of Tiny Rebel Games.Susan Cummings is CEO of Tiny Rebel Games.

3:15 – 3:35
The state of mobile gaming

In this session, Lexi can provide a deep-dive on the latest trends related to the state of mobile gaming globally. Some particular areas that can be explored with custom data from include: 

Top mobile games and areas of growth among subgenres, including astonishing growth in hypercasual games, the democratization of mobile games and demographic trends highlighting the genres and game preferences based on age and gender (e.g. Gen Z/Baby Boomers; male/female), and mobile game case studies featuring a deeper dive into games that have seen recent growth/reached notable milestones.
Lexi Sydow, head of market insights,

3:35 – 4:05

Why being late to the market isn’t worrisome

Simon Zhu NetEase
Michael Metzger 

Q&A will happen

4:05 – 4:35 

Level Infinite and the Global Games Market

Michelle Liu, Tencent Games Global CEO, joins GamesBeat for the first time to discuss her role in managing Tencent’s games publishing business and its new brand, Level Infinite. She will touch on Tencent’s thoughts on games as a whole, the company’s approach to global publishing, how it works with its diverse group of studios and developer teams and much more.

Michelle Liu, head of publishing for Level Infinite

Andrea Rene, What’s Good games

4:35 – 4:55 pm
Visionary Awards

Host: Tammy McDonald, Axis Game Factory/Griffin Gaming Partners

4:55 PM 

Emcee closing remarks
Andrea Renee, What’s Good Games

5:00 – 6:00 Virtual reception

Day 3 (April 28) Virtual

Dessert at the Beverly Hilton.

8:00 – 8:05

Emcee welcoming remarks

Andrea Rene, What’s Good Games

8:05 – 8:10
Opening remarks
Rachel Kaser, GamesBeat

8:10 am – 8:40 am

The new citizens of the Metaverse

Richard Bartle, University of Essex

Richard Garriott

8:40 am – 9:10 am 

M&A: Explaining how the gaming world will change

Chris Petrovic of Funplus

Frankie Zhu of Liontree 

Moderator: Alina Soltys, cofounder, Quantum Tech Partners 

Hemal Thaker, vice president, Goldman Sachs

9:10 – 9:40

Video games and movies: A Tale of Two Sons

Rami Ismail is cofounder of Vlambeer.Rami Ismail is cofounder of Vlambeer.

Josef Fares and Hazelight have taken a far different approach than other game studios when it comes to creative storytelling and how to execute it. Rami Ismail will talk with Fares about how Fares came to this approach in games after starting in film, and then refining it over the years. And where will Hazelight and gaming go next? 

Josef Fares, CEO of Hazelight

Moderator: Rami Ismail

9:40 – 10:00

How blockchain games will go mainstream

Animoca Brands Yat Siu 

Moderator: Dean Takahashi

10:00 – 10:20 

Connected TV: Gaming & marketing in one channel

With ad spend expected to reach $30 billion in the US alone by 2025, Connected TV (CTV) is rapidly becoming a key channel for any marketer. But it doesn’t stop there: more and more people use their CTV devices not only to watch Netflix, but also to play games. For you, that means CTV is not only a place where you find your users, it is also where your product will be used. Join CTV expert Gijsbert Pols for an in-depth look on how to best leverage this burgeoning channel, and learn how having the right tools in place can make CTV an integral part of both your UA Strategy and your product experience. 

Gijsbert Pols, Lead Product Strategist, Adjust

10:20 – 10:50 

Owen Mahoney, CEO of NexonOwen Mahoney, CEO of Nexon


Owen Mahoney

Mitch Lasky, Benchmark

10:50 – 11:20  

U.S. investor panel

Moderator: Eric Goldberg, Playable Worlds

Shanti Bergel, Transcend Fund

Amy Wu, FTX

Phil Sanderson, Griffin Gaming Partners

11:20 – 11:50

Games are good for us

Robby Ratan, Associate Professor at Michigan State University’s Department of Media and Information

Aaron Tramell, Assistant Professor of Informatics, UC Irvine, 

Danbi Lee, Senior Product Manager, Geodata Platform at Niantic

Moderator: Mike Minotti, review editor at GamesBeat 

11:50 – 12:20 pm
Building diversity and equity into the games industry through college

Gina Jackson OBE education panel online

Carolina Cruz-Neira, Professor in Computer Science University of Central Florida

Jim Huntley, USC Games 

Moderator: Gonzalo Frasca

Josef Fares, creator of A Way Out and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.Josef Fares, creator of It Takes Two.

12:20 – 12:50 pm
Games designed for women

Jill Wilson of Robin Games

Susan Cummings, tiny Rebel Games

Julia Palatovska of Dorian

Ariella Lehrer, CEO of Legacy Games

Wanda Meloni, M2 Research (moderator)

11:50 – 12:50
Roundtable Breakout Session 

How leaders can change systems to improve mental health

Moderator: Swatee Surve, CEO of Litesprite

Mark Chandler, founder of TIGS

Raffael “Dr. B” Boccamazzo, clinical director of Take This

12:50 – 1:30

Fostering positive human connections through games

Thatgamecompany, creators of  flOw, Flower, Journey and Sky, envisions games as a medium that can make people feel less alone, with the power to bring out the best in each other. In this talk, Thatgamecompany co-founder and CEO Jenova Chen, joined by LA Times Game Critic Todd Martens, will explore the power that games have to deepen human connection and deliver meaningful emotional impact.

Jenova Chen, CEO of Thatgamecompany

In conversation with Todd Martens, Interactive Entertainment Writer, Los Angeles Times

Jenova Chen is cofounder of Thatgamecompany.Jenova Chen is cofounder of Thatgamecompany.

1:30 – 2:00
Making mobile games in 2022

Anthony Mendoza, Director of Business Development, Global at Xsolla

Hannah Zhang, Business Development Manager, USA at Xsolla

2:00 – 2:30
The future of immersive games and gamified experiences

Jesse Schell, Schell Games

Tommy Palm, Resolution Games

John Bevis, Recroom

Moderator: Ivan Fernández Lobo, Meetaverse

2:30 – 3:00
Why some game (veterans) see big opportunities in blockchain

Join Neil Young, Forte, and David Gardner, Co-Founder and General Partner at LVP, in a conversation analyzing the real opportunity in blockchain games. As a veteran gamemaker on every platform, Neil will talk about why he made the transition to focus on the value Web3 presents for games. They’ll discuss how Web2 and mobile developers are exploring the space, the potential innovations that blockchain can bring to gaming experiences, the disruption it can bring to revenue and user acquisition models, and why it’s critical to capture this emerging market.

Moderator: David Gardner, London Venture Partners

Neil Young, Forte

3:00 – 3:30

Africa’s growing game industry

Carry1st foundersCarry1st founders Lucy Hoffman, Cordel Robbin-Coker (right) and Tinotenda Mundangepfupfu.

Cordel Robbin-Coker, cofounder and CEO of Carry1st.

Jay Shapiro of Usika games

Lual Mayen, CEO of Junub Games/Lual Mayen Foundation

Moderator: Nvidia’s Kate Kallot

3:30 – 4:00

Building the future of dance, expression and movement in games for the metaverse

At the intersection of the metaverse’s new entertainment experiences – leveraging everything from virtual concerts to gaming – an opportunity is emerging to help shape people’s in-the-moment expressions to build connection in games. Simultaneously, with the advances in technology platforms and blockchain, players are clamoring for new ways to create and even own their digital creations. HiDef, a gaming startup co-founded by entertainment, technology, and culture crafters Anthony Castoro, Jace Hall, Rick Fox and Dr. David Washington, is taking on this challenge with their unique technology platform and notable partnerships. HiDef is setting out to build the biggest dance party at the center of the metaverse, and they welcome everyone to join.

Anthony Castoro, HiDef, Dancing in the metaverse

Moderator: Randy Eckhardt

4:00 – 4:30 

Krafton’s plan to grow through investments

Krafton grew rapidly in the past few years with the success of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which established the battle royale genre within the FPS market and enabled the company to go public. Now it is making investments and acquisitions that it hopes will enable it to continue to grow. How can it find new hits in the accelerated pace of the modern game industry? We’ll host a conversation between Drake Star’s Michael Metzger and Damian Lee, head of investments at Krafton.

Damian Lee, Krafton

Michael Metzger, Drake Star Partners

4:30- 4:50

GamesBeat team closing podcast

4:50 – 4:55
Closing remarks

Dean Takahashi

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. Learn more about membership.

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