We’re taking GamesBeat Summit Digital into a digital online-only format. And now we’re happy to welcome our next round of speakers. Register now for a chance to see Mark Chang of Intel, Ari Segal of Immortals, Joe Barnes of Anheuser-Busch, and Grace Dolan of Samsung talk about what’s next for esports in the wake of the pandemic with Dean Takahashi of GamesBeat moderating the session.

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.

And now unveiling our next session:

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

The mainstreaming of esports

OGN's brand new esports arena in Manhattan Beach, California, is now available for sublease.

Above: OGN’s brand new esports arena in Manhattan Beach, California, is now available for sublease.

Image Credit: OGN

The panel features Mark Chang, director of gaming and esports of Intel; Immortals CEO Ari Segal; Joe Barnes, director of sports marketing for Bud Light at Anheuser-Busch; and Grace Dolan, vice president of home entertainment marketing at Samsung Electronics America, moderated by Dean Takahashi, lead writer for GamesBeat.

Esports events have been dealt a setback by the pandemic. But digital events are still going strong, and more eyeballs are watching online than ever. We’ll have a panel look at the future of esports when it comes to going mainstream. Will television programming of esports, with big brand support, become a bigger thing as we transition to a more digital world? Will the digital version of esports still make progress without a physical side to add excitement? And just what happens next for esports.

There’s peril and opportunity here. It’s not a good time to be tied to an esports venue. For instance, OGN made its brand new esports facility in Manhattan Beach, California available for a sublease. On the other hand, it’s good to have an online-only product related to esports, as the category is taking off. Meanwhile, companies such as 2K are cutting deals to put NBA 2K games — played by NBA stars like Kevin Durant — on sports TV channels.

Mark Chang

Above: Mark Chang, director of gaming and esports at Intel

Mark Chang is the director of gaming and esports at Intel Corporation. He has over 20 years of experience in sales and marketing with a focus on gaming, esports, and entertainment.

He built Intel’s gaming marketing strategy from the ground up. As the global head of gaming marketing he led all esports initiatives and partnerships with ESL with Intel Extreme Masters, Activision Blizzard with Overwatch League, Intel World Open in conjunction with the IOC, and many others.

Ari Segal

Above: Ari Segal, CEO of Immortals Gaming Club

Ari Segal is the CEO of Immortals Gaming Club (IGC), a global esports and gaming company backed by strategic investors including AEG, Meg Whitman, Lionsgate, the Milken Family, and Steve Kaplan. IGC has pioneered a “family of brands” approach to team operations in esports and operates four leading brands in premier esports titles including League of Legends, CS:GO, Overwatch, and Call of Duty, among others. IGC also owns and operates Gamers Club, the largest matchmaking platform in Latin America and third largest globally.

Prior to joining IGC, Segal served as COO for the Arizona Coyotes (NHL) where he led the club to its highest ever single-season ticket sales and total revenue. He was also Special Assistant to the CEO of the Anaheim Ducks (NHL) and led the launch of the San Diego Gulls, the Ducks’ AHL affiliate, where he served as the Gulls’ first President of Business Operations. Following their inaugural season, the Gulls were awarded the AHL President’s Award for Business Excellence.

I spoke with Segal recently for a story on esports companies pivoting to digital.

Joe Barnes

Above: Joe Barnes, director of Bud Light esports marketing

Joe Barnes is the director of Bud Light sports marketing at Anheuser-Busch. In his role, Joe oversees marketing efforts behind the NFL, NHL, NCAA, Soccer, and E-Sports partnerships. Joe is a graduate of Indiana University and has worked at Anheuser-Busch InBev for 6 years across sales, finance, and marketing.

Grace Dolan

Above: Grace Dolan vice president of home entertainment marketing at Samsung

Image Credit: Samsung

Grace Dolan is the Vice President of Home Entertainment Marketing at Samsung Electronics America, where she leads Consumer and Retail Marketing for the TV, Audio, and Memory businesses. In this role, Grace has led an innovative Passions strategy for the US business, redefining the brand’s purpose to lead through service to the Fan. She has elevated Samsung’s efforts to deliver the ultimate home experience to gamers, streamers and sports fans, delivering category-leading advertising, first-of-its-kind partnerships with brands like Xbox, Netflix and ESPN, and an advanced innovation roadmap. All of these have helped to drive double-digit growth in brand health measures with Samsung’s Fan audience.

Prior to Samsung, Grace spent 9 years in Brand Management at Johnson & Johnson, where she drove the growth of iconic brands like Aveeno, Listerine and Johnson’s Baby.

In January, I moderated a session with Dolan at CES on how brands are pursuing millennials in esports and gaming. That seems like ages ago.

Event 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 115 speakers. The schedule is still subject to change. Last week, we announced speakers such as former Blizzard Entertainment president and cofounder Mike Morhaime, Mike Frazzini of Amazon Game Studios, and Nexon CEO Owen Mahoney.

Full agenda for GamesBeat Summit Digital

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

​12:30 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.

 

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