Speakers and details subject to change.

May 2024

Co-Chair Welcome & Introductory Remarks

Presenter: Ned Sherman, Chief Business Affairs & Legal Officer, Skybound Entertainment
Ned Sherman

Current Trends & Research Presentations

Topics: Investment & M&A Activity in the Games, Interactive Media and Technology Market 2024’s Top Legal Issues in the Games, Interactive Media and Technology Market Presenters: Vivienne Zhao, Director, Technology, Lazard Frères & Co. LLC
Vivienne Zhao

Dealmaking and M&A in the Games Market

In 2023, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) globally fell to its lowest level in ten years, as high interest rates and an economic slowdown weighed on companies’ dealmaking confidence. While the games market fared a bit better, mostly due to a few big-ticket deals, there is still uneasiness in the current environment. This panel of investors and dealmakers will discuss the current environment for dealmaking and M&A in the games, interactive media and technologies market and consider the opportunities and challenges ahead. What are the opportunities for the long-term oriented strategies focused on innovation in the sector? What are interesting themes and attractive targets in gaming? Are acquisitions of game development studios viable, or are acquirers more focused on tools, services or platforms? What about emerging platforms – web3, VR, AR, metaverse – which all seem to have cooled? For games and game development studios, what game genres, devices (mobile vs....
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Rob Ricca
Dara Leung
Jeff Chaiken
Richard McDerby
Michael Metzger

The Legal Implications of Generative AI in Gaming

This panel will discuss legal issues that arise from the use of generative AI in gaming, including the following: How does generative AI in games impact intellectual property? What are the key issues when developers are using generative AI tools? What issues need to be considered when generative AI allows for the creation of content in-game in real-time? What role does platform law play in AI-generated content in games? How does contract drafting need to evolve to take into consideration the use of generative AI, including in agreements with developers, AI tool providers, players, and asset providers? What effect will regulation have on generative AI in games? How should investors evaluate generative AI opportunities in light of the uncertainty around legal and regulatory issues?   Panelists: James Freedman, Lead Counsel, Google AI for Developers, Google Sarah Guerrero, Privacy Counsel, Games, NetEase Games Sam Lam, Senior Legal Counsel, Skybound Dan Nabel, Senior...
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James Freedman
Sarah Guerrero
Dan Nabel
Nathaniel Bach
Sam Lam

Keynote Conversation with Griffin Gaming Partners

Keynote Conversation with Peter Levin, Managing Director of Griffin Gaming Partners.   Keynote Speaker: Peter Levin, Managing Director, Griffin Gaming Partners Interviewer: David Bloom, Senior Contributor, Forbes
David Bloom
Peter Levin

Financing Alternatives in Today’s Games Market

This panel will discuss financing alternatives for games companies, including loans from banks and private lenders, crowdfunding, angel financing and venture capital, and the relative availability and timing for each in today’s market. What are the pros and cons of each? When is a loan a better option than selling company equity and vice versa? What are the relative use cases for the Reg A+ and Reg CF exemptions, which allow issuers to sell shares to the general public? What are the limitations and filing requirements? How can games companies access government grants and subsidies available in certain jurisdictions? What else can developers do in terms of funding projects outside of equity raises? Is publishing a good alternative and when is appropriate or not? What are key considerations when signing up a publisher? When can it work well, and when can problems arise? What companies are offering development funding and...
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Alexandra Takei
Laura Harrison
David Higley
Derek Douglas

Cross-Media Licensing & Financing: The Future of Entertainment Franchises

The dream of game publishers to create franchises that span games, TV, movies and other media has arrived. With games and entertainment IP at the center, successful franchise development is highly dependent on the rights and financing deals done at every stage of development. This panel will discuss the challenges and opportunities inherent in franchise development, including licensing of entertainment IP across all forms of media, including games, television/streaming, movies, audiobooks, toys and merchandise and the financing methods and models as they relate to production and development of entertainment products for different mediums. Panelists: Elizabeth Cohen, General Counsel, Crunchyroll Cooper Jackson, SVP, Business Development & Affairs, Electronic Arts Frances Jensen, Counsel, Interactive Entertainment, Frankfurt Kurnit Jordan Marks, VP, Business & Legal Affairs, Annapurna Interactive Ned Sherman, Chief Business Affairs & Legal Officer, Skybound Entertainment Moderator: Kaare Eriksen, Media Analyst, Variety Intelligence Platform, Variety Intelligence Platform
Jordan Marks
Frances Jensen
Elizabeth Cohen
Cooper Jackson
Kaare Eriksen
Ned Sherman

Venture Capital & Investment in the Games Market

This panel will discuss the current state of venture capital in the games, interactive media and technology market. How are investors evaluating opportunities in the market? With Web3, or ”play to earn” games, out of the limelight in 2023, which sectors are attracting the most interest? What does the future hold for developers? How are investors evaluating opportunities with the rising prominence of AI? Which stages companies – early-stage, seed/pre-seed and late-stage – are receiving the most investment? What are the regulatory and legal issues that investors need to have on their radar? Panelists: Jasper Brand, Partner, BITKRAFT Ventures Sam Englebardt, Founding General Partner, Galaxy Interactive Andrew Sheppard, Managing Director, Transcend Fund Joseph Tou, Managing Director – US, Sony Innovation Fund Moderator: Holly Liu, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, PKO Investments
Jasper Brand
Andrew Sheppard
Joseph Tou
Holly Liu
Sam Englebardt

Transmedia Storytelling: Entertainment Across Different Mediums

Our final panel takes a step back from the legal and finance focus to shine a light on engaging audiences through creativity and storytelling across different mediums. Our panelists will discuss storytelling in the context of transmedia, an approach to extending narratives across mediums, including film, television, comics, novels, audiobooks, video games, live events, XR, music, licensing, and merchandising. How are creators and companies taking intellectual property (IP) and developing engaging entertainment products to reach fans across mediums? Panelists: Kimberly Corbett, Chief Publishing Officer, Fortis Games Andy Kleinman, Entrepreneur & Investor, Formerly Scopely Nanea Reeves, CEO & Co-Founder, Tripp, Inc.
Kimberly Corbett
Nanea Reeves
Andy Kleinman