Big Ideas to Capture Value in eSports
eSports have displayed tremendous growth, and despite some event cancellations due to COVID-19, the sector has been a net beneficiary of the crisis. However, the majority of the value continues to be captured by publishers via in-game monetization. What is the range of “big ideas” that could enable non-publishers to succeed, and support the emergence of a unique platform which could make itself indispensable to the esports ecosystem?
Featuring Francesco Di Ianni, Managing Director, FTI Consulting
Featuring Chris Hewish, President, Xsolla interviewed by David Bloom, Senior Contributor, Forbes.The New Normal: A Curtain Call for Content Middlemen? The global pandemic and physical distancing have disrupted distribution chains for all industries, including media. What does this mean as we settle into a new normal, where physical distancing directly impacts the brick and mortar middlemen who traditionally connected consumers with content? Most of these middlemen were already operating on declining margins and relied on entertainment content as a loss leader for upselling more profitable goods. Now that nature has forced consumers to fully adopt digital consumption, will they ever return in enough volume to sustain a business model that was arguably already in its final act? What about content creators? The move to digital distribution requires an entirely new approach for success, including building and maintaining a stronger sense of community. The video game industry provides many cautionary tales of companies that didn’t fully appreciate what it took to successfully move from analog to digital distribution, opening the door for content creators to sell directly without the need for publishers. Will we see the same play out with linear media, or will a traditionally analog industry finally make the shift to the new digital norm?
Unity and the Future of Gaming
John Riccitiello has seen a lot the last 20 years in gaming. He is currently CEO of the biggest gaming tech company, Unity. He previously was CEO of EA, a senior advisor to Oculus before the FB sale, founder/partner at Elevation Partners, and created and ran the digital operation at EA in the late 90’s and early 2000, as President and COO of EA. John has seen numerous console cycles and he built a successful strategy at EA around mobile and digital games and services. John will look broadly at where gaming is going, the future of Unity, and opportunities in the interactive industries.
Featuring John Riccitiello, CEO, Unity Technologies, interviewed by Mike Vorhaus, CEO, Vorhaus Advisors
Every sign is that the mobile games market has continued to grow during the pandemic. Nearly every metric is up — in-app purchases, engagement, conversion rates and ad demand – and it’s translating into revenue. However, creativity and innovation is needed for growth to sustain for the long-term. This panel of industry leaders will discuss where the next wave of creativity and innovation will come from and how they see the industry evolving during the pandemic and beyond.
Lisa Anderson, SVP, Studio Operations, Jam City
Andrew Paradise, CEO, Skillz
Chris Petrovic, SVP and Head of Corporate Strategy, M&A & Business Development, Zynga
Soojeong Song, Strategic Partner Manager, Google
Mark Van Ryswyk, Executive Vice President, Glu Mobile
Moderator: Chris Younger, President, Ayzenberg Group
With the uncertainty of when it will be safe again for large in-person gatherings, the esports industry is having to rethink the business. What are the near-term plans and how are those plans likely to shape business planning in the long-term? Are there silver-linings emerging under the current circumstances? Is this the tipping point that many have been waiting for in terms of the role of live streaming as a mass entertainment medium? How are brands, teams, leagues, publishers and streamers adjusting to the current climate and planning for 1-2 years out? What is the expected esports monetization mix in the years to come?
Carlos Alimurung, CEO, ONE Esports
Olivia Friedlander, VP of Operations, Maestro
Ann Hand, Chairman & CEO, Super League Gaming
Dave Madden, SVP, Global Brand Partnerships, Electronic Arts
John Robinson, President & COO, 100 Thieves
Scott Rupp, Founding General Partner, BITKRAFT Esports Ventures
Moderator: Mike Vorhaus, CEO, Vorhaus Advisors
Mobile Gaming’s Rapid Rise to Become the World’s Most Popular Form of Gaming
Mobile gaming is growing at a remarkable pace — set to reach 60% market share in gaming consumer spend in 2020. Fueled by unprecedented smartphone technology and capabilities, where does the industry go from here? This session will give you insight into what’s driving the growth, monetization strategies to consider, the impact of COVID-19 on mobile gaming, and other topics to help you win on mobile in 2020.
Featuring Amir Ghodrati, Director, Market Insights at App Annie
This panel of platform executives, creators, streamers, influencers and their representatives will discuss the strategies and campaigns taking shape during the current climate on different platforms. What are the most effective strategies today for working with influencers and what are the metrics that determine success? How are creators and influencers adapting their content and strategies to the new stay-at-home landscape? With live streaming becoming such an important part of people’s lives as a business and social tool, how is that likely to change the role that live streaming plays in the entertainment landscape going forward?
Peter Letz, Agent, Digital Media – Gaming, CAA
Lester Chen, Head of Gaming Content Partnerships Americas, YouTube
Jonathan Flesher, Head of Business Development, Discord
Amelia Hall, Strategy Director, Deutsch
Craig “Mini Ladd” Thompson, CEO, ML Entertainment
Moderator: David Bloom, Senior Contributor, Forbes
Major movie studios, television networks and gaming studios have increasingly embraced the notion of storytelling across mediums with a focus on building long-lasting entertainment franchises that engage audiences through the artful and well-planned use of multiple-media platforms. The panel will discuss the important role that games and interactive entertainment are serving as a means of connecting people during the current quarantine period and how that dynamic is likely to change the role that game play and interactivity will play in the future development of entertainment franchises.
Lydia Bottegoni, EVP, Story & Franchise Development, Blizzard Entertainment
Daniel Engelhardt, SVP, Interactive Ventures & Games, Lionsgate
Jeff Gomez, CEO, Starlight Runner Entertainment
Morgan Kruger, COO, MWM Universe (a division of Madison Wells Media)
Jeremy Padawer, Partner, Jazwares
Moderator: Chris Heatherly, former EVP of Games & Digital Platforms, NBCUniversal
Featuring David Morin, Industry Manager for Media and Entertainment, Epic Games
Using game technology to produce Hollywood content: In-Camera Visual Effects, Real-Time Workflows and The Mandalorian
This session will cover advancements in “in-camera visual effects” and how this technique is changing the film and TV industry. With software developments in real-time game engines, combined with hardware developments in GPUs and on-set video equipment, filmmakers can now capture final pixel visual effects while still on set – enabling new levels of creative collaboration and efficiency during principal photography. The new developments allow changes to digital scenes, even those at final pixel quality, to be seen instantly on high-resolution LED walls – an exponential degree of time savings over a traditional CG rendering workflow. The presentation will include a case study of The Mandalorian.
This panel of investors discusses the current climate for investment and M&A in the games ecosystem. How have games revenues been impacted since the “stay at home” orders? How has coronavirus changed the way investors are evaluating opportunities already in their pipelines as well as new opportunities? Are there opportunities now (investment or M&A) that didn’t exist prior to the outbreak? For new investments, how do investors take into account what might happen in 1 to 2 years?
Shanti Bergel, Managing Director, Transcend
Sam Englebardt, Managing Partner, Galaxy Interactive
Jon Goldman, General Partner, GC Tracker and Board Partner, Greycroft
Phil Sanderson, Managing Director & Co-Founder, Griffin Gaming Partners
Shara Senderoff, President, Raised In Space
Moderator: Ned Sherman, Partner, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips