The Gaming Insiders Summit is being held on October 15 at the Winery on Treasure Island in San Francisco. The venue is compelling, with a tremendous view of the San Francisco Bay when you step outside and look around. Similarly, the array of speakers and sessions lined up for the Gaming Insiders Summit should provide a tremendous view of the current and future state of the game industry. The [a]listdaily takes a look at some of the highlights of the schedule, and gets Gaming Insiders CEO David Kaye’s insights on the summit.
The Gaming Insiders Summit is only one day long, but it’s packed with a number of interesting sessions, various sponsors available to discuss their products and services, and of course plenty of networking opportunities. What follows are some of the highlights of the program, and you can find the full program along with details on the speakers and the venue at the Gaming Insiders web site.
The speakers begin at 9:30, and Alex Seropian and Tim Harris, co-founders of Industrial Toys begin with a talk entitled Casual, Core and More: The Myth of Rules in Mobile Gaming. Seropian is well known as the founder of Bungie Studios, and the Industrial Toys insight on mobile gaming should be very interesting coming from some console and PC veterans.
Later in the day there’s a “fireside chat” with Chris Heatherly, the SVP/GM of Disney Interactive, where attendees can hear about Disney’s strategy for bringing its massively successful film and television properties to interactive media. Following that will be a similar fireside chat with Chris DeWolfe, the CEO of SGN, who perhaps will shed some light on SGN’s strategy for dealing with similar transmedia properties, as SGN is currently bringing the animated feature The Book of Life: Sugar Smash to mobile games.
There will also be panels on the business aspects of the gaming business, including AppLovin’s co-founder and CEO Adam Foroughi talking about player acqusition, and inMobi, TinyCo, Gree and Crowdstar talking about the increasingly complex strategies for mobile games.
The CEO of Twitch, Emmet Shear, will be talking about Twitch’s next 60 million users, which should be a very interesting talk given the increasing importance of livestreaming to games marketing. Google’s Bob Meese, head of business development for Google Play, will discuss how the company is helping developers reach the global mobile audience.
Later in the day, there’s also a chat with Tencent’s VP of business development Dan Brody, and to wind things up there’s a talk by Valve developer Chet Faliszek.
There are even more presentations scheduled, along with a full panoply of businesses that serve the game industry, and the always-important cocktail party at the end where new business connections can be forged. The [a]listdaily will be there to take in the information and serve up a piping-hot summary afterwards for those of you who are unable to attend.
David Kaye, CEO of Gaming Insiders, took the time from his busy pre-show schedule to answer some questions for the [a]listdaily.
[a]listdaily: How did the Gaming Insiders Summit begin, and how has it developed over time?
David Kaye: Gaming Insiders started as an invite-only online community for game company founders, and our first event was a dinner for ten people in a San Francisco Chinese restaurant. This is our second conference and we’re expecting about 450 attendees from all over the world, so it’s safe to say we’ve grown a bit.
[a]listdaily: What should participants expect to learn at the Gaming Insiders Summit?
David Kaye: We’re trying to answer one question: where are today’s blue ocean opportunities? We see those opportunities in a lot of places — here are a few:
1) Bringing big genres to new platforms: Halo co-creator Alex Seropian and Tim Harris from Industrial Toys will be talking about their approach to building their mobile FPS, Midnight Star.
2) Breaking into new markets: Asia is our focus this year — speakers from Tencent, Kabam and FunPlus will be addressing this from a number of angles.
3) Virtual Reality: We continue to believe VR is going to be huge. Chet Faliszek will be talking about Valve’s unique approach to the platform.
[a]listdaily: What are the most important trends in the game industry today, in your view?
David Kaye: I think that the three trends I mentioned before — big genres coming to new platforms, the expansion of the Asian market, and VR’s growing importance — are the biggest forces we’ll see in the coming year, but I’d love to see the indie renaissance we’re seeing on PC have a bigger impact in mobile, where there’s still a little less creative diversity than I would like.
[a]listdaily: What holds the potential to be the biggest surprise for the gaming industry in the next year?
David Kaye: The great thing about this industry is that massively influential things can come from unexpected places. If you had asked me this question last year, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have said “a ludicrously hard endless runner from an unknown Vietnamese developer with no marketing will become an overnight sensation with more than 50 million downloads,” and yet we all saw what happened with Flappy Bird.
Indies are still the ones making all the really bold moves. Keep an eye on smaller studios like Campo Santo and Hello Games.
[a]listdaily: Any other thoughts on the Gaming Insiders Summit?
David Kaye: The atmosphere of our event is really unique — if you haven’t come before, I’d love to see you there.