GamesBeat Summit 2020 speakers: Jenova Chen, Rob Dyer, and Alina Soltys
GamesBeat Summit 2020 will focus on the latest trends in the gaming ecosystem, and today we’re introducing our latest trio of speakers who are represent very different parts of the game industry.
In separate talks, Jenova Chen of Thatgamecompany, Rob Dyer of Capcom, and Alina Soltys of Quantum Tech Partners will speak at our event, which will take place on April 28 and April 29 in downtown Los Angeles at Two Bit Circus, a “micro-amusement park.” This place combines old-style circus and arcade games with modern virtual reality entertainment in the city’s Arts District.
You can register for tickets here. You can see dozens of the speakers listed on the event site, and we’ll have close to 100 speakers by April.
Other previously announced speakers include:
- Nicolo Laurent, CEO of Riot Games
- Gary Whitta, screenwriter for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and former editor of PC Gamer
- Tina Amini, editor-in-chief of games at IGN
- Richard Lemarchand, associate professor at the USC Games program
- Nika Nour, executive director of International Game Developers Association Foundation
- David Gardner, cofounder of London Venture Partners
- Andrea Rene, cofounder of What’s Good Games
- Mari “AtomicMari” Takahashi, cofounder of Smosh Games
- Paola “Pancakepow” Alejandra, creator of Pancakepow.com
- Joshua “Jovenshire” Ovenshire, gaming influencer and series creator of Worst Ways to Die at Arcade Cloud
- Elan Lee, cofounder of Exploding Kittens
- Edward Saatchi, cofounder of Fable Studios
- Doron Nir, CEO of StreamElements
- Shannon Loftis, studio head for World’s Edge at Microsoft Xbox
- Mitch Lasky, general partner at Benchmark
- Randy Pitchford, CEO of Gearbox Software
We’ve got more speakers that we haven’t announced yet. They will have their own way of expressing what our theme — the Dawn of a New Generation — means to them.
It’s a time of change in the game industry. Console makers are moving ahead with their new machines. Cloud gaming efforts like Google Stadia are joining the fray. Apple is driving hard with Apple Arcade, and HBO, Netflix, and others are moving into games. The digital delivery stores are proliferating, giving competition to the old guard like Steam. And AR/VR companies are trying to get off the ground with new tech.
Gaming is moving down parallel paths, finding new ways to turn all of us into gamers. It is an ever-widening circle of opportunity, and our speakers will talk about how to best navigate these transitions to new machines, new markets, new business models, and new technologies such as artificial intelligence.
Jenova Chen, cofounder of Thatgamecompany
Above: Jenova Chen is cofounder of Thatgamecompany, creator of games like Journey, Flower, Flow, and Sky.
Jenova Chen is the visionary designer of the award-winning games Cloud, flOw, Flower, Journey, and now Sky: Children of Light. After earning a bachelor’s degree for computer science in his hometown of Shanghai, Chen moved to Los Angeles, where he got a master’s degree in the founding class of University of Southern California’s Interactive Media and Games Division. Following school, he founded Thatgamecompany with fellow graduates, where he remains its president and creative director.
Thatgamecompany’s titles have garnered a multitude of honors over the years. flOw was selected as a permanent collection of MoMA. Flower and Journey were awarded the British Academy of Film and Television Arts for Artistic Achievement, both were named the Best Independent Game at the Spike TV Video Game Awards, as well as the Best Downloadable Game and the Game of the Year at the Game Developers Choice Awards and the DICE Awards. Journey also reaped numerous Game of the Year awards.
Chen was named one of Variety’s 10 Innovators to Watch in 2008, was selected as one of the Most Creative Entrepreneurs in Business in both 2009 and 2010 by Fast Company and was named to the MIT Technology Review Magazine’s TR35 list, which included the World’s Top Innovators under the Age of 35 in 2008.
Thatgamecompany launched Sky: Children of Light, in 2019, after five years of development. The game is Thatgamecompany’s first mobile title. Chen will be talking about how the studio created a wholesome gaming community in Sky. The team wanted to create a non-toxic, engaged community for Sky on the belief that “weeds show up in an untrimmed garden.” It is a lesson in evoking humanity’s good side in getting people to help their fellow travelers in the game.
Alina Soltys, cofounder of Quantum Tech Advisors
Above: Jim Perkins and Alina Soltys are the founders of Quantum Tech Advisors.
Alina Soltys cofounded Quantum Tech Advisors last year with Jim Perkins. They both previously worked together at The Corum Group, where they were advisors for mergers, acquisitions, and big financings. They do the same now.
Soltys works with technology and gaming companies with focus on growth strategies and guidance through an investment or exit process. She has advised companies on over 25 completed M&A transactions globally including companies such as Growtopia on their acquisition by Ubisoft. Soltys has a deep understanding of the tech industry and applies strategic intelligence for all of the companies she partners with, ultimately connecting data and trends to real-world implications for her clients.
As a long time speaker and contributor at GameDaily Connect (formerly Casual Connect), GamesBeat University, and GamesForum, Soltys is passionate and experienced in the gaming industry. In her spare time, she is an avid mobile gamer keeping a close pulse on new releases and innovation impacting the industry. Her insights deliver high value for company founders, shareholders and studio teams who are looking to grow the value of their companies. Soltys will give a talk about how esports investments hit $1 billion in 2019, and esports revenues could grow to $4 billion by 2022.
Rob Dyer, COO at Capcom
Above: Rob Dyer is chief operating officer of Capcom.
Rob Dyer is the chief operating officer at Capcom, overseeing publishing and business development at a top 10 video game publisher. Capcom was founded in 1979 and it has given us game franchises such as Mega Man, Street Fighter, Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, Monster Hunter, and many more.
Formerly an executive at Sony, Zynga, Eidos, and Crave Entertainment, Dyer’s most recent position was as CEO and co-founder of licensed merchandising outlet Fan Kicks. He will speak in a fireside chat moderated by game and tech consulting veteran Mike Vorhaus of Vorhaus Advisors. They will talk about the console cycles and the rules that game developers and publishers have to know about each new generation of console games.
What to expect
Above: Location-based entertainment from Two Bit Circus
We’re honored to have these speakers. They’ll be speaking in fireside chats, panels, and solo talks across our three stages: The Boss Stage (CEO/business talks), The Hero Stage (triple-A game developers and consumer-oriented talks), and The Bonus Stage (special talks).
The event will span all of games. We think that bringing the leaders of the industry together from different sectors helps refine the best thinking, and you often get wisdom from lessons that are hard learned. These kinds of talks and the chance for networking across sectors and industries is what will make our event unique in the crowded conference space.
Our event is going to be an intimate affair. And our location this year once again fits right with our theme. Two Bit Circus is a 40,0000-square-foot playground for all ages, with entertainment that includes escape rooms, virtual reality experiences, a VIP loft, live interactive games, a robot bartender show, and modern versions of carnival games. Our attendees will be able to hear business talks in the Club 101 auditorium and consumer-focused talks in a second hall.
We’re still forming our topics around next-generation gaming. The discussions will likely focus on investing in games; mergers and acquisitions and the changes they will bring about; the globalization of games; diversity; esports; the psychology of games; rising regulation; AI’s impact on games; games for peace; the rise of influencers; the convergence of sci-fi, tech, and games; monetization; blockchain and cryptocurrency; and debates on topics such as addiction and loot boxes.
This is our 11th year of GamesBeat events and this year promises to be the best one yet. If you’ve never been to our event, here’s my opening speech at last year’s event. And here are links to the videos for day one and day two. And here’s a summary of a few talks and a story about the Bushnell family that built Two-Bit Circus. Check out those links if you want to see if GamesBeat Summit is for you.
Stay tuned as we announce more great speakers to our first-rate lineup. A partial list of sponsors includes Consumer Acquisition, Rogue Games, Genvid, Niantic, Two Hat Security, Jam City, Scopely, Amber, and Adjust.
Register for GamesBeat 2020 here.
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