GamesBeat Summit 2020 Agenda
2 Days - 2 Stages - 100+ Speakers

Boss Stage

Hero Stage

Join us here for CEO interviews, keynotes and fireside chats from some of the biggest names in the gaming industry. 

With a focus on consumers and triple-A developers, don’t miss the discussions that will shape the future pipeline of games to come.  


Tuesday, April 28, 2020

9:10 am - 9:15 am PT

 Boss Stage Thanks to sponsors and other announcements by Alex Olshonsky, VP of Sales at VentureBeat

9:15 am - 9:30 am PT

 Boss Stage Introductory remarks by Dean Takahashi, Lead Writer for VentureBeat’s GamesBeat

9:30 am - 9:45 am PT

Boss Stage "Serious Money Going into Esports and Gaming -- M&A and Fundraising Trends” with Alina Soltys, Founder of Quantum Tech Partners

9:45 am - 10:15 am PT

Boss Stage “The Rise of New Independent Publishers” with Michael Worosz, EVP, Corporate Development & Independent Publishing at Take-Two Interactive, moderated by Michael Metzger, Partner at Drake Star Partners


Hero Stage "The Future of Gaming is UGC" with Matt Curtis, VP of Developer Relations at Roblox

10:15 am - 10:45 am PT

Boss Stage "The World Has Changed" with Owen Mahoney, CEO of Nexon, moderated by Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities

Hero Stage "Esports: Beyond the Hype: Challenges and Realities of Running an Esports Business in 2020" with Karim Farghaly of BANDAI NAMCO; Jacob Navok, of Genvid Technologies; Neo Liu of Tencent; moderated by David Hoppe of Gamma Law

10:45 am - 11:15 am PT

Boss Stage Fireside Chat with Mike Morhaime, Co-Founder and Ex-President of Blizzard Entertainment; moderated by Seth Schiesel of The New York Times

Hero Stage "The Leisure Economy" with John Linden, CEO, Mythical Games; moderated by Harold Goldberg, President of  the New York Videogame Critics Circle

11:15 am - 11:45 am PT

Boss Stage "Championing the Video Game Industry and Culture" with Stanley Pierre-Louis, CEO of 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 am - 12:15 pm PT

Boss Stage "Gaming’s Future as the Best Form of Entertainment" with Jon Goldman of Greycroft, 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 pm - 1:00 pm PT

Boss Stage/Hero Stage "The Power of Games for Climate Change" with Alan Gershenfeld of E-Line Media; Mathias Norvig of Sybo; Pietari Päivänen of Supercell; moderated by Sam Barratt of UN Environment


Online Access & VIP Passes join online for breakout networking and roundtable sessions: ​

1. "Dealing with Disruptive Behaviour in Games" moderated by Carlos Figueiredo of Two Hat Security

2. "Hyper-casual Games - Beyond Short-term Success" moderated by Chris Lefebvre of Lion Studios Canada

3. "Frontiers in Game AI" moderated by Christoffer Holmgård and Julian Togelius of

1:00 pm - 1:30 pm PT

Boss Stage "How to Succeed in Free-to-Play? Compete with yourself" with Scopely co-CEO Javier Ferreira, moderated by Michael Metzger of Drake Star Partners

Hero Stage "Game Investments in the Age of Coronavirus" with Ryan McDermott of Resolute Partners Group

1:30 pm - 2:00 pm PT

Boss Stage "Facebook Creative Testing: Why Is The Control So Hard To Beat?" with Brian Bowman, CEO of Consumer Acquisition

Hero Stage "Using AI for Game Testing" with Jennifer Bonine, CEO of

2:00 pm - 2:30 pm PT

Boss Stage "Console Cycles: The Old, the New, and the Future" with Rob Dyer, COO 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 pm - 3:15 pm PT

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 Juno Capital Partners

2:30 pm - 3:00 pm PT

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 pm - 3:45 pm PT

Hero Stage Series A/B Panel with Phil Sanderson of Griffin Gaming Partners; Michael Cheung of Makers Fund; Rick Yang of New Enterprise Associates; moderated by Eric Goldberg of Crossover Technologies

3:15 pm - 4:00 pm PT

Boss Stage "How Thatgamecompany Enabled a Wholesome Community in Sky" with Jenova Chen, Co-Founder of Thatgamecompany

4:00 pm - 4:30 pm PT

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, Co-Founder & CEO of Skillprint; moderated by Keisha Howard of Sugar Gamers

4:30 pm - 5:00 pm PT - Viewable in Oculus Venues

Boss Stage "The Next Generation of Multi-dimensional Games and Large-scale VR Development," with Peter Akemann, Chief Technologist/Co-Founder of Skydance Interactive; moderated by Mike Minotti of GamesBeat

Hero Stage "The Realities of Cross-Play and Managing Live Service" with Jesse Houston, CEO of Phoenix Labs; moderated by Dean Takahashi

5:00 pm - 5:30 pm PT - Viewable in Oculus Venues

Boss Stage "The Art of Inspiration" with Glen Schofield, Founder of Striking Distance Studios

Hero Stage "External Development Stories" with Mihai Pohontu, CEO of Amber Studios

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm PT - Viewable in Oculus Venues

Boss Stage GamesBeat Summit, Virtual Reception, Presented By Oculus Venues

1. Virtual Reception opening remarks

2. GamesBeat Summit 2020 - Visionary in Games Awards

3. Plus, an exclusive 20-minute excerpt of “Insert Coin”— a documentary on Midway Games, developer of hits like Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

8:30 am - 9:45 am PT

Women in Gaming Virtual Breakfast, Presented by Niantic: 

"Designing games and experiences: How to stay fresh while developing for new media"

  • Moderated by: Andrea Rene of What's Good Games

  • Featuring: Kellee Santiago, Head of Developer Relations at Niantic; Nonny de la Pena, CEO of Emblematic; and Elizabeth Howard, SVP Publishing at Aspyr Media

9:45 - 9:50 am PT

Boss Stage  Sponsor thanks and announcements by Gina Joseph, VP of Strategic Partnerships at VentureBeat

9:50 am - 10:00 am PT

Boss Stage Opening remarks — Mike Minotti, Reviews Editor at GamesBeat

10:00 am - 10:30 am PT

Boss Stage "Breaking Story: How Great Writer’s Rooms Work" with Adam Foshko of HBO; Derek Kolstad, screenwriter; moderated by Mark Long of Neon Media

Hero Stage "The Future of Influencer Marketing" with Mari Takahashi of Smosh Games; Joshua Ovenshire of Arcade Cloud; MissesMae; moderated by Andrea Rene of What's Good Games


10:30 am - 11:00 am PT

Boss Stage "Recapturing the History of Games" with Josh Tsui of Ten Point Oh and Blake Harris, author; 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

  • "The blue ocean of interactive storytelling" Andrew Maximov, CEO of Promethean AI

  • "GPEG: A new type of stream for games, a new type of Instant Interactive content for cable and OTT audiences” with Barry Jenkins, CEO & Co-founder of Primal Space Systems - Instant Interactive

  • "The Potential of Voice for Games" with Jeferson Valadares, Co-founder & CEO of Doppio Games

11:00 am - 11:30 am PT

Boss Stage "Why Gaming will be at the Center of the Future Entertainment Universe (and why Hollywood should be investing more, not less, into the space today)" with Josh Yguado, Co-Founder & President of Jam City, moderated by Amy Allison

Hero Stage "Games to Play in Quarantine" with Elan Lee, Co-Founder of Exploding Kittens; moderated by Theresa Duringer of Temple Gates Games

11:30 am - 12:15 pm PT

Boss Stage Fireside Chat with Mitch Lasky of Benchmark Capital; moderated by Eric Goldberg of Crossover Technologies

11:30 am - 12:00 pm PT

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 pm - 12:30 pm PT

Hero Stage "Dawn of a new era: COVID-19, the games industry and #PlayApartTogether" with Bernard Kim of Zynga; moderated by Patrick Shanley of The Hollywood Reporter

12:15 pm - 12:30 pm PT

Boss Stage "Spatial Audio: Why you should care" with Andy Vaughan of Dolby and Jamil Moledina of XP Consulting

12:30 pm - 1:00 pm PT

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

12:30 pm - 1:15 pm PT

Online Access & VIP Passes join online for breakout networking and roundtable sessions: ​

1. "Lightning Round Speakers Q&A" moderated by Zsuzsa James, Andrew Maximov, Jeferson Valadares, and Barry Jenkins

2. "Facebook Creative Testing & Creative Research" moderated by Brian Bowman, CEO of Consumer Acquisition

3. "Spatial Audio: Why You Should Care - Session Q&A" moderated by Andrew Vaughan of Dolby and Jamil Moledina of XP Consulting

4. "Women in Games" moderated by Nika Nour of IGDA Foundation and Renee Gittins of IGDA

1:00 pm - 1:30 pm PT

Boss Stage "Gaming has always paved the way in mobile / mobile UA" with Paul Muller, CTO of Adjust; moderated by Dean Takahashi

Hero Stage "The EVE Effect" with Hilmar Pétursson, CEO of CCP

1:30 pm - 2:00 pm PT

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" with Mark Chang of Intel; Ari Segal of Immortals, Joe Barnes of Anheuser-Busch; Grace Dolan of Samsung; moderated by Dean Takahashi 

2:00 pm - 2:30 pm PT

Boss Stage "LBE in a Post COVID World" with Brent Bushnell of Two Bit Circus; moderated by Blair Herter, Chief Brand Officer & SVP, Partnerships of ADVNCR

Hero Stage "Strategies for Mental Wellness in Gaming" with John Smedley of Amazon Game Studios; Eve Crevoshay of Take This; moderated by Mark Chandler of TIGS

2:30 pm - 3:00 pm PT

Boss Stage "The Real World Games of the Future: Designing AR/Geospatial/Purposeful Games" with Greg Borrud of Niantic; moderated by Amanda Farough of F-Squared

Hero Stage "Diversity and Inclusion: How to create virtual and accessible resources for marginalized communities during a pandemic" with Nika Nour, Executive Director of IGDA Foundation; moderated by Jessica Chobot

3:00 pm - 3:30 pm PT

Boss Stage "Can Mobile Games be a $1 trillion Business this Decade?" with Neil Young, CEO of N3twork; moderated by Bing Gordon of Kleiner Perkins


Hero Stage "Blockchain Comes to Games Part 2" with Sebastien Borget of The Sandbox; Peter Kieltyka of Horizon Blockchain Games; Eric Schiermeyer of Blockchain Game Partners; Taehoon Kim of Nway; moderated by James Zhang of Concept Art House

3:00 pm - 3:30 pm PT

Boss Stage Fireside Chat: "Using AI to Speed up Game Releases" with Jennifer Bonine, CEO of PinkLion.AI; moderated by Dean Takahashi, Lead Writer, GamesBeat Summit

3:45 pm - 4:15 pm PT

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 "Games in China - Demand Doesn’t Cease" with Bill Wang of Skystone Games; Amy Huang of Mattel163; Cynthia Du of Cocos; Jeff Lyndon of iDreamSky; moderated by Lisa Cosmas Hanson of Niko Partners

4:15 pm - 4:45 pm PT

Boss Stage "Working Backward from the Players – Amazon’s Approach to Games" with Mike Frazzini, VP of Games at Amazon; moderated by Dean Takahashi

Hero Stage "Player Behavior: Your Secret Growth Tool" with Carlos Figueiredo, Director of Trust & Safety at Two Hat Security; Clara Siegel, Product Manager, Facebook Gaming;  Dr. Kimberly Voll of Stray Bombay; moderated by Kate Edwards, CEO of Geogrify

4:45 pm - 5:15 pm PT

Closing remarks and networking reception

GamesBeat Summit 202o

When? April 28-29, 2020

Where? Hosted online, join us for this virtual experience
Questions about GamesBeat Summit 2020? Contact us at

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© 2020 VentureBeat 

SUMMIT 2020 - APRIL 28-29

Thank you for joining us for this virtual experience!

Questions about GamesBeat Summit 2020? Contact us at


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