Gaming Insiders Summit
GI 30

Introduction

 

Welcome to the GI 30: the key professionals, as nominated by members of the Gaming Insiders community, who will have the greatest creative, technical or financial impact on the games industry during the next twelve months.

 

Bio
Maria Alegre : CEO, Chartboost

Maria Alegre

CEO, Chartboost

Maria Alegre : CEO, Chartboost

Maria Alegre

CEO, Chartboost

"Maria had the vision of radically changing the way developers monetized and distributed their games, with full transparency and control which were lacking at that time. In less than 2 years, Maria and the team have executed, becoming the biggest only-game cross-promo platform."

"Chartboost is a savour to small and big publishers alike. Maria has built an amazing team that puts studios and publishers first!"

Bio
Kenshi Arasaki : Co-founder, A Thinking Ape

Kenshi Arasaki

Co-founder, A Thinking Ape

Kenshi Arasaki : Co-founder, A Thinking Ape

Kenshi Arasaki

Co-founder, A Thinking Ape

"Probably the most successful bootstrapped gaming company in the world (top line revenue wise)."

Bio
Jason Bailey : CEO, Eastside Games

Jason Bailey

CEO, Eastside Games

Jason Bailey : CEO, Eastside Games

Jason Bailey

CEO, Eastside Games

"Mastermind behind l33dr.ly and East Side Games. A serial entrepreneur, and someone who tells it like it is. Think the next 12 months will only get more interesting when he finds his next hit product(s)."

"Jason is the founder of L33dr.ly a new startup building a dynamic social leaderboard API for mobile games with a unique twist. He's already raised a bunch of money and his experience as CEO/co-founder of East Side Games definitely gives him an unfair advantage. Between that experience and the network that East Side Games has developed with the indie gaming community, I believe Jason and L33dr.ly will definitely make an impact in the next 12 months."

Bio
Brandon Beck : CEO, Riot Games

Brandon Beck

CEO, Riot Games

Brandon Beck : CEO, Riot Games

Brandon Beck

CEO, Riot Games

"Brandon is the instigator of a global phenomenon that is already challenging some of the most established game franchises on the planet."

Bio
Jan Beckers : CEO, Hitfox Group

Jan Beckers

CEO, Hitfox Group

Jan Beckers : CEO, Hitfox Group

Jan Beckers

CEO, Hitfox Group

"Jan is accelerating speed and influence in the b2b business and will be at the pulse of the industy's changing needs."

"Super inspirational and visionary man"

"Jan Beckers has now started roughly 6 thriving companies (e.g. Sponsorpay, HitFox Group, AppLift) in the games industry ecosystem. He has touched all sides of gaming from consoles to online to mobile, works with the top games developers in the world, speaks and is a visionary at most of the major conferences and was recently named the top Next 100 Digital Entrepreneur in Europe. He is, most importantly, well respected and adored in the industry."

Bio
Jeff Bezos : CEO, Amazon

Jeff Bezos

CEO, Amazon

Jeff Bezos : CEO, Amazon

Jeff Bezos

CEO, Amazon

"Jeff Bezos deserves mention for obvious reasons.  If Amazon delivers on a set top box where games can be played, it will change the landscape of not only gaming but media consumption."

Bio
Mark Cerny : PS4 System Architect, Sony PlayStation

Mark Cerny

PS4 System Architect, Sony PlayStation

Mark Cerny : PS4 System Architect, Sony PlayStation

Mark Cerny

PS4 System Architect, Sony PlayStation

"Giving Sony a fighting chance to retake the top console spot with PS4."

Bio
Kevin Chou : CEO, Kabam

Kevin Chou

CEO, Kabam

Kevin Chou : CEO, Kabam

Kevin Chou

CEO, Kabam

"Greatest pivot in the gaming space (from enterprise social networks to fb communities to fb games to mobile games to mobile game publishing)"

Bio
Dan Connors : CEO, Telltale

Dan Connors

CEO, Telltale

Dan Connors : CEO, Telltale

Dan Connors

CEO, Telltale

"Dan has built an incredible creative team that is pushing the boundaries of interactive storytelling across a very broad range of platforms."

Bio
Giordano Contestabile : Co-founder, Tilting Point

Giordano Contestabile

Co-founder, Tilting Point

Giordano Contestabile : Co-founder, Tilting Point

Giordano Contestabile

Co-founder, Tilting Point

'Interesting up and comer, super smart and has been in the mobile space since the ice age."

"Trying to fix a publishing model that's broken in this industry with Tilting Point. Look forward to seeing if they can fix it, and find success with their model. If there was room for a 4th, I would nominate Dr Serkan Toto, whose blog of all things mobile and social in Japan is invaluable to learn from."

Bio
Walter Driver : CEO, Scopely

Walter Driver

CEO, Scopely

Walter Driver : CEO, Scopely

Walter Driver

CEO, Scopely

"Walter is a visionary in the mobile games industry. At Scopely, he's reinventing the way that games are developed and distributed, addressing many of the issues that traditional mobile publishers present to developers. Walter has devised an approach that provides true value independent teams, empowering them to massive success. Additionally, Scopely's heavily curated approach and dedication to only publishing games that have the ability to hit the top of the charts is very unique."

"Walter is the visionary behind Scopely--under his leadership, our team has grown to 90, raised a great round of venture and angel money, and is poised to release a number of awesome titles over the next 12 months. Most of all, the model behind Scopely is an entirely new evolution of the traditional publisher model--it's a model that empowers indie game developers by allowing them to focus completely on what they do best (core game development) and letting Scopely help with everything around that (technology platform, distribution, and monetization). I can't think of a better leader to follow into battle."

Bio
Will Harbin : CEO, Kixeye

Will Harbin

CEO, Kixeye

Will Harbin : CEO, Kixeye

Will Harbin

CEO, Kixeye

"Pushed ARPDAUs in Facebook games to nearly an order of magnitude higher than what Zynga was achieving and was among the first to successfully marry free-to-play, hardcore gamers, and a loyal community. Should not be counted out as they are about to debut their foray into mobile."

"Will Harbin is doing a great job with Kixeye, one of the few companies in F2P that resisted the knee-jerk reaction to jump to mobile and abandon what has been working. He has stayed the course in midcore and is building a really strong company."

Bio
David Helgason : CEO, Unity

David Helgason

CEO, Unity

David Helgason : CEO, Unity

David Helgason

CEO, Unity

"For a variety of business and technical reasons, Unity is really the only 3D game engine worth considering for smartphone and tablet development.  How CEO Helgason leverages that position over the next year will partially determine what sort of games we see on those platforms."

Bio
Robert Kotick : CEO, Activision

Robert Kotick

CEO, Activision

Robert Kotick : CEO, Activision

Robert Kotick

CEO, Activision

"Though criticized by some for being seemingly slow to adapt to changing industry trends, he leads one of the few companies that can reliably bring billion dollar IP to market and realize its full potential."

Bio
Mitch Lasky : General Partner, Benchmark Capital

Mitch Lasky

General Partner, Benchmark Capital

Mitch Lasky : General Partner, Benchmark Capital

Mitch Lasky

General Partner, Benchmark Capital

"Arguably the leading VC in gaming."

Mitch Lasky is one of the only investors I know who has deep conviction around games investing."

Bio
Ken Levine : President, Irrational Games

Ken Levine

President, Irrational Games

Ken Levine : President, Irrational Games

Ken Levine

President, Irrational Games

"Pushing the quality bar up and keeping the traditional console industry innovative."

Bio
Gabe Leydon : CEO, MachineZone

Gabe Leydon

CEO, MachineZone

Gabe Leydon : CEO, MachineZone

Gabe Leydon

CEO, MachineZone

"App Store pioneer and a tireless entrepreneur".

Bio
Palmer Luckey : Founder, Oculus VR

Palmer Luckey

Founder, Oculus VR

Palmer Luckey : Founder, Oculus VR

Palmer Luckey

Founder, Oculus VR

"Oculus is the most exciting gaming hardware startup on the planet and the Rift has amazing momentum. This is a future billion dollar company."

Bio
Pony Ma : CEO, Tencent

Pony Ma

CEO, Tencent

Pony Ma : CEO, Tencent

Pony Ma

CEO, Tencent

"Tencent has quietly become an immense global force in the games business. In addition to their corporate development moves with companies like Riot and Activision, their in-house assets are staggering."

Bio
Don Mattrick : CEO, Zynga

Don Mattrick

CEO, Zynga

Don Mattrick : CEO, Zynga

Don Mattrick

CEO, Zynga

"By the virtue of his new position as CEO, Mattrick has at his disposal a still-large (albeit shrinking) user base, tremendous financial resources, and some talent still within his organization. Can he bring it all to bear and get Zynga to fulfill its potential? He can't just sit -- he has to act. We'll know a lot in 12 months, but he will have a significant impact -- one way or the other."

"Don Mattrick is my dark horse pick. Zynga is in bad shape - if he can turn it around then that would be quite significant."

"Will save and reignite Zynga into a successful company, thus helping everyone in the gaming industry, from startup to public company."

Bio
Akira Morikawa : President, NHN Corporation

Akira Morikawa

President, NHN Corporation

Akira Morikawa : President, NHN Corporation

Akira Morikawa

President, NHN Corporation

"WeChat alone will likely have a serious impact on the global gaming market in the next year - to say nothing of all their other initiatives.    Like WeChat, LINE is on a tear having reached 100M users in 19 months.  For reference, it took Twitter 49 months and Facebook 54 months to achieve that benchmark.  LINE's parent company, NHN (which runs Hangame), is a long-time free-to-play giant and has deep knowledge and tech with which to press that advantage/momentum.  LINE's game revenue traction is already impressive and discovery via these types of chat apps could be a disruptive force in the mobile gaming space in the coming quarters."

Bio
Kazuki Morishita : CEO, GungHo Online Entertainment

Kazuki Morishita

CEO, GungHo Online Entertainment

Kazuki Morishita : CEO, GungHo Online Entertainment

Kazuki Morishita

CEO, GungHo Online Entertainment

"Puzzle & Dragons is setting the bar for the scope of success that is possible in mobile free to play games. Everyone is watching GungHo's next move."

Bio
Ilkka Paananen : CEO, Supercell

Ilkka Paananen

CEO, Supercell

Ilkka Paananen : CEO, Supercell

Ilkka Paananen

CEO, Supercell

"Ilkka has led an amazing team who has reinvented freemium. They've driven the general market to enjoy deeper experiences and to spend in mobile games with innovative concepts in genres where we thought no innovation was possible."

"Ilkka Paananen from Supercell is the standard-bearer for creativity-driven mobile studios focused on high quality games these days."

Bio
Markus Pasula : CEO, Grand Cru

Markus Pasula

CEO, Grand Cru

Markus Pasula : CEO, Grand Cru

Markus Pasula

CEO, Grand Cru

"Markus has assembled a great team of mobile veterans and their debut game looks very promising. This is my bet for the next dark horse Finnish mobile gaming powerhouse."

Bio
Markus Persson : Founder, Mojang

Markus Persson

Founder, Mojang

Markus Persson : Founder, Mojang

Markus Persson

Founder, Mojang

"Creator of Minecraft that continues to dominate the charts, inspire countless clones, and consume infinite hours of young gamer's time."

Bio
Sundar Pichai : SVP, Chrome and Apps. Google

Sundar Pichai

SVP, Chrome and Apps. Google

Sundar Pichai : SVP, Chrome and Apps. Google

Sundar Pichai

SVP, Chrome and Apps. Google

"As a senior vice president at Google where he oversees Android, Chrome and Google Apps, Sundar will have a deep impact on the landscape of gaming."

Bio
John Pleasants : Co-President, Disney Interactive

John Pleasants

Co-President, Disney Interactive

John Pleasants : Co-President, Disney Interactive

John Pleasants

Co-President, Disney Interactive

"JP may be out in 6 months, but if he's not, it means Infinity found traction and Disney's other 1st party projects are launching and looking good. IPs like Marvel and Star Wars have the gravity to affect consumer behavior in myriad ways that will influence other game makers. Hardware choices, SSO implementation, Facebook integration, marketing trends and costs, etc."

"For risking hundreds of millions on trying to be the first media conglomerate to profitably participate in the gaming space which in turn will prove the model works for big media and thus will drive much more M&A and this investment into the space because there will be an exit for the investment."

Bio
Torsten Reil : CEO, NaturalMotion

Torsten Reil

CEO, NaturalMotion

Torsten Reil : CEO, NaturalMotion

Torsten Reil

CEO, NaturalMotion

"NaturalMotion's upcoming slate of titles is impressive and they apply a unique patience to their game development that in the ends provides an ultimately superior product."

Bio
Chris Roberts : Chairman, Cloud Imperium

Chris Roberts

Chairman, Cloud Imperium

Chris Roberts : Chairman, Cloud Imperium

Chris Roberts

Chairman, Cloud Imperium

"With Star Citizen, he has demonstrated a new level of innovation in crowd-funding, marketing and selling virtual goods for a free-to-play game before it is released."

Bio
Riccardo Zacconi : CEO, King.com

Riccardo Zacconi

CEO, King.com

Riccardo Zacconi : CEO, King.com

Riccardo Zacconi

CEO, King.com

"Riccardo worked his way through the industry in the last 10 years and is likely to go public in an IPO that might draw a better light on the industry again and limit the damage Zynga has done."

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