Computer Games Association will be hosting three days of high-profile casino-oriented content at its upcoming Casual Connect USA conference this August 1-3 at Benaroya Hall in Seattle. The conference has hosted tracks dedicated to online and mobile social casino and real money gaming for years – and this show will be no different, showcasing big names from various different areas in the casino industry during its casino track. However, the track will also feature content important to non-casino game developers as well – especially in regards to a new emerging market: land-based casinos.
Industry At Large
During the conference, several speakers will dive into the ever-changing landscape of the casino industry as a whole. Adam Krejcik of Eilers & Krejcik Gaming will examine the state of the social casino industry as of Q2 2017 and SuperData Research Lead Social Casino Analyst Carter Rogers will provide insights on the shift from PC to mobile in the social casino space. Ron Segev of Segev LLP will look at the legal, regulatory and commercial sides of going from social to real-money gaming.
In a panel, experts from Novomatic Greentube, Ruby Seven Studios, Tropicana Entertainment, and Spin Games will speak on the growing clash between operators and suppliers – and how independent social casino developers might benefit. During a fireside chat, 1Linked and Imperus founder Daniel Kajouie will discuss funding and valuation with Eilers & Krejcik’s Al Thomas.
Video Game & Casino Crossover
A few key sessions will discuss a growing industry shift: The crossover between the casino and video games industries. Capitalizing on the potential of casinos to be a VIP destination for video gamers will be the focus of a panel with experts from GameCo, Gamblit Gaming, Leet, and The Downtown Grand of Las Vegas.
In a solo-presentation, Gamblit Gaming CMO Darion Lowenstein will discuss whether this growing crossover is a gold rush or bust for non-casino game developers. UNLV Center for Gaming Innovation Associate Director Daniel Sahl will go over the growing demand in casinos for new games that incorporate radical changes such as a significant focus on skill and multiplayer – and how non-casino game developers can enter the industry.
Innovation & Design
With such quickly changing markets, the need for innovation is more important than ever – and multiple experts will provide their insights on the matter. Product Madness Head of Data Science Sam Du Rose will provide much-needed enlightenment on how to use machine learning to improve games – even for those who don’t understand how machine learning works. Mark Beck of Murka will discuss how they are innovating in their work culture as well as their game design and Huuuge Games’ James Crabb will explain how they are making their social casino games more social.
DoubleDown Interactive SVP and General Manager Joe Sigrist will discuss the power of using authentic slot game design and Cleebo Games Co-Founder Pawan Sivaraman will show how they are innovating in the online live dealer casino sector. In a panel, experts from GameCo, Pala Interactive, and iGaming Capital will detail the need for new content on both social and real-money platforms and what exactly it is that industry leaders are looking for.
User Acquisition & Retention
Of course, all the innovation in the world won’t help you if you can’t get people into your game and keep them there – and key speakers will highlight user acquisition and retention strategies during Casual Connect’s casino track. Playtika’s Jeet Niyogi will detail the key elements of driving sustainable mobile growth – using World Series of Poker as a case-study – and Bidalgo’s Jon Gagnon will discuss how to scale user acquisition using a blend of art and science. In a panel, experts from Zynga, DoubleDown, Playtika and yellowHEAD will dive into user acquisition at length.
Casual Connect At Large
In addition to the casino track, Casual Connect will focus on many other topics relevant to both those inside and outside the casino industry. The conference’s Next-Gen track will discuss VR & AR and game design and innovation will be front-and-center in tracks like Design & Development and Design Innovation. Casual Connect will also host three official networking parties – with hundreds expected to attend – and run two special workshops the day before the conference on July 31: LiveOps Connect and United In Diversity.
With its focus on both casino and non-casino gaming, Casual Connect is the perfect place for the casino industry to discover new ways to innovate, see the latest in emerging trends and technologies, and build partnerships with other gaming spaces.
Casey Rock is the Contributions & Studio Spotlights Editor for Gamesauce. He loves rock climbing, hiking and singing in rock band Open Door Policy. He streams games under the moniker The Clumsy Gamer. You can catch him on twitter @caserocko and @realclumsygamer.