Casual Connect USA 2017 on August 1-3 in Seattle, Washington will cover a myriad of subjects detailing the developing, publishing, and marketing of games for all platforms. Taking place exclusively on August 2, the Business of Games track will kick off with a short welcome by track emcee Salim Mitha, a partner at Evolution Media and veteran in growth tech opportunities on funding, publishing and licensing.
The conference will feature sessions on various evolving game finance models, impacting almost every game developer in the industry. Jay Powell, CEO of The Powell Group, and Drew Boortz, Managing Vice President of Western Business Development at Nexon, will discuss a myriad of pros and cons of the various popular structures for game finance, including break-even structures, studio burn-rate deals, angel, Series A investment, crowdfunding, as well as creative hybrids of all structures. Patrick Sweeney, one of the leading attorneys in the games industry, will serve as moderator.
Patrick Sweeney has closed many deals on behalf of developers, so has particular insights in the publisher method of financing. He’ll talk about the pitfalls developers should avoid in publishing partnerships that he’s seen in the 500+ publishing agreements he’s helped conclude.
Pitching publishers is an important skill for smaller developers to have to increase the exposure of their games. Talking on subjects like how to approach and pitch publishers, in addition to discussion of typical deal structures and expectations goings into a negotiation will be tinyBuild CEO Alex Nichiporchik, Team17’s Head of Publishing & Business Development Justin Berenbaum, Devolver Digital Partner and Funslinger Mike Wilson, and Versus Evil GM Steve Escalante, with Execution Labs co-founder Jason Della Rocca as moderator.
Developers and publishers have relationships not unlike people have, running hot and cold, suffering breakups and “ghosting”. Mel Montano, Senior Business Development Manager at Kongregate, will have a humorous take on the highs and lows of publisher networking, creating and maintaining relationships, and how to decide on a potential publishing partner.
Licensed for Business
IPs for music, films, TV or celeb licensing can have rewards and pitfalls for developers. Flashman Studios CEO Brad Young and Jam City EVP of Corporate Development & General Counsel Rob Zakari will talk about working in licensed IP business on franchises like Star Wars, Marvel, Walking Dead, Family Guy, Simpsons, South Park and many others.
Signing the right licenses is part of a general strategy including investment, acquisition and partnerships. Michael Chang, SVP Corporate Development at NCSoft West and Shanti Bergel, SVP of Business & Corporate Development at GREE International Entertainment will talk about their experiences working the business half of the industry for mobile and PC gaming.
Holistic Gaming Business
Gamers are changing and evolving all the time, and it’s important to be able to think holistically about it when you’re working in UA. Brian Boland, VP of Publisher Solutions for Facebook, will talk about overseeing the social media company’s efforts to help developers and publishers monetize their apps, sites and content.
There will also be insights from leading executives, giving their unique perspective from being on the leading edge. Gawkbox CEO Chris Brownridge, PlayFab James Gwertzman, CEO of and Jonathan Zweig, CEO of AppOnboard Inc., will talk about everything from streaming, gaming back-ends, and app development in a session moderated by LVP Partner Paul Heydon.
Network to Success
Casual Connect will cover multiple broad topics of the industry, covering VR & AR, game design, social casino and much more. Over 2,000 professionals are expected to attend the conference, making it a perfect networking event with three official networking parties. To find out more about what Casual Connect USA 2017 can offer, please visit usa.casualconnect.org.