GamesBeat Summit Digital storytelling speakers: Adam Foshko, Derek Kolstad, and Mark Long

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This year GamesBeat Summit 2020 is going all-digital, April 28 and April 29. Today we’re bringing you another look at the event speakers we’re proud to present: Neon Media CEO and NY Times bestselling author Mark Long, who will be moderating a discussion on the game writing room with John Wick and Hitman writer/creator Derek Kolstad and Call of Duty and Transformers writer/creator Adam Foshko.

Check out the full agenda here! To join GamesBeat Summit online, sign up here.

The health and safety of our GamesBeat community, attendees, employees, and sponsors remains our top priority, so we’re stepping away from centralized studios and physical locations for our flagship event, which now goes fully distributed and fully digital.

Attendees can watch livestreamed and recorded talks, take part in online networking sessions and digital roundtables, access our gaming partners virtually, and more.

Here’s a look at our next panel.

GamesBeat Summit - It's a time of change in the game industry. Hosted online April 28-29.

Breaking Story: How Great Writer’s Rooms Work

Great characters and great stories come from great writer’s rooms. But what exactly is a writer’s room? And how do you structure, hire, and break story in one? Neon Media CEO and NY Times bestselling author Mark Long moderates a discussion with John Wick and Call of Duty writers Derek Kolstad and Adam Foshko, exploring their collaborative playbooks for creating and collaborating in great writer’s rooms. Their experience spans both linear media such as movies and TV shows, as well as interactive media, from video games to virtual reality experiences.

Mark Long, Neon Media

Mark Long, HBO

Above: Mark Long is CEO of Neon Media

Image Credit: Mark Long

Neon Media CEO and NY Times bestselling graphic novel author Mark Long is the producer/designer of over 30 games on every platform from SEGA Genesis to Oculus Rift. Long was GM of Xcloud and before spinning out Neon from HBO. I met Long years ago when he was working on Hawken while at Meteor Entertainment.

Derek Kolstad, Hitman

Derek Kolstad,

Above: Derek Kolstad wrote the Hitman movie scripts.

Image Credit: Derek Kolstad

Writer/producer Derek Kolstad is creator/screenwriter of the John Wick movies and comic series. Kolstad also adapted Hitman and Just Cause for live-action series and feature film. Most recently Kolstad joined the writer’s room for the Disney+ miniseries The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

Adam Foshko, HBO

Adam Foshko

Above: Adam Foshko is creative director at HBO on projects such as Westworld Awakening.

Image Credit: HBO

HBO creative director Adam Foshko has done it all as a writer/director of games, film, television and animation. Foshko led story and script development for the Call of Duty franchise as well as film/game crossovers including Transformers, Bond, and Kung Fu Panda. I interviewed Foshko for his work at HBO on Westworld Awakening, a VR game created by Survios.

Event details

GamesBeat Summit Digital will provide the same great content and create digital networking experiences, all available remotely. We’ve very grateful that the overwhelming number of our speakers (which we originally recruited for our physical event) and our sponsors have stayed with us. We hope to live up to their belief in us with our talks around the theme of Dawn of the Next Generation.

We will continue to be proactive in our communication and will follow up with more information about technology platforms and logistics in the coming days. We’ll have about 115 speakers across 57 sessions. The schedule is still subject to change.

Agenda

Tuesday, April 28, 2020 (all times Pacific time)

Alina Soltys is cofounder of Quantum Tech Partners.

Above: Alina Soltys is cofounder of Quantum Tech Partners.

Image Credit: Quantum Tech Partners

9:15 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Boss Stage: Introductory remarks by Dean Takahashi, lead writer for VentureBeat’s GamesBeat

9:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

Boss Stage: “Serious money going into esports and gaming: Mergers, acquisitions, and fundraising trends” with Alina Soltys, founder of Quantum Tech Partners

​9:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

Boss Stage: “The rise of new independent publishers” with Michael Worosz, executive vice president for corporate development and independent publishing at Take-Two Interactive, moderated by Michael Metzger, partner at Drake Star Partners

Hero Stage: “The future of gaming is user-generated content” with Matt Curtis, VP of Developer Relations at Roblox

10:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Boss stage: Owen Mahoney, CEO of Nexon

​Hero Stage: Esports with Neo Liu, head of publishing for Tencent North America; Karim Farghaly of Bandai Namco; and Jacob Navok, CEO of Genvid Technologies; moderated by David Hoppe of Gamma Law

10:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Boss Stage: Mike Morhaime, cofounder and former president of Blizzard Entertainment, moderated by Seth Schiesel

​Hero Stage: “The Leisure Economy” with John Linden, CEO, Mythical Games

Above: GamesBeat Summit Digital speakers

Image Credit: VentureBeat/GamesBeat

​11:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Boss Stage: Fireside Chat with Stanley Pierre-Louis, CEO of the 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 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Boss Stage: “Gaming’s future as the best form of entertainment,” Jon Goldman of Greycroft and GC Tracker Fund, 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 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Breakout sessions, Networking Roundtables, Slack Q&A, Community Discussion

1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Boss Stage: Scopely co-CEO Javier Ferreira

Hero Stage: “Game investments in the age of the coronavirus” with Ryan McDermott of Resolute Partners Group

​1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Boss Stage: “Facebook creative testing: Why the control is so hard to beat” with Brian Bowman, CEO of Consumer Acquisition (solo talk)

Hero Stage: “Using AI for game testing,” with PinkLion CEO Jennifer Bonine (solo talk)

​2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Boss Stage: “Console cycles: The old, the new, and the future” with Rob Dyer, chief operating officer 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 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

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 Asmodee Digital

​2:30 p.m. – -3:00 p.m.

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 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

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

3:45 pm – 4 p.m. Hero Stage break

Above: Phil Sanderson of IDG Ventures

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

​3:15 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Boss Stage: “How Thatgamecompany enabled a wholesome community in Sky” with Jenova Chen, Co-Founder of Thatgamecompany

​4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Boss Stage: “Building out charity in the games space” with Stephen Machuga of Stack-Up

​Hero Stage: “Your Gamer DNA” with Chethan Ramachandran, CEO of Skillprint; moderated by Keisha Howard of Sugar Gamers

​4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Boss Stage: “The next generation of multi-dimensional games and large-scale VR development,” with Peter Akemann, CEO at Skydance Interactive, moderated by Mike Minotti of GamesBeat

​Hero Stage: “The Realities of crossplay and managing live services” with Jesse Houston, CEO of Phoenix Labs; moderated by Dean Takahashi

​5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Boss Stage: “The Constant of Creativity” with Glen Schofield, Founder of Striking Distance Studios

​Hero Stage: “External Development Stories” with Mihai Pohontu, CEO of Amber Studios

​5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Connect with the community online. Join online Q&A, breakout sessions, and try fun and new digital event technology.

​Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Above: GamesBeat’s Mike Minotti hams it at the media table. Want to join him?

Image Credit: Michael O’Donnell/GamesBeat

8:00 a.m.

Women in Gaming Virtual Breakfast, Presented by Niantic. Speakers include Kellee Santiago of Niantic, Nonny de la Peña of Emblematic Group, and Elizabeth Howard of Aspyr

​9:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Boss Stage: Opening remarks — Mike Minotti, reviews editor at GamesBeat

​10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Boss Stage: “The future of influencer marketing” with Mari Takahashi of Smosh Games; Joshua Ovenshire of Arcade Cloud; moderated by Andrea Rene of What’s Good Games

​Hero Stage: “How to run a great writers room” with Adam Foshko of HBO; moderated by Mark Long of HBO

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Boss Stage: “Recapturing the history of games,” Josh Tsui of Ten Point Oh and Blake Harris, author of Console Wars and A History of the Future; 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; Andrew Maximov, CEO of Promethean AI; Barry Jenkins, CEO of Primal Space Systems and Instant Interactive

​11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Boss Stage: “Why gaming will be at the center of the future entertainment universe” with Josh Yguado, Co-Founder & President of Jam City, moderated by Amy Allison of Skydance

​Hero Stage: Fireside Chat with Elan Lee, cofounder of Exploding Kittens; moderated by Theresa Duringer of Temple Gates Games

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Above: Josh Yguado, chief operating officer of Jam City.

Image Credit: Jam City

Boss Stage: “Experiencing technical difficulty” with Mitch Lasky of Benchmark Capital; moderated by Eric Goldberg of Crossover Technologies

​11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

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 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Boss Stage: Fireside Chat with Bernard Kim of Zynga; moderated by Patrick Shanley of The Hollywood Reporter

​12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Breakout sessions, Networking Roundtables, Slack Q&A, Community Discussion

1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Boss Stage: “Gaming has always paved the way in mobile and user acquisition” with Paul Muller, CTO of Adjust; moderated by Dean Takahashi

Hero Stage: “The EVE Effect” with Hilmar Pétursson, CEO of CCP

1:30 p.m – 2:00 p.m.

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,” panel including Mark Chang, head of gaming and esports at Intel

​2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Boss Stage: Fireside chat with Brent Bushnell of Two Bit Circus

Hero Stage: “Strategies for mental wellness in gaming,” speakers John Smedley of Amazon Studios; Mark Chandler of The International Game Summit for Mental Health; and Eve Crevoshay of Take This.

​2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Boss Stage: “The real world games of the future: Designing AR/Geospatial/Purposeful games,” with Greg Borrud of Niantic (solo talk)

​Hero Stage: “Diversity and inclusion: How to create virtual and accessible resources for marginalized communities during a pandemic/in the face of uncertainty,” with Nika Nour, Executive Director of IGDA Foundation, moderated by gaming personality Jessica Chobot

​3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Eric Schiermeyer is CEO of Blockchain Game Partners.

Above: Eric Schiermeyer is CEO of Blockchain Game Partners.

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

Boss Stage: Fireside Chat with Neil Young, CEO of N3twork, moderated by Bing Gordon of Kleiner Perkins

Hero Stage: Blockchain panel with Sebastian Borget of The Sandbox; Peter Kieltyka of Horizon Blockchain Games; and Eric Schiermeyer of Blockchain Game Partners; Taehoon Kim, CEO of nWay; moderated by James Zhang of Concept Art House

​3:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Breakout sessions, Networking Roundtables, Slack Q&A, Community Discussion

​3:45 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

Boss Stage: “Games M&A: Open for business” with Michael Chang of NCSoft; Chris Petrovic of Zynga; Nick Tuosto of LionTree; and Affan Butt of Aream & Co.; moderated by Mark Stevens of Fenwick & West LLP

​Hero Stage: Asia Gaming Panel with Bill Wang of Giant Network; Amy Huang of Mattel163; Cynthia Du of Cocos; Jeff Lyndon of iDreamSky; moderated by Lisa Cosmas Hanson of Niko Partners ​

4:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Boss Stage: “Working backward from the players: Amazon’s approach to games,” with Mike Frazzini, vice president of Amazon, moderated by Dean Takahashi

Hero Stage: “Player behavior: Your secret growth tool,” with Carlos Figueiredo of Two Hat Security, Clara Siegel of Facebook, and Kim Voll of Stray Bombay; moderated by Kate Edwards of The Global Game Jam

​4:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

Lisa Cosmas Hanson is managing director at Niko Partners.

Above: Lisa Cosmas Hanson is managing director at Niko Partners.

Image Credit: Niko Partners

Boss Stage: “eSports and GaaS in Asia Pacific” with Tim Guhl of Singtel; moderated by Lisa Cosmas Hanson of Niko Partners

​Hero Stage: “Industry-facing game education” with Danny Bilson, Chair, Interactive Media, Games Division at USC​

5:15 pm – 5:45 pm

Boss Stage: To be announced

​Hero Stage: To be announced

​5:45 p.m.

Connect with the community online. Join online Q&A, breakout sessions, and try fun and new digital event technology.

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